Millthorpe’s oldest pub, the Commercial Hotel, hits the market

A slice of regional New South Wales history is up for grabs, as Millthorpe’s oldest pub, the Commercial Hotel, hits the market.

The Announcement:

One of the oldest and most iconic pubs in the Orange food and wine district, the Commercial Hotel in Millthorpe, is up for sale.

Built in 1877, the Commercial was one of the first buildings in the village and is woven into Millthorpe life.

After purchasing the Commercial Hotel in 2020, owners Andrew and Kath closed the pub for eight months and completed a full restoration and redecoration of the property.

It is now being offered to the market through an Expression of Interest campaign run by Deborah Cullen and Richard Royle of Cullen Royle.

The price guide for the Expressions of Interest campaign is $2 million.

The Commercial Hotel comprises three commercial spaces – bar, restaurant and accommodation.

The Commercial Hotel bar covers four rooms – the bar, the fireplace room and two lounge rooms. Special features include a custom-built Smartstone bar, new Protap cellar system and fully computerised point of sale and inventory system.

The Commercial Kitchen seats 50 in two dining rooms, 30 on an enclosed verandah and has a fully equipped commercial kitchen and cool room. In summer, guests can spill out onto the paved garden area and lawn.

The Commercial Quarters has seven guest rooms off an impressive hallway with modern shared bathrooms. Deluxe custom-made beds, a pillow selection and block out curtains guarantee a sound night’s sleep.

“In 1899 the Freemason’s Journal reviewed the Commercial Hotel as a ‘well-kept hotel… the sitting and bedrooms being furnished with all the luxuriant elegance of the best houses’,” says Andrew.

“By the time we bought the pub, her glory days were long gone and she was desperately in need of lots of tender loving care.

“We always had a simple vision for the hotel – bring back the iconic ‘Top Pub’ feel that the locals loved, but always keep it welcoming for everyone. We wanted it to be a meeting place as well as a destination that people could escape to.”

“During the renovations, we realised that there’s something about the corner location that just draws people in. People felt perfectly comfortable wandering into an absolute building site and striking up conversations. We heard a lot of amazing stories about their visits to the Commercial in years gone by,” says Andrew.

“When we stripped the building back to its early Victorian simplicity, we discovered a hidden modern edge. We wanted the Commercial Quarters rooms to be elegant with a touch of luxe but still give guests the old-school pub accommodation experience,” said Kath.

Ms Cullen said the owners had chosen to put the property on the market following strong buyer interest.

“They have been approached by several interested parties following the completion of their beautiful renovation,” she said.

“There are so many country pubs that are run down and require significant sums of money to restore them, but with the Commercial everything is done. Since it is a working, furnished, full staffed pub, a buyer can walk in and operate it from day one.

“There is, however, still an opportunity for the buyer to make their own statement and even to develop further, with space at the back of the block for more accommodation, storage or a small residence.

“We expect a range of buyers to be interested in purchasing the hotel, including those already in hospitality who want to be part of a substantial increase in regional New South Wales produce areas.

“We have recently seen Matt Moran purchase The Rockley Pub in nearby Rockley, which we believe is part of a broader trend for ‘destination pubs’ in regional Australia, with these hotels being turned into a vibrant town hub that both locals and tourists want to visit.

“Tree change buyers will also be attracted to the opportunity to purchase this property; those looking to move out of the city and have a lifestyle and be part of a wonderfully warm village.”

Ms Cullen said the Commercial Hotel was in a prime position in picturesque Millthorpe, situated at 29 Park Street, on the corner of Park Street and Victoria Street.

“These are the two main streets visitors use to enter the village,” she said.

“There are lots of historic towns around Orange, but Millthorpe is the pick of them for location and community. The historic village has been preserved and the surrounding landscape is stunning. As you come from Sydney, you can slip around to Millthorpe without losing momentum or going out of your way.

“Millthorpe ticks all the boxes – it’s easy to access from Sydney, being just a three-hour drive with a minor detour on the way to Orange, the XPT train from Sydney stops locally and the town is five minutes from the Orange airport.

“If Orange is the inland Byron Bay, then Millthorpe is Bangalow, a tightly held locals-only satellite packed with amazing food, wine and upmarket retail.”

The Commercial Hotel is the oldest hotel in Millthorpe and is a similar age to renowned historic country pubs the Sir George at Jugiong (1852) and the Argyle Inn at Taralga (1875).

Source: De Groot Communications

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