High-profile publican and hotelier Fraser Short has officially taken the reins of the Sir George Hotel in Jugiong this month.

Last November Short paid $14 million for the regional pub, the most paid on a per-key basis for a regional pub in the state.

The sale followed Shorts $40 million purchase of the Lennox Hotel in Lennox Head on the north NSW coast at the beginning of 2021 in partnership with pub baron Arthur Laundy.

Short has hopped aboard the regional accommodation surge and owns several venues across NSW, including The Farm in Byron Bay and Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

The publican purchased the Sir George Hotel from mother-daughter ownership duo Liz Prater and Kate Hufton.

After buying the property in 2015, the pair transformed the business and rebuilt, renovated and extended the property.

“The Sir George is an iconic operation that represents everything good about country New South Wales,” Short said in November.

“I am very excited to bring this rare gem into our group and carry the baton on from Kate and Liz who have done an immaculate job in bringing this hotel, its gardens and historic buildings back to life for the community and tourists of Jugiong.”

The Sir George has been a popular stopover destination going back to colonial days and was reinvigorated five years ago and reopened. It now has 10 beautifully appointed farmhouses, alongside delicious country-style food and beverages.

Originally built in 1845, the hotel is famous for being the longest singularly held liquor license establishment in Australia – Spanning over 165 years.

It offers a diverse hospitality operation, including an artisan bakery, retail store, restaurant and bar.

Previous owners Liz Prater and Kate Hufton said they were proud to have resurrected such a beautiful old hotel and created a thriving business for so many people to enjoy.

“We are sure that Fraser will do a fantastic job and take The Sir George to new levels, like he has in so many of his other venues.”

The sales campaign was managed and negotiated by Tom Gibson and Paul Fraser of CBRE Hotels.

The campaign attracted widespread national interest with over 200 enquiries and terms being agreed prior to the Expressions of Interest due date.

By Brianna O’Rourke