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Oz’s first Irish pub for sale

What is believed to be the oldest Irish pub in Australia went under the hammer yesterday after 30 years under the same management – but the sale was postponed.

The Mercantile in Sydney was the first of three properties for sale at the Sydney Morning Herald Auction Centre, none were sold.

Situated in St George Street in the dockside part of Sydney known as The Rocks, The Mercantile has traded as a pub and hotel since 1915.

The site was originally home to the Mercantile Rowing Club but in 1911 its lease expired and it moved to Mosman where it exists to this day.

The current hotel was built in 1914.

The Mercantile has been put up for sale by Terry O’Neil and his wife Yvonne who have managed the pub since its opening, as well as fellow licence partners, Laurence Coy and Paul Wheelan.

Mike Wheatley, director of hotels for knight Frank Australia told The Shout in the run up to the sale that were many “pretty interested parties”.

Interest in buying businesses such as pubs and hotels has apparently been rising recently in Sydney and some experts are said to be predicting a record year for such transactions.

Last year around AU$500m worth of pubs were sold in Australia.

The Fortune of War near The Mercantile was also sold to new owners last week for $4.3m

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