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A Royal opportunity for revamped historic pub

John Thistleton 23 September 2019
Yass Hotel

Renovated and given a new name, the Yass Hotel is now on the market for sale by expressions of interest. Photos: CBRE Hotels.

Given a name change and filled with new furniture, the longest continually licensed hotel in Yass in on the market with hopes for about $2.5 million. The current owners renamed the Royal Hotel the Yass Hotel, completed the refurbishment and are now selling through CBRE Hotels.

CBRE Hotels says with strong interest increasing in the regional pub market, due to continued yield compression in metropolitan NSW, the Yass Hotel provides a new entrant or group operator with a renovated, turn-key country pub with significant operational upside.

“The vendors, Harvest Hotels, have seen much success turning around underperforming operations in Sydney, Orange and, more recently, Tamworth. Their strengths in identifying townships in need of improved hospitality offerings has been key to their strategy,” selling agent Kate MacDonald said.

“It used to be more of a late-night trader, but the current owners have gone down the food and beverage and accommodation angle now. It is a nice place to go and have a meal and drink. There is a big beer garden, a nice place to take your family, that kind of thing. It has 14 first-floor pub rooms, large weatherproof beer garden and internal gaming room with nine poker machines.”

Expressions of interest close on 3 October 2019.

Ms MacDonald believes the asset is perfect for an entry-level freehold operator looking for a business capable of “offering it all”. This includes nine poker machine entitlements, scope to buy more entitlements, a large, 2,000 square metre corner block on the main street in the centre of town. Yass is a town thriving in agriculture and set to grow over the coming years.

Ms MacDonald believes the upside lies in focusing more attention on the gaming offering, using the extended trading authority, and reactivating the drive-through bottle shop, though perhaps not in its traditional capacity.

“That’s another upside for anyone who wants a bit of a tree change and move to Yass, live locally and work the business. You are certainly going to get better results than someone living in Sydney and trying to operate it remotely. Because it has recently been refurbished there is brand new furniture and carpet, they have peeled back some of material to the original tiles, so you have some beautiful original tiles. It looks fantastic.”

It has 14 first- floor pub rooms, large weather-proof beer garden and internal gaming room.

Yass and District Historical Society president Cheryl Mongan told the Yass Tribune last year it was a pity the hotel was renamed Yass Hotel from the Royal Hotel, the longest continually licensed hotel in Yass. Both the Royal Hotel and the original Yass Hotel were part of the beginning of the commercial history of Yass.

The story of the Royal Hotel began with the arrival of Henry Hart in Yass. Perhaps, Henry was encouraged to travel to Yass by uncle Moses Moses, proprietor of the White Hart Inn and Yass Hotel.

At first, Henry ran another inn, The Rose, at the lower end of Rossi Street, until he built the Royal Hotel, which opened in 1849. An early photograph shows the Royal Hotel with Henry’s name above its main entrance.

In contrast to the simple Yass Hotel, the Royal Hotel was a grand building. It boasted an elegant, iron-work balcony along its first floor. A ballroom resided on the first floor and a concert room on the ground floor.

The Yass Hotel is selling through CBRE Hotels. Expressions of interest close 3 October.


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