Northern Beaches-based hotelier Glenn Piper has acquired Newcastle’s iconic Merewether Beach Hotel, which has uninterrupted, panoramic views of the ocean
Piper has partnered with a small syndicate of investors, many of whom are Newcastle locals, on the $40million purchase and said he is committed to revitalising ‘The Beaches’ with the community and Australian surf culture firmly at its heart.
“Merewether Beach Hotel is a truly magnificent property, with one of the best pub views in the country. It has been part of the community since the 1880s, so I feel humbled and excited by this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take it on,” Piper said.
“I have spent a lot of time in the area over the years. As a kid, I would always travel up on the weekend to surf with my Dad and mates at Merewether. My family who live in Newcastle were actually the ones who told me the pub was on the market. They will be coming on board as investors which makes the sale even more special.”
The pub last traded in 2019 when it was picked up by Sydney hotelier Andrew Lazarus for more than $20million.
Piper (above) said he is passionate about creating vibrant destinations that respect the history of the area and celebrate the community that call it home. His recent transformation of Harbord Hotel took its cues from Freshwater’s history, creating a beachside haven informed by the surf culture that has long been embedded in its name.
“Both pubs share a wonderful affinity with the surf – the salty sea air is part of their DNA,” he said. “That’s exactly what we wanted to capture at Harbord and certainly what we’ll celebrate at Merewether, the home of Australia’s largest surf carnival.”
Piper also recently took on the leasehold of Q Station, which sits on 30 hectares on the headland on Sydney’s northern beaches. Given the scale and significance of the property, Piper is taking considerable time understanding the history of the area and consulting with key land, heritage and Indigenous stakeholders before making any changes to its operations.
Piper will receive the keys to Merewether Beach Hotel in July and it will trade as normal for the foreseeable future. Like Harbord and Q Station, he will spend time in the venue before finalising refurbishment plans.
The deal was brokered by HTL Property agents Dan Dragicevich and Andrew Jolliffe. They said the Beach Hotel was more than just a pub to Novocastrians.
“The new development application will elevate this generational property into the sphere of similar Sydney-based hospitality operations such as Watson’s Bay Hotel and the Coogee Pavilion, further cementing Newcastle’s renaissance as a genuine capital city,” Dragicevich said.
HTL’s Jolliffe estimates that $1billion worth of hotel assets will transact during the June quarter as buyers chase big pubs and values rise for premium properties.
“Merewether’s Beach Hotel enjoys type casting alongside the nation’s great coastal hospitality assets, and its scale and ocean front proximity ensure it will remain an indefinitely prosperous investment,” Jolliffe said.