Aligning with the arrival of a new Paech, the Goodtime Hospitality boys have divested their West Village Hotel – aka the White Cockatoo – to inner-west publican prophet Ray Reilly.
Forming in mid-2014, Locky Paech and James Bodel’s hotel business kicked off with the purchase of Petersham’s White Cockatoo later that year. After running it for six months and researching market opportunities, Goodtime executed a two million-dollar renovation and relaunched the pub as West Village in late 2015.
But amid changing circumstances including Paech and his wife expecting a child, the pair put their new Village back to market in March.
After years consolidating his much-adored Henson Hotel, mid-2016 Ray Reilly divested his long-held Trinity Bar and took on Newtown’s Sydney Park Hotel, opposite St Peters train station.
As the Paech’s welcome a new addition to the family, Reilly ramps up his expansion rate, acquiring West Village for around $6.5 million, completing his “golden triangle” and trilogy of solutions.
“It’s a bit daunting, but my team is ready for it,” Reilly told PubTIC. “It all stacks up – having three of them in proximity helps running them.
“We know the area, we’re comfortable with the area. We have some fairly strong ideas for the venue, but we won’t know a huge amount until we get in there.
“A lot of the hard work was done, we’ll just tweak it to our style, nothing major. Seems to me the pub internally is going to stay the same. Our idea is to do some add-ons – that means going out the back somehow, so we’ll just sus it out.”
Despite embracing the f&b-based improvements at the pub, Reilly is not as enthusiastic about the name. But beyond ‘add-ons’ he remains coy about specifics.
“I think we’ll revert back. White Cockatoo is a great name, and everyone knows that name, especially the clientele of the inner west.
“We love the pub and looked at it before they bought it, but the time wasn’t right and I still had the Trinity. Now the Sydney Park is well on its way and the Henson is very much established.
“I can’t be too specific, but there’s gaps in the market, put it that way. It will be family-orientated, but you don’t have to have screaming babies and kids running around like lunatics like at the Henson. It won’t be a circus.”
Adding to the six accommodation rooms at the Henson and nine at Sydney Park, the 21 rooms atop the West Village White Cockatoo will truly consolidate what Reilly says is almost becoming “a business in itself”.
West Village was marketed by CBRE Hotels Daniel Dragicevich and Sam Handy, who helped Goodtime into it back in 2014.
Having completed four Sydney fringe pub deals in as many weeks, Handy suggests the result was indicative of market conditions.
“The campaign was keenly contested with the final price being illustrative of the high level of interest and the current under supply of quality inner city Sydney food and beverage pubs.”