CALLIGEROS GRABS REILLY’S TRINITY BAR

In Property by Clyde Mooney

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It’s all smiles at Surry Hills, as Peter Calligeros signs on the line for Ray Reilly’s Trinity Bar for $8.5 million.

After a busy first half of the year that saw the Irishman both selling and buying, Reilly told PubTIC he’s “over the moon” about the Calligeros clan taking on his beloved Trinity.

“It’s been madness … but in a good way,” said Reilly.

“I’m happy someone with passion bought the pub. It needs fresh eyes and new love, and I didn’t have that passion anymore.”

After many years owning and operating North Sydney stalwart the Rag & Famish, Peter Calligeros has partnered with his sister Anna to take on the new challenge of the Trinity Bar.

“We are really excited about it,” Calligeros reported.

“The pub seems to have a great local following, and we see Surry Hills as the coal face for what great pubs are doing. We can’t wait to learn from some of the experienced operators in the area, and keep up with changes in the industry.

“It’s in a cracking spot, and the purchase is a long-term play for us. We’ll be hanging on to this for a while.”

The freehold going concern of the Trinity was sold through an on-market campaign steered by CBRE Hotels’ Daniel Dragicevich and Ben McDonald, who report “genuine competition between buyers” in the asset-starved marketplace.

“It’s great to see an asset change hands from one traditional hotel family to another, with the knowledge that the sovereignty of the venue will be preserved under a similar style operator,” remarked Dragicevich.

CBRE is also transacting for Reilly a new inner-west acquisition that the man says “has exchanged – but remains confidential”. This new venue joins his much lauded Henson Hotel, for which he is also about to close on the purchase of the freehold.

“I’d love a chain of pubs,” says Reilly. “But I’m not sure I’m ready yet … I don’t need the stress!”

The Calligeros family is similarly expanding warily, and say they are eager to move in and “listen to the people”.

“I’ve got a very strong team around me now, and I’m looking forward to getting the brains trust together and coming up with a plan. It’s a scrabble board, we just have to work out where to put the pieces.

“Full credit to Ray and Dan … I wish every pub acquisition went this smoothly.”

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