31 May 2013 / Nicholas Jones
New Annandale Hotel Owners Reveal Themselves, Plan Refurbishment
Following rampant speculation within the music industry, the new owners of Sydney’s Annandale Hotel have decided to reveal themselves today following the confirmed sale of the live music institution earlier this week.
Ending what has been an ongoing saga since The Annandale went into receivership in February, the new owners have been revealed as Oscars Hotels, who also own a large number of pubs in and around the Sydney area including the Strattons Hotel, Hotel Sweeneys, and Bar Century in the Sydney CBD, as well as Oscars Lounge Bar, Camperdown Hotel, Southern Cross Hotel, Bankstown Hotel, Oscars Sports Hotel, the Court Tavern Campbelltown and the Towradgi Beach Hotel.
According to The Music, Oscars Hotels made the announcement via a press release this afternoon, reiterating that their plans do include the continuation of live music for the foreseeable future, just as local Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne had trumpeted.
“The Annandale Hotel will continue to operate under its current format in offering live entertainment with a future objective for the hotel to be refurbished to focus on building a strong regular trade through providing a great food, beverage and entertainment offer,” the statement read.
The company also revealed that they have acquired The Annandale as part of “a joint venture”, although no details on who the other partner may be have been revealed.
“Saving the Annandale, Sydney’s most iconic live music venue, is a mighty victory for music lovers across Sydney,” said Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne earlier this week, who had placed pressure on receivers Ferrier Hodgson to ensure the venue fell into the hands of those looking to continue its legacy as a central part of Sydney’s live music scene.
“I am proud that we have fought to keep the doors of the Annandale hotel open and we have prevailed,” added the Mayor, saying the news vindicated his and his council constituent’s ongoing campaign to end the prosecution of live music venues in the area, and would ensure they could move ahead with plans to create a live entertainment precinct along Parrammatta Road, with the Annandale forming the geographical crux.
Receivers Ferrier Hodgson have been seeking buyers since it was put up for public sale last month by Knight Frank Real Estate as an “iconic entertainment pub” in a “growth area”. Former owners Matt and Dan Rule were forced into a nasty eight year long legal battle with Leichhardt Municipal Council over late-night trading and noise complaints, and spiralling legal costs “in excess of 200K” according to Matt Rule in a fiery tirade, eventually saw them handing the keys over to receivers amongst enormous debts.
Both Mayor Byrne’s Leichhardt council and the bordering Marrickville council have unanimously passed resolutions supporting the foundation and development of a live music precinct that runs along Parramatta Road, from Petersham to Sydney University, with Annandale forming the crux of the cultural hub.