Paddy Coughlan has parted with his Lady Hampshire to focus on Frank Strongs, ushering in a new generation of publicans from Joeys.
Camperdown’s Hampshire Hotel was reopened in early 2016 by Coughlan’s Bourke St group, rebranded the Lady Hampshire to complement nearby sister venue the Lord Gladstone.
The pub had been closed for a number of years, and Bourke St executed a million-dollar renovation bringing a modern offering of good pub grub, trendy décor and crafty beverages.
Coughlan has increasingly been drawn to his own crafty beverage enterprise, Frank Strongs, and began looking to scale back his pub operation commitments. Having freeholds of the Gladstone and Botany View Hotel, the Lady was the clear choice and it first went in search of suitors in February this year.
It offers an old-school public bar, TAB, gaming room with nine EGMs, 5am licence, 12 undercapitalised accommodation rooms upstairs and a large beer garden popular with the proximate Sydney University student base.
The inner-west demographic of Bourke Street’s venues played a role in the creation of Frank Strongs, which Coughlan says is brewed and taxed like a beer, tastes something like a shandy, with 40 per cent less sugar than most ciders. Production is ramping up ahead of summer as more taps are brought on.
“We’re going well, getting new venues all the time,” he reports. “We just signed a national distribution deal with Paramount Liquor, and will be launching into Brisbane and Melbourne in the first quarter of next year.”
Heading into the warmer months, Manenti Quinlan’s Nick Butler brokered the introduction of The Lady to a posse of five former St Joseph’s students that had somehow missed the memo about becoming publicans, going off to find success in a variety of other fields before now.
While the sale price was not disclosed, Coughlan reports he was “pleased with the result”.
The buyers are Greg Parker, who launched Parker’s Cellar after two decades and a Logie with Channel Seven, Chris Traill, former chief concierge of Sydney’s Park Hyatt, Matthew Comensoli, who brings expertise in venue management, Andrew Rigney and David Vaughan.
“The Lady Hampshire represents a great opportunity with enormous potential to further engage the local community, and offer not only a great night out thanks to its live music, but sensational pub food, craft beers and very soon a great selection of Australian wines,” says Parker.
“From boarding school to the boardroom this group of mates has enjoyed consistent results, with the Lady Hampshire the next chapter to be written in this success story.”
The group note a strong desire to create a venue “that appeals to everyone”, including plans to renovate and reactivate the accommodation in the Parramatta Road landmark.
“This group had been actively looking for a strong leasehold with a diverse revenue mix, so when the call came from Paddy it was actually a very swift process,” offers Butler.
“There’s little doubt that city leaseholds are highly sought after, thanks to a shortage of freehold opportunities and recent changes to gaming laws allowing the leasing of PMEs.
“I look forward to watching this group make their mark with the Lady Hampshire. I’m confident it will be the first of many for them.”