Redcape’s historic and beloved Aspley Hotel in Brisbane’s north has sold off-market to local operators Star Hotels.

The Royal Exchange Hotel was built on the site in 1875, before the current building, designed by architects Addison and Macdonald, replaced it in 1934.

It became a landmark of Gympie Road, for years marking Brisbane’s northern outskirts. In 1958 its name was changed to the Aspley Hotel. Noted for its historic significance, the rarity of the design and its pivotal association with the area, the pub was deemed a Local Heritage Place in 2002.

Today surrounded by Brisbane suburbia, it provides locals and a steady stream of travellers a range of bars, Keno and TAB, dining areas, gaming room with 40 EGMs, several function rooms and a drive-through bottleshop.

Mid-2018 US hospitality giant Delaware North made a surprise entry into Queensland when it bought The Aspley from long-time owners Oz Pub Group, headed by Colin Macleod. Delaware North operates hundreds of hospitality venues across four continents, employing over 60k people and serving over half a billion customers annually.

But just a couple of years later, the multinational had a change of plans and sold the hotel again, to Redcape, for $10 million.

Seeking to restabilise its accounts after recently having to freeze investor redemptions until the end of the year, Redcape has looked to divest some of its pubs in the Sunshine State, listing both The Grove and The Shamrock in Mackay.

In a display of determination, announcement of sale of The Grove came only a week later, sold to an unnamed buyer for an unspecified amount.

Group CEO Chris Unger confirmed to PubTIC that the Aspley Hotel has also been sold, “to a local operator” in recent weeks, for a price believed to be circa $10.5 million.

Redcape still holds the Shafston Hotel in East Brisbane and the Eden Brewhouse Redbank Plains, in the city’s south-west, and the Hermit Park Hotel in south Townsville.

Buyer of the Aspley is understood to be MH South Brisbane, which trades as Star Hotels.

The group has been run for the past 27 years by Harvard Business graduate Steven Shoobridge, who is MD and CEO. Star Hotels reports more than 1,200 employees, across nearly 40 locations.

The off-market sale was through Savills’ Tony Bargwanna, Leon Alaban and Nick Lower.

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