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Hargreaves family list famed Shakespeare Hotel after 45 years

"The Shaky" pub in Surry Hills has a popular ground-floor public bar, a 2nd bar ideal for functions & six boutique accommodation rooms

JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group has announced one of Sydney’s most popular inner-city pubs is hitting the market, with the firm exclusively offering the Shakespeare Hotel in Surry Hills for sale.

The Shakespeare Hotel, fondly known as “the Shakey”, holds a significant place in Sydney’s hospitality scene. Located on Devonshire Street, just 300 metres from Central Station, it has a rich history and has been cherished by locals and visitors alike, drawn to the eclectic establishment.

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Recent years have seen significant challenges, including the construction of the controversial Light Rail project and the subsequent impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. With these significant hurdles now firmly in the past, the long-term owners have made the decision to divest the asset.

Shakespeare Hotel

Situated between vibrant Crown Street, Sydney’s culinary hub, and the upcoming Central Precinct development, which is transforming 24 hectares of underutilised land surrounding the train station into Sydney’s version of Silicon Valley.

The Shakey is primed to benefit from the best of both commercial and social worlds with circa 16,000 job opportunities and 850 new homes included in the finalised project. 

The property boasts a popular ground-floor public bar including TAB facilities, a separate dining area, and outdoor gaming room with 10 gaming machines in a Band 2 location. The first floor offers a 2nd bar, ideal for functions and special events.

The pub also offers six boutique accommodation rooms, all uniquely decorated to provide guests with a truly immersive and unforgettable stay in Sydney.

The long-term owner of Shakespeare Hotel is Margaret Hargreaves who started her career as a publican with a lease of the Shakey in 1975. After acquiring the freehold in 1978, Margaret moved her husband and four small children into the pub for three months to focus direct attention on the new flourishing business. 

When discussing the upcoming sale, Mrs Hargreaves reminisced “I remember tapping the keg on my first day of trade in August 1975. On that day, we took $69 in sales and the rest is history. 

“The pub has been very good to our family so the decision to sell has been quite overwhelming, but the time is right for a fresh perspective on the Shakey.”

Mrs Hargreaves has exclusively appointed JLL Senior Vice President, Kate MacDonald, Executive Director John Musca, and Vice President Greg Jeloudev to spearhead the Expressions of Interest campaign which commences this week.

Shakespeare Hotel

Commenting on the opportunity, JLL Hotels Senior Vice President Kate MacDonald noted; “The Shakespeare Hotel represents possibly the last opportunity to acquire a long-term family held pub in Surry Hills with accommodation, gaming, food and beverage income capabilities.

The location is unmatched, perfectly positioned between Central Station and the upcoming major tech hub development, and Sydney’s Entertainment Quarter including the newly constructed Allianz stadium.”

Whilst the exclusive agents would not be drawn on price expectations for the Shakey, they imagine that high levels of interest will be derived from a variety of capital sources including high net worth investors, hotel groups and owner operators perhaps looking to reposition the property. 

With 2023 seeing transaction volumes down on comparative results generated in 2022, JLL is reporting a slight shift in momentum having sold five out of the last six hotels in metropolitan Sydney. With circa $100m in sales yet to be announced or in final contract stages it would seem that deal flow is moving as we head into the back half of the year.

The Expressions of Interest Campaign for Shakespeare Hotel is set to close on Tuesday August 22, 2023 (unless sold prior). 

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