A 170-year-old pub on the Hume Highway is up for sale, amid interest from Sydney investors looking to diversify their portfolios while battling COVID-19 restrictions.
- The Sir George first opened in 1852 in the small Riverina town of Jugiong
- The property underwent a major restoration in 2015
- The pub is believed to have the longest singularly held liquor licence in Australia
The Sir George Hotel, located near the banks of the Murrumbidgee River at Jugiong, underwent a major restoration in 2015.
Co-owner Kate Hufton says that, six years and three children later, it is time to say goodbye.
“We took it from falling down and with a lot of structural issues,” she said.
“We’ve poured our heart and souls into it … it’s been a pretty fun ride.”
The pub, which includes accommodation converted from 1845 stone stables, is believed to have first stood in 1852 and claims to have the longest singularly held liquor licence in Australia.
Ms Hufton teamed up with her mother Liz Prater to undertake the task of renovating the mid-19th century property.
They decided to sell the property to pursue other avenues, but it was not an easy decision.
“It’s terribly hard. I don’t quite know who I am without the Sir George anymore,” Ms Hufton said.
Interest from city investors expected
Hotel broker Nicholas Tinning says the Sir George should generate decent interest from buyers.
“The standard country pub is still affordable, and similar to buying a house in a town with a job built with it,” he said.
“We’re now in a world where a lot of the country hotels have no gaming … and are just a great place to sit down and enjoy a beer and nice meal.”
Mr Tinning suspects the property will perk the interest from city investors experiencing a downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Some of the city hoteliers are looking at it as an insurance investment,” he said.
Ms Hufton said managing COVID restrictions in Jugiong has been “emotionally draining,” but its regional location has meant they were able to survive.
“We were lucky that in between the two waves we had some pretty good times.”
‘Hopes and dreams’ became a reality
The 2015 restoration came at a time that Jugiong started to become a tourist drawcard for Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra visitors passing by on the Hume Highway, with other boutique shops also opening.
Ms Hufton said she is humbled the restoration of the historic pub has been appreciated by locals.
“It has been beyond our expectation of how rewarding it’s been to be a part of a pub that means so much to the community.
“We had hopes and dreams that it would turn into the hub and hive that it has become.”
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