It’s the place where Irish celebrity chef Colin Fassnidge established his reputation as one of Sydney’s finest restaurateurs, but just two years after he left Paddington’s Four in Hand following its sale the Public House Management Group (PHMG), its end is nigh, with the pub up for sale as a potential private residence.
Domain.com.au reports that PHMG owner Mitchell Waugh is putting the site on the market and plans to transfer the liquor and gaming licences elsewhere.
Waugh paid $8 million for the property and business three years ago. Public House also owns The Buena in Mosman, Paddington’s The Royal and the Woollahra, which includes Bistro Moncur, as well as the Toxteth in Glebe.
The Four in Hand bills itself as ‘Sydney’s favourite pub’ and while popular during Fassnidge’s 10-year reign, especially for its bar food, locals have told Business Insider that the venue felt considerably quieter in more recent times.
While the popular $24 Sunday roast continues, the bar menu now features a $20 hamburger alongside $24 sausages and a $23 chicken schnitzel.
The restaurant side was relaunched two years ago as Four in Hand by Guillaume Brahimi, Public House’s culinary consultant, who closed his own flagship restaurant, 100 metres away, in December 2016.
It’s since changed concept and is now called The Grill at The Four, a Brazilian-inspired wood-fired grill restaurant.
Selling agent Gavin Rubinstein of Ray White Double Bay told Domain.com.au that PHMG has “better use of the licences elsewhere” and the 700 square metres of internal space at the Four in Hand means it has more residential value than as a pub.
Among those disappointed by the news is former News Corp boss, now Prime Media chairman John Hartigan, who told Domain the sale of the pub was “profoundly sad”.
“It’s tragic that a part of our bohemian history of the 1950s and ’60s just got ripped off to move the pokie licence elsewhere,” he said, adding that locals will oppose any plans to convert the site into apartments.
Domain.com.au has more here.
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