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FOOD & DRINK

Merivale Is Expanding Into Byron Bay with the Purchase of Cheeky Monkey's Bar

This is third venue Merivale has bought this week — and its fifth in just the last two months.
By Ben Hansen
May 25, 2021
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By Ben Hansen
May 25, 2021
  shares

Merivale CEO Justin Hemmes' buying spree has continued with the purchase of yet another venue. This time, the hospitality mogul has purchased 115 Jonson Street in Byron Bay. Formerly home to Cheeky Monkey's Bar, as well as an adjoining massage spa, the far New South Wales north coast site will become the Sydney-based group's first Byron Bay venue — and its closest to Queensland.

The acquisition of the Byron Bay outpost comes at a busy time for Merivale, with the company buying three new venues in the past week — and a total of five this year. The purchase of 115 Jonson Street follows similar transactions that have added the Lorne Hotel in Victoria, Norton's Irish Pub in Sydney's inner west, Tomasetti House in the Melbourne CBD and The Quarterdeck in Narooma to the group's portfolio. The two Victorian sites will mark Merivale's first outside of NSW.

The Byron Bay property has been purchased from fellow hospitality group Red Rock Leisure, which currently own venues across NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, including Ludlow Bar & Dining Room, The Toff and the PJ O'Brien's Irish Pub chain. While no concrete plans for the venue have been announced, Merivale has confirmed that it will reopen the site as a restaurant and bar later this year. It'll receive the keys on Friday,  May 28, but hasn't announced opening plans as yet.

"I've been going to Byron since I was ten years old, so it has always been a place close to my heart. I can't wait to open our first venue on the north coast and spend more time in the area. There's simply no place like it," said Hemmes.

Merivale currently operates more than 60 venues across Sydney, including popular restaurants Totti's and Mr. Wong, pub stalwarts The Beresford and Vic on the Park, and expansive bars Ivy and Coogee Pavilion. The group's growth has been especially noticeable in recent years, with high-profile purchases of The Duke of Gloucester Hotel and Hotel Centennial preceding this recent run of venue purchases.

Justin Hemmes

Merivale will open its first Byron Bay venue at 115 Jonson Street, Byron Bay. For further details, keep an eye on the company's website.

Top image: Google Maps.

Published on May 25, 2021 by Ben Hansen

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