Livingstone stays local with Captain Cook Hotel

25 February, 2020 by Vanessa Cavasinni

Warren Livingstone has added a third pub to his portfolio, purchasing the Captain Cook Hotel in Sydney’s south-east.

The Fanatics Group founder purchased the hotel off long-time owners the Shannon family for $17 million in an off-market deal.

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“Warren is a great publican, we congratulate him on the purchase of the hotel and genuinely can’t think of a better custodian to take the business forward in consultation with the local community,” stated vendor Gina Hooper.

The Botany hotel operation includes a 24-hour trading licence, plus 18 EGMs. It also has an approved DA for a new gaming room smoking solution.

“The hotel’s gaming performance is well placed to improve following the introduction of a gaming room smoking solution, especially when considering the already very strong and proximate competitor set,” commented HTL Property director, Sam Handy, who presided over the transaction along with national director Dan Dragicevich.

A local focus

This is the third pub for Livingstone, who also owns the Charing Cross Hotel in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, and the recently renovated Hyde Park House in the CBD. The publican is also the founder of The Fanatics Group, which coordinates with several national sporting bodies to arrange group events around sporting matches, as well as group travel to internationally-located events. After plenty of time spent abroad, Livingstone told Australian Hotelier that he is keen to focus on business closer to home.

“I’ll admit I live in a bit of a bubble these days. I’ve travelled a lot for the Fanatics business over the last 20-odd years, so now I like to stay local. I previously owned the Balmain Hotel and the Greenwood in North Sydney, but I don’t like going over the bridge these days so the Captain Cook suits me.”

Livingstone had been looking at the Captain Cook Hotel for some time, and even made a previous offer to the Shannon family twelve months ago. He will now use his experience to create a new offering for the local community.

“It will allow me to concentrate on my strengths with food and beverage, but also provide an opportunity to have a solid dig at gaming with a smart Paul Kelly designed DA which has been approved already.”

Initial plans for the Captain Cook Hotel include an update to the TAB facilities, and then activating the smoking solution plans. Then the focus will be on completely overhauling the beer garden.

“A mate of mine, Will Dangar, is the gardener to the stars and he has a workshop 200 metres away. I’ve had him in and his early plans for the beer garden are out of this world, so hopefully we will have that finished for next summer. I’m hoping to pay him in schooners.”

Livingstone thanked the Shannon family for the care they’d put into the pub, and the local following they had created.

“It’s a great pub and the previous owners positioned it well. They’ve really fostered that community feeling so I will make sure I continue that vibe.

“It’s different to anything I have done previously as there is an established clientele to build on, and I hope to keep them engaged plus entice the other locals. Fingers crossed!”