AVC has advanced its position in the Sunbury locality, unveiling its multi-million-dollar renovation of the Ball Court Hotel, designed with the entire community in mind.

The group bought the pub in Sunbury, around 40 kilometres north-west of the Melbourne CBD, in late 2021.

Applying its trademark investment strategy, Australian Venue Co (AVC) re-opened the pub on 24 January boasting an upgraded sports bar, expanded bistro with refreshed menu, all-new beer garden, and a range of weekly specials.

Sunbury’s favourite local pub has become even more inviting for laid-back lunches and for parents to relax and dine in peace, now offering the area’s largest beer garden, with a dedicated outside bar, large screen TVs and a kids’ playground.

The revised foodservice offering has been extended to seat more guests, and a revamped menu offers Aussie pub classics and a dedicated kids’ menu. Leading the gastro charge is an “epic new burger section” providing house specials including the Sunbury Burger, and the Parma Burger – packing a chicken parma between the buns.

A launch weekend is running 9-11 February, lining up live music, raffles, kids’ activities, specials and tasters, and a live radio cross.

Venue Manager Jess McNab says they’re excited to be welcoming everyone back to see its new lease on life.

“These new and refreshed spaces mean there’s more for the community to love.”

Each week will offer specials and events, championed by Happy Hour every Monday through Friday, from 4pm until 6pm.

Mondays are dubbed ‘Locals Night’, Fridays run a Free Tradie BBQ from 4-5pm, and live music, which continues on Saturdays, before ‘Kids Sunday Funday’ puts up a free animal farm from midday ‘til 3pm, and kids eat free all day.

AVC installs its Local Heroes program in its pubs, and money from every classic parma sold at the Ball Court will be donated to Sunbury Neighbourhood Kitchen.

Kicking off today with the Tradie BBQ and free menu tasters, the next two days of the launch weekend will see face painting for kids, a free petting zoo, live music, drinks specials and more free menu tasters, and on Sunday there will be a live radio cross to Hit101.9 The Fox.

And across the launch weekend everyone who presents AVC’s app The Pass will get their first drink on the house.

AVC has made a steady practice of investing heavily in under-performing pubs with potential, many stemming from its portfolio acquisition of Spirit Hotels, most of which were in Queensland.

Mid-2023 news broke that the group had been sold by its Wall Street-based backer KKR for a figure in the region of $1.4 billion to alternative investment firm PAG Asia Capital.

The sale to PAG is scheduled to settle 26 February, and AVC CEO Paul Waterson told PubTIC it will be business as usual.

“Renovating and adding capacity to existing venues is a core part of what we do.

“We intend to continue to do 25 a year for the foreseeable future.”

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