Hotel Kempsey has joined the ranks of hot property coastal pubs to change hands, with a local expanding publican beating out the metropolitan groups.
The family of Peter Gravillis listed the popular local in June, after nearly 30 years owning the 1880s pub, dubbed all about the “Heritage and Hospitality”.
Located on the Belgrave Street retail strip and main road through town, the Kempsey occupies over 2,300 m² and includes 29 motel rooms.
It was marketed by CBRE Hotels’ Sam Handy and Ben McDonald, who report “fierce competition” by both regional and metropolitan operators, and 45 different parties registering genuine interest.
The buyer was local north coast identity David Richards, who is steadily growing a portfolio of pubs including the Great Northern Hotel, just a kilometre away.
Richards cited “economies of scale and management efficiencies” for the purchase, which adds to his stable alongside Taree’s Bushland Tavern, around 120 kilometres south, and Coonabarabran’s Imperial Hotel, around 500 kilometres west.
“The entry level price point, significant site area and 15 poker machine entitlements drove interest in the asset, most of whom were existing hoteliers looking to capitalize on a price point not offered seen on the coast,” noted Handy.