10 Nov EUREKA FOR SALE
THE Eureka Hotel will close for the last time this month as owner and former Geelong major Darryn Lyons puts the pub on the market with $3 million-plus price hopes.
The Little Malop St venue hosted bands and uni nights in 2017 after the owners shut the nightclub last year, citing a declining number of revellers.
The pub, which retains a 5am liquor licence and an occupancy permit for 900 patrons, is listed for sale or lease with Geelong West commercial agents Darcy Jarman.
Mario Gregorio, who manages Mr Lyon’s business interests, said he had rebuffed several approaches to reopen the nightclub recently.
“The days of the super nightclub are over”, he said.
“The number of people going out to nightclubs has diminished, not only in Geelong but worldwide,” Mr Gregorio said.
He said a nightclub was not sustainable because of the venue’s size, while attempts to bring back bands and uni nights had had mixed success.
“We tried to do a couple of events with music acts, but acts these days want too much money,” he said.
“Hopefully it will be leased or sold off as some sort of new venture.”
Darcy Jarman agent Simon Jarman said initial interest had been quite strong from buyers and prospective tenants.
Price hopes were $3 million-plus, he said.
“We’ve had good inquiries more around the food and beverage and hospitality sector – more from restaurants and convenience food outlets,” he said.
“That strip has some really good food offerings in the past two years and has become quite a vibrant strip.”
The campaign has also called for expressions of interest from tenants to lease parts of the building, which has a 1537sq m floor area.
The two-storey pub includes several bars, lounge and seating areas, the dance floor and a retractable roof. There’s a commercial kitchen, keg room, cool rooms, storage areas and a service yard.
The Eureka was the centre of Geelong’s pub and club scene from the mid 1990s to its peak in 2009 when Mr Gregorio said the city had about seven nightclubs.
The decision to sell the Eureka doesn’t affect Mr Lyon’s other hospitality interests in Geelong, including Home House nightclub in Moorabool St or the Elephant and Castle Hotel in McKillop St, both of which still draw good crowds.
The Eureka Hotel was built in 1912 and hosted bands for several decades, including Midnight Oil, INXS, Rose Tattoo, Hunters and Collectors, Radio Birdman and Cold Chisel.
Renovated in the late 1980’s, it later became a sports bar complete with mural depicting Billy Brownless’s 1994 grand final mark over Ashley McIntosh under the ownership of Geelong nightclub king Steward “Disco” Harrison.
Mr Lyons bought into the pub in 2008 before embarking on a $4 million renovation. Mr Gregorio said he had since bought out the other partners.
The Eureka Hotel’s last hurrah will come on November 25.