Australian Venue Co’s new Queensland arm buys Riverland Brisbane

15 May, 2019 by Craig Hawtin-Butcher

Queensland Venue Co (QVC) to buy Brisbane venue Riverland from Craig Shearer’s Open Arms Hospitality.

Image: Riverland Brisbane. (c) Facebook/RiverlandBrisbane 2019.

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A Queensland Venue Co (QVC) spokesperson has confirmed its first acquisition. This from the recently announced joint venture between Australian Venue Co and Coles Liquor that now owns and manages the former Spirit Hotels portfolio and its associated retail liquor stores.

Australian Venue Co CEO Paul Waterson said Riverland was an exciting addition to the Queensland Venue Co joint venture.

“Riverland is a great business with a premier location. This acquisition allows us to grow our pub footprint in the Brisbane market while also giving Coles Liquor the opportunity to expand their retail liquor presence in Queensland as part of our joint venture,” he said.

“We very much appreciate the current owners’ support in the transition phase, we are looking forward to working alongside the current team at Riverland to continue to deliver locals with great food, drinks and entertainment.”

Open Arms Hospitality Director Craig Shearer said the Open Arms team would miss Riverland, which they had developed from a greenfield site.

“Whenever you put that much time, effort and resources into a project over a number of years it is hard to not become attached, however the sale will allow us to seek more potential development or acquisition sites to complement our current portfolio consisting of the Plough Inn Brisbane and Public House Albury”.

Riverland opened in 2017 and boasts a solid location on the Brisbane River, along with a food and drink offering and entertainment.

Decor features an industrial fit-out, an open-air beer garden, a 24-metre long bar and converted shipping containers serving street food from Brisbane food vendors.

Under the terms of the QVC joint venture, which was finalised in late April, Australian Venue Co now manages the day-to-day operations of all hotels in the QVC portfolio in addition to its own venues.

Riverland will be managed by Australian Venue Co alongside their other Brisbane venues, including The Regatta, Darling & Co., Kingsleys, Buffalo Bar and Fridays.

Australian Venue Co. operates over 150 hospitality venues across NSW, VIC, QLD, NT, SA and WA. The Riverland purchase is part of a strategy for the group to grow its portfolio through selective acquisition of unique brands.

Pub Leaders Summit 2019
Both parties to this Riverland transaction – Australian Venue Co CEO Paul Waterson and Open Arms Hospitality’s Craig Shearer – will be speaking at Australian Hotelier’s Pub Leaders Summit. They will feature on the same panel discussing ways to manage your property. For the inside story on this latest news, be there in Melbourne on Monday 20 May. To find out more, visit: www.publeaders.com.au.