Ryan family sell Woollahra Hotel to Waugh group

Ryan family sell Woollahra Hotel to Waugh group
Ryan family sell Woollahra Hotel to Waugh group

The Woollahra Hotel, one of the eastern suburbs' iconic celebratory watering holes, has been sold by publican John Ryan.

The off-market sale came after a surprise offer from the Waugh family through Ray White hotel broker Andrew Jolliffe.

John Ryan was telling customers Friday night over a glass of champers that it was "bitter sweet" since he'd never thought to sell. 

It was four years ago when the Ryan family paid around $16 million, at a capitalisation rate of 11%, for the hotel on the prominent Queen and Moncur street corner.

It has always been regarded as one the jewels of the Sydney pub market, having been associated over past decades with the likes of Alan Bond and even Abe Saffron.

It was a depressed market back in 2011 when the White family sold the hotel with rival interest reportedly came from Leon Fink and John Singleton.

On its purchase from the White family, its co-owner Damien Pignolet's services were briefly retained as executive chef at Bistro Moncur.

Peter Ryan and wife, Toni (nee Barrett) remain the patriach and matriach of the well-regarded Sydney hotelier family.

They both followed in the footsteps of their families in the pub business.

"I knew how to run a pub and I wasn't much good at anything else," Peter Ryan once said.

The rumoured $30 million acquisition of The Woollahra late Friday afternoon by Public House Management Group - owned by brothers Mitchell & Ashton Waugh - follows their other recent acquisitions including the nearby The Royal, Paddington, The Collaroy and The Buena Vista, Mosman.

This article first appeared in the Sunday Telegraph.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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