Bill Young retrieves Friend In Hand Hotel

05 July, 2019 by Craig Hawtin-Butcher

Bill Young buys Friend In Hand from Byrne family for rumoured $10m.

Hotelier and former Wallaby front rower Bill Young has purchased Glebe’s Friend in Hand Hotel in an off-market freehold sale.

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The sale – handled by HTL Property’s Dan Dragicevich, Sam Handy and Andrew Jolliffe – marks a return of the hotel to the Young family after 36 years of ownership by the Byrne family, who originally bought the hotel from the Young family.

The private sale of the Friend in Hand comes at the same time that JLL revealed the sale of the Harold Park Hotel after just five days marketing.

Meanwhile this week also saw HTL Property transact the Oxford Hotel in Drummoyne involving Arthur Laundy for $42m.

News also broke of Woolworths’ plans to combine and then demerge Endeavour Drinks Group and ALH Group.

“We are very proud of the Byrne family’s nearly four decades of ownership,” says vendor and Friend in Hand licensee Michael Byrne, “and are delighted that our family legacy is in appropriate hands, with the fact that Bill Young has purchased the hotel given his family’s history of owning the property before our family did.”

“Young family to Byrne family, and now back to Young family; such great history and a changing of the guard that actually means something to those involved,” says Byrne.

“We spoke to Andrew from HTL a few years ago,” says Byrne, “and he told us the hotel wasn’t ready for sale at the time and that we should wait a few years.”

The Friend in Hand occupies a corner site on Cowper Street in Sydney, attracting clientele from Glebe and Pyrmont since its inception as a hotel in 1858.

Young’s last purchase, also through HTL Property agents, was the $28.5m acquisition of the former listed company Lantern Group’s Five Dock Hotel.

“Generational Hotels are one of the great attributes of the pub market,” says HTL Property National Pubs Director Dan Dragicevich. “Like our sale of the Bells Hotel in Woolloomooloo last year for the Miles family, it is rewarding to see the Friend in Hand Hotel being passed back to Bill Young and his family; who themselves have such a deep history in the industry.”

Recent research by HTL Property suggests the NSW pub market has seen double digit volume growth and close to $900m in sales during the past financial year, including the record hotel sale of Manly’s Hotel Steyne.

Accordingly, the firm’s Managing Director Andrew Jolliffe believes the hospitality indexed property market is set for another strong period ahead.

“The confluence of record multi-department revenue attraction, legislative calm and the comparatively favourable economics of funding have rarely, if ever, been so symbiotic,” says Jolliffe.

“The stewardship of the national industry is in fine hands, the key portfolio aggregators are expertly managed and capitalised, and the Mathieson family’s redefined involvement in the ALH portfolio moving forward is a powerful, lightning rod event for the national landscape” concluded Jolliffe.