Sydney's pub scene has been dealt some massive news this morning, with Merivale announcing that it has snapped up yet another beloved local pub. The hospitality empire will take over the Marrickville mainstay — and one of our personal favourites — The Vic On The Park later this year.
The Justin Hemmes-led group has bought the venue for an unconfirmed amount from the Australian Pub Fund, who recently also sold Newtown's Marlborough Hotel to Matt Moran's Solotel group. Regulars and fans of the inner west pub can breathe easy — for now, at least — as Merivale's confirmed there are no plans for any major shake-up once it takes over on November 13 and that the venue will continue to trade as normal for the moment, albeit with a renewed food focus.
If alarm bells are ringing, you're not the only one hearing them. The Vic's vibe is wildly different to that of the hospitality heavyweight's other venues, so it's anyone's guess what the future holds for the beloved boozer.
With this latest move coming just months after the group's acquisition of The Collaroy Hotel and less than a year after buying the Tennyson Hotel for a whopping $37.5 million, Merivale's appetite for pubs shows little sign of waning. No doubt this is not the last pub to be acquired by a big hospitality group, but it seems to be a significant signpost in the growing homogenisation of Sydney's hospo scene. We'll wait with baited breath to see which venue is next.