Veteran Sydney publicans Patrick and Angela Gallagher have joined the big spenders in the booming pub sector after splashing out about $50 million to buy the popular Longueville Hotel on Sydney’s lower north shore.
The multi-level art deco venue, which underwent a $3 million glitzy Palm Springs-inspired makeover in 2019, sold with 27 gaming machine entitlements and a 3am trading licence.
The Longueville Hotel has been operated by the same extended family group for almost 100 years. 
More than $2 billion of pubs have changed hands in the past 12 months, according to JLL’s John Musca and Ben McDonald who brokered the off-market Lane Cove deal on behalf of the Campion family, who join the growing ranks of multi-generational owners cashing in on record prices being offered in the private market.
The sale of the Longy – as it is known by locals – follows Financial Review Rich Lister Sam Arnaout paying about $80 million for the Strathfield Hotel in the inner-west which was offloaded after more than 100 years of ownership by the Whelan family. The Thomas family, long-time owner-operators of the Oaks Hotels in Neutral Bay, also on Sydney’s lower north shore, are hoping for a record $175 million.
Standing on an 852 square metre landholding on the corner of Longueville Road and Little Street, at the entrance to Lane Cove Village, the Longy has been in the hands of the Campions since they bought the leasehold from brewer Tooth & Co when it opened in 1929. Later, in about 1996, they acquired the freehold.
It’s currently operated by Graham Campion whose great uncle purchased the leasehold almost 100 years ago.
For the Gallaghers, the Longy will bolt onto an existing portfolio of five hotels operated under the banner of Gallagher Hotels. The group includes two other lower north shore drinking holes, the Hunters Hill Hotel and the Chelsea Hotel.
The Gallaghers have an even longer history than the Campions in the pub industry dating back to the late 1880s when Mr Gallagher’s grandfather built a hotel in Krambach in country NSW.
The family also founded the Irish-themed pub chain PJ Gallaghers, though the majority of these venues have now been sold off.
JLL Hotels managing director Mr Musca said transaction activity in the pub sector was at a two-decade high nationally with his agency alone selling $300 million worth of venues since the start of the new financial year.
“We are witnessing never-before-seen consolidation,” he said.
The sale of the Longueville Hotel came as the near 150-year-old Republic Hotel on Pitt Street in the Sydney CBD hit the market with hopes above $50 million.
Savills and JLL have been appointed by One Funds Management Ltd to sell the four-level property at 69-73 Pitt Street on behalf of an Asian-based international property fund, which bought for $35 million in 2017.
“The Republic Hotel is an institution in the Sydney pub landscape – a consistent performer and one of the great meeting places for all manner of social groups – such is its prominent position in Sydney’s CBD dress circle,” said Nick Lower of Savills.
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