Celebrity chef Rick Stein is rumoured to have bought one of Australia’s best known pubs for up to $175million
- Rick Stein reportedly buys pub
- The Oaks hotel sold last month
- It was up for sale for $175m
Celebrity chef Rick Stein is rumoured to be part of a consortium that has snapped up a popular Sydney pub that was selling for $175million.
It is rumoured the 76-year-old is among a group of investors who bought the Oaks Hotel in Neutral Bay, in the city’s north, after it went on the market with a record-breaking price tag last August.
The TV star, who is one of England’s most popular chefs, divides his time between the UK and Australia and was in Sydney at the time of the sale last month.
If the asking price was met it would be the highest ever paid for a pub surpassing the $160million record sale of The Crossroads Hotel at Casula early last year.
An unnamed hotel insider claimed the famous restauranteur had purchased the pub with his business partners, the Mosman Daily reported.
Renowned UK chef Rick Stein (pictured, with his Aussie wife Sarah) divides his time between the UK and Australia and was in Sydney at the time of the pub sale last month
It is rumoured he bought the Oaks in Neutral Bay (pictured) in Sydney with a pool of investors after it was put on the market with the record-breaking $175million price tag last August
JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group who managed the sale reported the hotel had sold to a local family and long-time patrons of the pub, adding some fuel to the rumours of the Steins being behind it.
Mr Stein shares a home in Neutral Bay with his Australian wife Sarah who he married in 2011 and she has owned the property since 2008. The residential property has both their names are on the title as well.
There were also reports the new pub owners were involved in the film industry.
But JLL managing director John Musca would not confirm who the new landlords were due to nondisclosure clauses.
It wouldn’t be the first time Mr Stein has invested in hotels near where he has a home.
The seafood specialist opened a restaurant at the luxury hotel Bannisters by the Sea in Mollymook on the south coast of NSW in 2009 – where he owns a residential property.
He then launched Bannisters in Port Stephens in 2018 with both high end restaurants having an extensive seafood menu.
The Oaks pub (pictured) is located on 2188sqm of land and has zoning that can allow up to a five-storey development, subject to council approval
The much-loved pub on Neutral Bay’s main strip (pictured) was expected to sell for at least $175million last month
Meanwhile, the Oaks pub in Neutral Bay came to life in 1880 and was the first hotel to open on the Military Road site – before brewing company Tooth & Co built the current Art Deco property in 1938.
The much-loved watering hole has become an institution for affluent Sydneysiders on the lower north shore and is famous for its 80-year-old English oak tree in the beer garden.
The pub is located on 2188sqm of land and has zoning that can allow up to a five-storey development, subject to council approval.
Family patriarch David ‘Taffy’ Thomas acquired the pub in 1975 and eventually passed the business onto his son Andrew.
The sports bar is named in Taffy’s honour while another bar named after late Crocodile Dundee actor John Meillon OBE has been frequented by hundreds of well known identities and sports stars over the years.
Andrew Thomas said at the time the family felt it was appropriate to move on following a spate of unsolicited approaches.
‘We’ll leave the 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 custodians,’ he said.
The new owners will take the reins next month.