Home to popular bar in Geelong’s West End sells at auction

A Melbourne-based investor has snapped up the freehold property that is home to Beav’s Bar (left) in Little Malop St.

The buyer was the only person to raise a hand at Friday’s lunch time auction for the central Geelong property.

A bumper crowd, which drew plenty of people, including real estate agents and property valuers, out of nearby offices, saw the property at 77-79 Little Malop St passed in for $3.55m, after auctioneer Raoul Salter open the auction with a $3.5m vendor bid.

Darcy Jarman selling agent Andrew Prowse said the property sold after negotiations for $4m.

The popular bar is not part of the sale and continues to operate under an existing lease.

“He wasn’t 100 per cent sure what the vision will be for it longer term but certainly in the short to mediumterm it will provide a recurring income stream for him and about 4½ per cent yield was a good results for the vendors in the end,” Mr Prowse said.

“From his perspective, he’d seen the growth in that pocket in particular. “He mentioned that he hadn’t been looking to acquire a site somewhere in there for some time but given how rarely they come up it’s been a testing process for him.”

Mr Prowse said the property had seen good inquiry during the campaign and thought a few more would be willing to participate in the auction.

“I think it’s more about a sign of the times than anything. Investment grade articles are challenging at
moment in that sense,” he said.

The hospitality venue, its liquor licence, the location really drove this result, he said.

The property was built in the 1870s and operated originally as Duckers auction rooms.

The existing lease provides an annual income of more than $184,000, with annual CPI increases.

The lease runs through to October 2024, with a further three-year option.

The property came to the market after new owners resurrected the Eureka Hotel name and relaunched the venue as a pub and live music venue at the end of the West End precinct.

Geelong property developer Bill Votsaris, whose Batman Management Group owns much property on the Little Malop St West End strip, previously acquired a nearby building at 16-18 Malop St and revealed plans to expand the popular foodie strip.

Mr Votsaris seized on the access though Dennys Lane to propose what he described as a food hall in the ground floor of the Malop St building which has about 600sq m floorspace.