Merivale boss Justin Hemmes just bought a pub from John Singleton and Geoff Dixon

Merivale CEO Justin Hemmes. Photo: DL Photography.

Sydney hospitality giant Merivale has acquired a second hotel in the city’s Inner West, buying Marrickville’s Vic on the Park from the Australian Pub Fund, owned by former Qantas boss Geoff Dixon and adman John Singleton.

While no price was disclosed, it’s believed Merivale CEO Justin Hemmes paid around $20 million for the 1247-square-metre site as part of APF’s continued rationalisation of its assets. Singleton and Dixon sold the Marlborough Hotel ikn Newtown, which they bought for just under $13 million in 2012, for nearly $35 million to Bruce Solomon and chef Matt Moran’s Solotel group earlier this year.

After offloading several Sydney sites this year, the APF controls Unity Hall in Balmain, and two hotels in Brisbane – the Stock Exchange and Elephant Arms.

The purchase of the Vic by Merivale continues its push into the inner West after acquiring the Queens Hotel in Enmore in April 2015 followed by an 18 month wait before it reopened in December 2016 with a Cantonese restaurant and cocktail bar.

The billion-dollar business, best known for the Ivy and Establishment in the CBD, now has more than 60 venues, having bought a third northern beaches venue, the Collaroy Hotel, in August for $21 million, joining The Newport and Papi Chulo at Manly Wharf. The Collaroy is being refurbished over summer and reopen next year.

Hemmes paid a record $37.5 million for Tennyson Hotel in Mascot just before Christmas last year and is about to open a “pop up” Italian restaurant in the pub’s bottle shop.

The company is also relaunching the first floor restaurant at Hotel CBD next year, having closed Bistrode last month following the untimely death of its chef, Jeremy Strode.

It’s also working on bringing the Alexandria Hotel back to life, having rescued the 1934 hotel from developers last year, with plans to reopen it in 2018.

Hemmes will take control of Vic on the Park next month and says there are no plans for a major refurbishment.

The venue will trade as normal for the foreseeable future, with a renewed focus on food, he said.

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