In On the Market by Karen Woods

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Ballarat’s handsome Bunch of Grapes Hotel has come to market, as the freeholder owner looks to wind back his involvement.

Steve Bryant owns the freehold of the large-format red brick pub on a corner of Pleasant Street, the business operated by his partnership. Looking to become less hands-on, Bryant has listed the leasehold interest, to remain as a passive investor.

The 1906 pub was comprehensively refurbished less than five years’ ago, and counts a public bar, kids’ play area, beer garden, function room and large bistro with a strong local reputation.

Around eighteen months’ ago six stand-alone apartments were built at the rear, bringing short-stay accommodation to the business. Bookings and payments are entirely managed online, with the only staff required being a cleaner.

Ballarat is a city of 101,000 residents set on the Yarrowee River, around 120km west of Melbourne. It is Australia’s third-largest inland city and rose to fame after gold was discovered there in 1851.

The Bunch of Grapes leasehold has been listed through CRE Brokers’ Rohan Pertzel, former publican from Jan Juc.

“It would suit someone that’s got an interest in food,” suggests Pertzel. “It’s not that it’s a total foodies’ pub, but it’s got a good reputation for food, and is set up accordingly.

“You walk in with nothing to spend and make money from day one.”

Bryant is offering a 30-year lease (six 5-year options), at market rent, with CPI increases. The business is poised to fetch around $900k.