In On the Market by Clyde Mooney

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Newcastle landmark the Grand Hotel has come to market for the first time in 30 years, as Mike Angus looks to retirement.

Grand Hotel, Newcastle. Images: website

The two-storey Grand Hotel is a classic Victorian-era structure built in 1891 on a 340sqm block. Newcastle only got its first licensed public house, the Shipp Inn, in 1823, but by the end of the Century boasted over 50, and the Grand was widely considered to be the most impressive.

The Grand was the second pub for Angus, taking title in the late 80s and working it seven days a week since.

Capital works over the years have tried to remain sympathetic to the heritage structure, and in 2012 the filigree wrap-around balcony was replaced after extensive work with authorities, particularly Heritage NSW.

The Hotel boasts “the charm of yesteryear”, comprising two bars and a generous function room, commercial kitchen and bistro, and 17 accommodation rooms, each with ensuites and kitchenettes. In years gone by it housed a red-hot nightclub, but the space is now largely unutilised.

Angus previously held a DA, now lapsed, for a two-storey addition on the top that would add 15 more rooms.

The Grand’s location in the heart of East Newcastle, just two blocks from the beach, continues to see major development, including transport and infrastructure and a university being built across the road from the Hotel.

Now into his 60s, the quiet publican told the Newcastle Herald he wanted to see it continue as a hotel, but understood it had further potential and thought he would “put it out there and see what happens”.

Angus has enlisted PRD Nationwide Newcastle’s Allan Kentwell to market the pub, who sees it being reinvented under the right guidance to reflect its increasingly gentrified surrounds.

“There’s a whole lot of value-add opportunities for somebody that’s experienced and entrepreneurial,” Kentwell told PubTIC. “There’s some very good quality stuff going on around it, and the east end of Newcastle is just such hot property.”

The Grand Hotel Newcastle is being sold via Expressions of Interest, closing the end of June.

Grand Hotel, Newcastle