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FOOD & DRINK

Merivale Has Just Snapped Up Its Second Venue on New South Wales' South Coast

After acquiring The Quarterdeck in Narooma earlier in 2021, the hospitality giant has now purchased boutique hotel and restaurant The Whale Inn.
By Sarah Ward
June 16, 2021
  shares
By Sarah Ward
June 16, 2021
  shares

Already in 2021, hospitality behemoth Merivale has been on quite the shopping spree, with the Sydney-based company adding not one, not two, but five new venues to its ever-expanding portfolio so far. Those purchases have all been announced over the past few months; however, CEO Justin Hemmes isn't done yet — with The Whale Inn, a boutique hotel and restaurant in Narooma on New South Wales' south coast, the company's latest acquisition.

By the time this week is out, Merivale will pick up the keys to the Wagonga Street spot, purchasing it from 15-year owners Matthew Deveson and Jen Houghton-Deveson. The venue includes 17 rooms and suites, as well as a restaurant and bar. The former will keep trading as normal after the handover, while the latter will close briefly for a revamp.

Patrons will be able to drop by The Whale Inn for a drink and a bite to eat again sometime in July, although an exact relaunch date hasn't yet been revealed. Neither have Merivale's refurbishment plans — either for the restaurant and bar now, or for the property long-term.

If all of sounds a little familiar, that's because it's where Hemmes snapped up The Quarterdeck in Narooma earlier in 2021. So, Merivale will now own two venues in the Eurobodalla community. "Narooma has become my second home and the backdrop to so many of my happiest memories with my family. I think it is one of the most beautiful spots in the world," said Hemmes.

Wagonga Inlet, Destination NSW

Just like its acquisition of The Whale Inn, the bulk of Merivale's new purchases have been focused on broadening the company's reach beyond Sydney, where it already operates 70-plus venues — and has been a hospitality mainstay for six decades. In Melbourne, it has bought Tomasetti House, its first site in the city. Also in Victoria, it's taking over the Lorne Hotel on the Great Ocean Road. Back in New South Wales, the hospo giant has nabbed Byron Bay's Cheeky Monkey's Bar, too. And, in Sydney, Norton's Irish Pub in Leichardt has also joined the fold.

Find The Whale Inn at 102 Wagonga Street, Narooma. The hotel will remain open as normal, but the restaurant will close for refurbishment until sometime in July.

Top image: Google Maps.

Published on June 16, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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