Canberra entrepreneur acquires Commercial Hotel in Yass

Hannah Sparks 12 May 2021 39
Exterior of Commercial Hotel in Yass

The derelict Commercial Hotel on the main street of Yass has changed hands. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The major shareholder of Public Bar in Manuka and the founder of Canberra’s largest accounting firm, Walter Turnbull, has taken over the derelict Commercial Hotel on the main street of Yass.

Andrew Turnbull is also part of a Canberra-based syndicate that recently purchased five pubs in the NSW Central West for $75 million.

Investment Management Group now owns the Royal Hotel in Orange, the Dudley Hotel in Bathurst, the Castlereagh Hotel in Dubbo, the Federal Hotel in Wellington, and the Federal Hotel in Mudgee.

Mr Turnbull will renovate the Commercial Hotel, which has been neglected since 2005, with his brother-in-law Anthony Barrie.


READ ALSO: Mechanics ‘inundated’ following Mobil Yass fuel error


The pair has established a shelf company, Commercial Hotel Yass Pty Ltd, and has two years to finalise plans and purchase the property.

Sydney developer Michael Rastegorac has been removed from the project after working on hotel plans that included an apartment complex, shops and a restaurant since 2017. He declined to comment.

Commercial Hotel owner Warren Hall said Mr Rastegorac’s plans were taking too long and had never been lodged with Yass Valley Council.

Mr Turnbull grew up in Yass and was behind the 92 lot subdivision at Hatton Park. He is also in the process of subdividing land at Iceton Place.

Exterior of Commercial Hotel in Yass

Canberra entrepreneur Andrew Turnbull plans to redevelop the Commercial Hotel in Yass into a family-friendly pub similar to The Sir George in Jugiong. Photo: Jan Smith.

While researching potential pub investments in NSW, he saw the opportunity to buy the Commercial Hotel and create an establishment similar to The Sir George in Jugiong.

He hopes the redevelopment will attract people out of Canberra, with Canberrans already driving 40 minutes further west to drink, dine and stay at The Sir George.

The Commercial Hotel will become a family-friendly pub with strong food, beverage, entertainment and accommodation offerings that can double as a conference and wedding venue, said Mr Turnbull.

“It’s a large block so we’ve got the ability to create some good outdoor entertainment areas, but still make it cosy inside for the depths of winter,” he said.


READ ALSO: Take a closer look to discover the hidden retail treasures of Yass


While the Commercial Hotel isn’t heritage listed, Mr Turnbull intends to retain its heritage features, such as the large verandah that hangs above the main street.

It will require a lot of work, with the building in ruin from vandals and thieves who routinely smash their way through what’s left of the building, but Mr Turnbull is confident he and Mr Barrie can get the job done.

“It’s going to be expensive but if we get it right, it will open up as a great venue for Yass and Canberra people to look at as a corporate and entertainment venue,” he said.

“I’m also hoping it will become a destination for people from Sydney who are willing to go a bit further than Bowral.”

The pair has begun working with an architect firm and Mr Turnbull said Yass Valley Council has been supportive of their preliminary discussions.

He said they will lodge plans with council as soon as possible.

Original Article published by Hannah Sparks on About Regional.


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39 Responses to Canberra entrepreneur acquires Commercial Hotel in Yass
Daniel Kelly Daniel Kelly 5:52 pm 17 May 21

Great news for our town, hopefully we won't be waiting 16 years for nothing again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Umx5S1vCLUs

Daniel Kelly Daniel Kelly 8:02 pm 16 May 21

Lets hope this isn’t another failure, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Umx5S1vCLUs

Michelle Weier Michelle Weier 6:54 am 14 May 21

Andrea one step closer to good burgers?

Narelle Lambie Narelle Lambie 10:39 pm 13 May 21

So happy this eyes sore is now in the right hands, good luck guys. Can’t wait to come and have a meal🥂🎉🎊🍺🍻

    Annie Mck Annie Mck 10:43 pm 13 May 21

    Narelle Lambie and they are local guys. 👍🏻

Katie Salway Katie Salway 8:11 pm 13 May 21

Nikki Gordon this will be fun for yasssss and for when you come stay 😊

    Nikki Gordon Nikki Gordon 11:08 pm 13 May 21

    Katie Salway we need a weekend out at Yass asap

Chris Salway Chris Salway 5:32 pm 13 May 21

Joshua Wren another watering hole

Chris Salway Chris Salway 5:32 pm 13 May 21

Chris May you should be looking to buy out here bro. We will have another pub to add to the list

Neil Marr Neil Marr 5:25 pm 13 May 21

I remember when the Wallace family from Campbell owned it around 1970 ?

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 8:17 pm 12 May 21

Used to be a great place for a very satisfying, old-style pub lunch, particularly at this time of year – well worth the trip from Canberra, with a pleasant stop, or two, on the way. Hopefully, the restoration won’t be too swishy.

Tyler Greenhalgh Tyler Greenhalgh 7:42 pm 12 May 21

Even more crazy news coming out of Yass 😱😱 Patrick McFarlane

    Patrick McFarlane Patrick McFarlane 7:44 pm 12 May 21

    Tyler Greenhalgh it’s all happening

    Sam Gibson Sam Gibson 7:31 pm 13 May 21

    Tyler Greenhalgh Yass > Sutton Patrick McFarlane

Lynda Galt Lynda Galt 12:13 pm 12 May 21

Good luck it will be great for Yass

Lyn Smith Lyn Smith 12:00 pm 12 May 21

They'd better! It would be great to see this restored!

Neil Thompson Neil Thompson 8:34 am 12 May 21

Andrew Turnbull, great bloke to get on the piss with as well.

Trevor Hicks Trevor Hicks 8:17 am 12 May 21

About time 👍

Juergen Voss Juergen Voss 6:49 am 12 May 21

More townhouses?

Andrew Pirie Andrew Pirie 5:07 am 12 May 21

Canberrans can't even travel from south to North Canberra let alone drive one of the worst roads and most policed roads in the country to sink a few coldies. They should concentrate on looking after the Yass locals( and travellers through) 1st or it will end up another Aussie Hotel/Yass hotel disaster.

Kimberley Larson-Rodger Kimberley Larson-Rodger 3:10 am 12 May 21

Jess Puddick how cool is this

    Jess Puddick Jess Puddick 6:49 am 12 May 21

    Kimberley love it, so excited for it to be restored!

Daniel Slater Daniel Slater 10:30 pm 11 May 21

Daniel Gerrard watch out the inner south of Canberra is spreading.

Kirrily Belle Kirrily Belle 9:51 pm 11 May 21

The poor place couldn’t get any worse

    Karen Leach Karen Leach 7:05 pm 12 May 21

    Kirrily what’s wrong with Yass ?

    Kirrily Belle Kirrily Belle 7:27 pm 12 May 21

    Karen Yass is fine .... That poor pub is in terrible shape though

Ned Marsh Ned Marsh 8:39 pm 11 May 21

Big investment from the boys Darcy Paine

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