Pub mover and shaker Paddy Coughlan is back in the race with a remodelled vehicle and acquisition of Oscars’ Five Islands Hotel in Wollongong for over $20 million.

The Gravanis brothers’ Oscars Hotels bought the freehold going concern of the run-down Cringila Hotel on Five Islands Road in 2017 for around $9 million, with its reputation as a ‘daddy daycare’ offering “boobs and beer” for male patrons.

Oscars executed an extensive makeover of the 2,314sqm Hotel, built 1956, which included moving the entrance, creating a new public bar, sports bar with giant plasma screens and access to the VIP room, with 22 EGMs, bistro with new family-friendly menus, and large “new-look” beer garden.

The 12 accommodation rooms were also refurbished, bolstered by onsite parking.

Coughlan has rebranded his former Bourke St pub group, launching Ludlow Hospitality via the Ludlow Pub Opportunity Fund last October, backed by New York-based family offices.

Ludlow has kicked off its portfolio plans by picking up the reworked and thriving Five Islands Hotel from Oscars for a reported $20.7 million.

“We are delighted to launch the new Ludlow Hospitality Fund with such a quality cornerstone asset and for the opportunity to become part of the local Cringila community,” said Coughlan.

Coughlan co-founded Riversdale Group in the mid-2000s with long-time associate Rodney “Ned” Kelly, sporting a model focusing on turning around the worst pubs in the best locations.

After stepping down as CEO of Riversdale, the group, backed by finance heavyweights John Singleton, Mark Carnegie and Geoff Dixon, went on to sell down the Riversdale portfolio. Coughlan went on to form Bourke St, before divesting his ownership of the Lord Gladstone and Lady Hampshire to pursue a venture making Frank Strong’s hard lemonade.

The director of Ludlow has not yet revealed plans for the new pub or strategies for the new entity.

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