Wagga’s noble watering hole has fetched the highest price of hoteliers in recent years, according to a city broker.
The Duke of Kent officially changed hands this week, selling for $3.5 million.
Publican Jack Egan said it was with a heavy heart he would farewell a ten-year investment and lifestyle.
Mr Egan said a number of factors, including the health of his family, had lead to his decision to sell.
“I’m glad I’ve sold it but ten years is a fair time in any job,” Mr Egan said. “I will miss the people – hanging around, talking and having a bit of a joke with them.”
Mr Egan wanted to thank everyone who supported him across the years, from near and far.
“You meet a lot of people,” he said.
“I’ve seen and heard some funny things … generally I’ve had a bloody good time.”
With bitter-sweet revere, Mr Egan recalled his fondest memory – the night he was kicked out of his own establishment.
“It’s not something you hear very often,” he said. “That’s why it’s funny.”
Across ten years of renovations, add-ons and changes, Mr Egan said his business had come a long way.
The Fitzmaurice Street hotel boasts an open-air rooftop bar, nine hotel rooms, 12 poker machines and a night club.
Mr Egan said the Duke of Kent’s Melbourne-based buyer had already leased the hotel to its next publican.
“I don’t think the pub will change,” he said. “It will still be a good pub.”
Mr Egan purchased the pub in 2007 for $2,295,000 but the weekly turnover is believed to have doubled since then. In 2016 he announced his intent to sell the iconic watering hole.
Tuesday’s transaction follows the sales of Romano’s Hotel, Sportsmen’s Club Hotel, Palm and Pawn, and The Red Steer Hotel Motel last year.
Wagga broker Nick Tinning said the sale was a good result for Mr Egan.
He said even though there was a possibility Palm and Pawn, and The Red Steer would be back on the market soon, it was unlikely other hotels would sell any time soon.
“It’s a good centre to have a hotel,” Mr Tinning said. “We’ve got our own private economy in Wagga … it’s a bit different to most other provincial cities.”
Mr Tinning said there were “still good opportunities in the market space”.