In Property by Clyde Mooney

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Marcus Levy’s Marvan Hotels has taken the keys to the legendary Hotel Delany – The Del – tipped to be Newcastle’s next best pub.

The 1924-built Delany came to market last November following years of unsolicited offers, agents predicting its potential to draw first-rate operators to the opportunity. The vendor was Gary Hird, who has owned it for two decades, but these days spends most of his time residing in Thailand with the Hotel run under management.

It holds a late-trading licence and gaming room with 22 EGMs, and operates a popular bistro serving ‘international’ cuisine. The 1,684sqm site is zoned B4 Mixed, with 14-metre height limit and 2:1 FSR, located between the rapidly developing Newcastle CBD and massive $750m East End residential development.

After a successful bid in December, Levy took over this week and wasted no time exploring options.

“We don’t want to go crazy up there, we’re still working through exactly how we go with the concept,” he offered. “Certainly we want to spend a bit of money on it.”

The Del hasn’t seen a refurb in almost a decade, and while wanting to “retain the Newcastle feel” immediate plans are for some serious work on the bottleshop, prior to further developments. The group wants to sustain local name The Del, and build an even stronger food & bev focus.

“Some of my initial plans are for a boutique hotel on top,” continued Levy. “Newcastle’s certainly changing. A lot of people moving up there because of the lifestyle, and the options.

“It’s a great hotel that needs to be carefully planned. I know Paul [Kelly] is the guy for it. I’m very excited about the prospects.”

Marvan has engaged Nic Barnett as licensee, who has recently moved to Newcastle after leaving employment with Redcape. The Delany is the group’s eight venue, with another undisclosed acquisition rumoured to be announced soon.

The sale was transacted for Hird by CBRE Hotels’ Ben McDonald and Daniel Dragicevich, in conjunction with local Deane Moore of Moore & Moore Real Estate.

“It doesn’t surprise me that ‘the Del’ has gone to a Sydney publican,” remarks Moore. “I understand [Marvan] has great plans for the venue, which will not only reinvigorate the business – returning the Hotel to its former glory – but will also add significant value to Darby Street itself.”

Hotel Delany