Central owner buys Court House Hotel
THE most famous watering hole in Port Douglas has been sold for more than $12 million.
Sydney-based Hilrok Hotel Group, owner of the Central Hotel just down the road, has bought the Court House Hotel on the corner of Macrossan and Wharf streets.
The iconic Court House Hotel will join the Central Hotel and the Ivanhoe of Manly Hotel, in Sydney, in the group’s assets.
New owner Tim Peterson would not comment on the purchase of the 144-year-old pub, but it is believed the price was in excess of $12 million.
When asked what plans he had for the hotel and whether or not he would back the Cairns Regional Council’s proposed entertainment precinct, which would allow hotels and other venues to play music louder and longer, Mr Peterson also declined to comment.
Meanwhile, East Coast Hotels, also a Sydney-based company, which sold the Court House Hotel, said it did not want to sell.
A spokesman for the company said that its owner Peter Wadsworth was out-voted by his partners after the price was raised beyond $12 million.
Graham Bennett, a former partner with Mr Peterson in owning a number of other hotels, said he felt Mr Peterson “would do the right thing by the famous pub and its patrons”.
“I am here to help with the sale which should be settled within the next two months and to help put in a management team,” Mr Bennett said.
“We also want to have a bigger variety of musicians and bands playing at the hotel and so we have hired a band promoter to help this happen.
“On Sunday nights we want to kick back with some excellent blues being played and on Friday nights we want to go retro with cocktails made just for the ladies.
“The meals we serve here are already brilliant and we have great chefs who are always striving to put the very best food on our customers’ plates for the cheapest price possible - but if we can do better we will.
“I really think we are in for some exciting times ahead with Tim (Peterson) at the wheel, he is a very savvy businessman and has been running successful hotels for many years.
“The Court House will be in very good hands.”