Celebrity chef Rick Stein is rumored to have bought one of Australia’s best-known pubs for as much as $175 million.
- Rick Stein reportedly buys pub
- Oaks hotel sold last month
- It was for sale for $175 million.
Celebrity chef Rick Stein is rumored to be part of a consortium that has snapped up a popular Sydney pub that was selling for $175 million.
The 76-year-old is rumored to be among a group of investors who bought the Oaks Hotel in Neutral Bay, north of the city, after it went on the market at a record price last August.
The TV star, who is one of England’s most popular chefs, splits his time between the UK and Australia and was in Sydney at the time of the sale last month.
If the asking price is reached, it would be the highest ever paid for a pub, surpassing the record $160 million sale of The Crossroads Hotel in Casula early last year.
An anonymous member of the hotel claimed that the famous restaurateur had bought the pub with his business partners, the Mosman Journal informed.
Renowned British chef Rick Stein (pictured with Australian wife Sarah) splits his time between the UK and Australia and was in Sydney at the time of the pub’s sale last month.
It is rumored that he bought Oaks in Neutral Bay (pictured) in Sydney with a group of investors after it went on the market for a record price of $175 million last August.
JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group, which managed the sale, reported that the hotel had been sold to a local family and former patrons of the pub, fueling rumors that the Steins were behind it.
Mr. Stein shares a house in Neutral Bay with his Australian wife Sarah, whom he married in 2011 and she has owned the property since 2008. The residential property also has their names on the title.
There were also reports that the new bar owners were involved in the film industry.
But JLL managing director John Musca would not confirm who the new owners were due to confidentiality clauses.
It would not be the first time that Stein has invested in hotels close to where he has a home.
The fish and shellfish specialist opened a restaurant in the Bannisters by the Sea luxury hotel in Mollymook on the south coast of New South Wales in 2009, where he owns a residential property.
He then launched Bannisters in Port Stephens in 2018 and both high-end restaurants had extensive seafood menus.
The Oaks pub (pictured) sits on 2,188 square meters of land and is zoned to allow development of up to five stories, subject to council approval.
The much-loved pub on the main strip of Neutral Bay (pictured) was expected to sell for at least $175 million last month
Meanwhile, the Oaks pub in Neutral Bay came to life in 1880 and was the first hotel to open on the site of Military Road, formerly tooth brewing company & Co built the current Art Deco property in 1938.
The long-awaited watering hole has become an institution for wealthy Sydneysiders on the lower North Shore and is famous for its 80-year-old English oak in the beer garden.
The pub sits on 2,188 square meters of land and is zoned to allow development of up to five storeys, subject to council approval.
Family patriarch David ‘Taffy’ Thomas bought the pub in 1975, eventually passing the business on to his son Andrew.
The sports bar is named after Taffy, while another bar named after the late Crocodile Dundee actor John Meillon OBE has been frequented by hundreds of well-known personalities and sports stars over the years.
Andrew Thomas said at the time that the family felt it was appropriate to move on after a series of unsolicited overtures.
“We will leave Oaks with fond memories and many friends… It holds a very special place in the Australian hotel landscape, and we look forward to seeing its next incarnation under the new trustees,” he said.
The new owners will take over next month.