Sydney-Based Hospitality Crew Merivale Is Set to Take Over the Lorne Hotel
It'll mark the group's second venture outside of New South Wales.
It's been less than a month since Sydney hospitality giant Merivale revealed plans to open its first-ever venue outside of New South Wales, snapping up Flinders Lane site Tomasetti House. But the next phase of the group's expansion into Victoria has already begun, with CEO Justin Hemmes announcing Merivale has also purchased the historic Lorne Hotel on Wednesday, May 19.
The well-known Great Ocean Road pub has almost 150 years under its belt, with previous owners John and Paul Upham at the helm for the past 11 years. While Merivale will receive the keys in the coming months, Hemmes has indicated The Lorne Hotel will operate as normal over summer. So, if the group is planning one of its legendary makeovers, it sounds like it won't be happening until at least next autumn.
"The Lorne Hotel is an iconic venue in a truly spectacular location," Hemmes said in a statement. "We feel honoured to continue [John and Paul's] legacy and help usher the pub into the next phase of its incredible 145-year history".
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 including the likes of The Duke of Gloucester Hotel, Hotel Centennial and most recently, Norton's Irish Pub.
Last year, Merivale copped criticism locally after announcing plans to expand its Merivale at Home delivery service to Melbourne, right at the height of the city's winter lockdown. One week later, after attracting disapproving responses from many of Melbourne's local and struggling hospitality businesses, it put the plans on hold — conceding the plans were "an oversight" in a statement to Concrete Playground.
Merivale will take over The Lorne Hotel at 176 Mountjoy Parade, Great Ocean Road, Lorne later this year. Further plans are yet to be announced, but you can keep an eye out for future details at the Merivale website.
Published on May 20, 2021 by Libby Curran