Sydney rock institution the Lansdowne Hotel has sold, ushering a new era for the four-storey Chippendale landmark dominating City Rd.

Occupying a 506sqm block opposite Victoria Park and Sydney University, with GFA of 1,900sqm and capacity for 480 patrons, the Lansdowne has been a home to pub rock for decades. But after 82 years, hosting thousands of bands, it closed in late 2015 amid the downturn brought about by Sydney’s infamous lockout laws.

Late 2017 it was reopened by the team behind Mary’s Burgers in Newtown, utilising its expansive trading footprint, counting extensive outdoor areas and a huge, approved rooftop beer garden, all under a 5am liquor licence.

Mid-2023 the private syndicate holding the title listed it for sale through HTL’s Sam Handy, Andrew Jolliffe and Blake Edwards, in conjunction with IB Property’s Stef Ippolito, trading under management across all levels. 

Proximate to the nearby multi-billion-dollar major works underway, including Frasers $2bn Central Park development and the government-backed Tech Central technology hub, close to Chinatown and surrounded by strong hotel operations, the opportunity was based in its diverse catchment, also encompassing the adjacent Broadway Shopping Centre, RPA Hospital and UTS.

Assorted upside options were available at the Lansdowne, marketing citing the creation of a gaming room and further capitalising on the strong demand for budget accommodation in the area.

The sale campaign concluded, and the Hotel quietly exchanged unconditionally, just prior to Christmas.

While the identity of the buyer has proven elusive, sources now say the new owner is a private investor with other commercial property nearby, who paid around $19 million for the pub.  

The new owners quickly orchestrated a new operator for the public bars, welcoming Melbourne-based restaurateur Julian Romero’s Happy Mexican, which has developed a following for its authentic Mexico flavours.

“Stepping into The Lansdowne now, you’re in for a whirlwind of authentic Mexican culture and cuisine, a vibrant transformation from its rock ‘n’ roll legacy,” The Happy Mexican founder, Julian Romero, told PubTIC.

The Lansdowne joins the recent high-profile sale of the iconic Light Brigade Hotel to the Laundys, as the hospitality real estate market gains momentum again. Jolliffe notes the pending stage three tax concessions, falling interest rates and a flurry of recent sales – including some yet to be publicly disclosed – are all indicators of improved sentiment by “key actors” in the broader hotel industry.

“We’re discreetly working with several underbidders from both this and the Light Brigade Hotel campaign, who are seeking out inner city hotels that present strong existing businesses and upside via repositioning, renovation and refurbishment,” adds Handy.


  1. I used to work there as a cellerman in 2006 with a great crew and doing maintenance and the cleaning there started at 6am finishing at 4 pm plus doing the keg delivery and doing orders on weekends

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