In Property by Clyde Mooney

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Good Beer has found its way north of the Bridge, bringing Graham Campion’s Commodore Hotel into the fleet for close to $18 million.

Campion and family have long owned high-performing north shore landmark the Longueville Hotel, but ventured a few precincts south in late 2016, tempted by the prospect of the former Lantern Group’s McMahons Point pub.

After a series of strategic listings, the 150-year-old Commodore was the last of the shrinking ASX-listed company’s ‘non-core’ hotels, and stood to benefit from the TLC of an owner-operator.

‘Campo’ undertook a significant renovation, looking to better tune the big corner pub to the lower north shore demographic through its indoor bar, expansive outdoor terrace, restaurant and gaming lounge.

Having participated in bidding on some recent high-ticket hotel sales, and almost finished a $10 million renovation on the Keg & Brew in Surry Hills, John Azar was looking to take on a new outlet for his Good Beer Company (GBC).

Campion has continued his hands-on role at Lane Cove’s Longueville, which his great uncle opened in 1929, and had begun considering updates there also, so agreed to the sale.  

“We wish the Good Beer Company every success with their evolution of the Commodore, and look forward to turning our attentions to the exciting renovations at the Longueville Hotel,” offered the veteran publican.

GBC also owns Randwick’s large-format Duke of Gloucester, purchased in 2015, as well as Paddington’s famous Four In Hand, which it saved from potential redevelopment last year and has since re-opened.

Azar says he has been looking across the harbour for a “strategic addition” for some time. 

“I have long-admired the Commodore and have been monitoring the opportunity to add such a well-established and highly performing asset to our group of properties.

“Importantly, the purchase will provide us with a springboard into the lower north shore residential and business communities.

“Our plan will be to reinvigorate what the Commodore offers in terms of delivering a first-class, affordable and quality beverage and food experience reflecting the success we have achieved at our other hotels.”