In Property by Clyde Mooney

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Ending a decades-long reign, the Luey family has sold its Chinatown gateway pub, the Covent Garden Hotel.

The three-storey dual-fronted Covent Garden Hotel was opened by Tooths & Co in 1911. The imposing building stands sentry at the gateway to Chinatown’s famous Tumbalong Boulevard, in Haymarket.

The Hotel leasehold interest has transacted off-market, with no details yet disclosed regarding the buyer or sale price.

“Our client, the Luey family, have very successfully occupied the Covent Garden Hotel for decades, and accordingly sought from us a transaction which identified a suitable party via which to continue the strong business operation known to thousands of local and international patrons,” offers Andrew Jolliffe, Ray White Asia-Pacific director, who brokered the deal.

The sale comes just a week after industry stalwart Patrick Gallagher sold to Oscars Group his 888 Hotel, just two blocks away at the other end of the Dixon street promenade.

The Covent Garden is a former Top 200 gaming pub, but has slipped in recent years, dropping 42 places to #297 on the current Liquor & Gaming list of NSW venues.

Despite in-progress modifications to the laws governing EGM ownership in NSW, Jolliffe suggests the “comparatively heavy regulatory landscape” and limited availability of pubs, particularly well-patronised staples of the CBD, actually benefit investors.

“The asset class remains particularly strong, and strengthening, with key fundamentals all scripting earnings growth indexed to strong cash flows and meaningful barriers to competitive entry.”