After months of uncertainty, Paddington's iconic Four in Hand Hotel has been sold to a Sydney-based hotelier in an off-market transaction for $7 million.
The venue was purchased by John Azar through his Sydney-based Good Beer Company.
Azar currently owns The Duke of Gloucester Hotel in Randwick and the Keg & Brew in Surry Hills.
Ray White Asia Pacific director Andrew Jolliffe negotiated the deal after hotelier brothers Mitchell and Ashton Waugh put it on the market.
The site became a topic of immense speculation after a public marketing campaign designed to sell the hotel as a residential property was undertaken earlier by a different agent.
A local resident lobby group gathered 12,000 signatures in an effort to keep the business operating as a hotel rather than falling into the hands of potential property developers.
Jolliffe was always of the personal view that the property should remain a hotel.
“Fundamentally, our clients are award-winning second-generation hoteliers, who are entitled to seek a range of divestment opportunities for their respective investments,” Jolliffe said.
“Quite clearly there are hospitality properties out there which enjoy alternative use opportunities; however, in my view, some are simply either too iconic or important to the fabric of a community to make wholesale changes to, and I think this is true of the Four in Hand.”
“However, it's a commercial property, not a house; so, it's applicable that the economics of market forces dictate the outcome and as such our clients initially sought alternative sale options.”
A number of industry locals enquired about purchasing the hotel, with Icebergs’ Maurice Terzini and hospitality group Merivale among those understood to have expressed interest.
The hotels new owner has since confirmed he plans to keep the Four in Hand as a pub.