Tilley and Wills buys Brisbane’s Elephant Hotel

19 February, 2020 by Brydie Allen

The Australian Pub Fund has sold the Elephant Hotel in Fortitude Valley to Sydney-based pub group Tilley and Wills Hotels.

The sale marks a momentous occasion for the new owners, headed up Nick Wills and Simon Tilley, being their first Queensland venue.

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Before the sale, the independent group had never expanded out of New South Wales, where they have a portfolio that includes Verandah Bar, Clovelly Hotel and Greenwood Hotel. Their company philosophy is to “improve the value of the asset.”

A historic venue that first opened as the Prince Consort Hotel in 1888, the Elephant Hotel is an expansive, multi-level building occupying a 1,237 sqm freehold site. Last refurbished in 2013, it has four separate bars, an outdoor beer garden and a gaming room with 42 machines.

Inside, the front bar hosts house party DJs on Friday and Saturday nights from 10pm until late, while the spaces support a range of function and event options. Outside, the beer garden is known for having one of the largest outdoor screens in Fortitude Valley and also has a wood fired pizza oven.

The campaign was a joint effort, managed by by JLL’s Tom Gleeson and CBRE’s Paul Fraser and Jack Morrison, with a reported selling price of over $20 million.

Fraser said with demand outweighing supply in the area, there was a lot of interest in the hotel.

“The high-profile sales campaign generated over 60 enquiries and eight offers nationally, highlighting the appetite for large-format hotels with diverse income streams and obvious operational upside opportunities,” Fraser said.

Gleeson said Tilley and Wills have a great history of successfully re-inventing hotels, as is evident in their management of venues across New South Wales.

“They are excited to bring their distinct style to the icon that is The Elephant Hotel and capitalise on the long-term prosperity of the Fortitude Valley precinct,” Gleeson said.

With the sale of the Elephant Hotel, the Australian Pub Fund has now divested its last freehold pub asset in Queensland. The group still hold Brisbane small bar Greaser and an adjacent gallery space, as well as the leasehold for the Stock Exchange Hotel.