PUBLIC acquires The Maybe Group

Move over Merivale, there’s a new hospitality giant in town following PUBLIC’s acquisition of The Maybe Group.

PUBLIC has amassed more 20 properties in its portfolio in just 12 months, which are valued at an estimated $470-600 million. Its first opening was The Strand Hotel, followed by venues including Oxford House, the Lady Hampshire and Bondi’s Noah’s Backpackers (purchased for for $68 million).

El Primo Sanchez, a collaborative project with The Maybe Group, also opened in February.

The Maybe Group includes four venues, Dean & Nancy on 22, Maybe Sammy, Sammy Jr and Maybe Frank. The Rat Pack-inspired Maybe Sammy in The Rocks was rated No.29 on the list of the World’s 50 Best Bars in 2022, making it the top bar in Australasia.

“PUBLIC has grown at an incredible pace over the past 12 months and we are continuing this trajectory as we acquire The Maybe Group,” said executive chairman Jon Adgemis.

Adgemis told The Daily Telegraph that within six weeks of opening El Primo Sanchez with the Maybe Group, business had improved five-fold.

The Maybe Group’s Vincenzo Lombardo, Stefano Cantino and Martin Hudak will now apply their magic touch to Public’s pubs, bars and restaurants, kicking off with Oxford House.

“We are in the process of thoroughly reviewing the existing Public venues to see how we can finesse their hospitality offering,” Lombardo told Good Food.

“The same attention to detail and level of hospitality service we are known for at the likes of Maybe Sammy, Sammy Junior and El Primo Sanchez will be threaded through the PUBLIC venues as we become part of the portfolio and team.

“We have an established and progressive working relationship with PUBLIC. The success of El Primo Sanchez and the feeling of family within PUBLIC meant there was no question when it came to joining Jon and the team.”

Adgemis is keen to continue expanding PUBLIC and said “other acquisitions won’t be ruled out in the future.”

Who is Jon Adgemis?

Adgemis, 45, is a former KPMG investment banker (and ex boyfriend of model Cheyenne Tozzi) who teamed up with friend and business partner, former Crown heavyweight Peter Crinis to form PUBLIC.

His success strategy for PUBLIC is to skip the pokies and make use of entire hotel and commercial buildings, rather than just relying on the front bar. This includes additional drinking and dining options, adding boutique accommodation and opening rooftops.

“Most people don’t use levels two and three, they use them for storage,” Adgemis told The Australian. “It gives us multiple revenue streams from a wonderful asset.”

Plans to expand Maybe Cocktail Festival

Following the success of the collaborative Maybe Cocktail Festival from 12-19 April 2023, planning is also underway to expand the event to Byron Bay and Melbourne.

Some of the best bars from around the globe descended on Sydney for the inaugural Maybe Cocktail Festival, seeing bar talent from 10 of The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022 plus three from their 51-100 list present free bar events across seven venues in Sydney, including Maybe Sammy, Dean & Nancy on 22, Sammy Junior, El Primo Sanchez, Oxford House, The Norfolk Hotel, and Lady Hampshire.

Each bartender took up residency at one bar for a high-octane, three-hour guest shift where they showcased their bartending prowess, cocktail creations and hospitality.

Maybe Group sold an estimated 4000 cocktails in a week at the festival.

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