Berry’s Great Southern Hotel changes hands

22 February, 2021 by Vanessa Cavasinni

Another pub in a NSW coastal region has sold, with the Great Southern Hotel in Berry being acquired for $6m.

The pub has been bought by a consortium led by Sydney publican Ged Dore.

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The Great Southern Hotel was sold via an off-market campaign headed up by HTL Property’s Sam Handy and Dan Dragicevich on behalf of outgoing owner Roger Coombs and partners. Coombs had acquired the hotel nine years ago for $2.7 million, and in that time has restored the pub’s place in the community as a beloved watering hole.

“We sell the Great Southern Hotel with a heavy heart but do so in the knowledge that we’re leaving the business in a significantly better position than when we arrived some nine years ago,” stated Coombs.

The hotel enjoys DA approval to significantly increase the size of the kitchen and beer garden, as well as the addition of a children’s playground and accommodation rooms.

Dore, operates Sydney’s  inner-west pubs the Salisbury Hotel, Henson Park Hotel and most recently the Enmore Hotel (formerly the Sly Fox Hotel), plans on  immediately renovating the Great Southern Hotel, and repositioning its F&B offering – something his city pubs are well known for.

Berry is a regional country town that is viewed as the gateway to the South Coast, and the pub is only a 10-minute drive away from the pristine Seven Mile Beach. Seen as a rest-stop on the way to the Coast, and a destination in its own right, Dore is hoping to further enhance Berry’s hospitality offering with his refurbishment of the Great Southern Hotel.

“I’m a country boy who loves the ocean, so Berry is one of my favourite towns and I’ve been visiting frequently over the decades.”

“I always believe pubs are there to service and represent the community that they are in, so I’m very much looking forward to building upon what the outgoing owners [have] been able to achieve here.”

Handy, having first sold the pub nine years ago to Coombs and once more to Dore, believes the publican will create something special for the local community.

“The town’s amenity has markedly improved with the implementation of the Berry bypass, and locals and tourists alike should be really encouraged by the prospect of someone of Ged’s calibre coming in to further build upon the business.”