Singo eyes a cool $15m with sale of Icebergs
Flamboyant adman John Singleton is to sell one of Australia’s most famous restaurants — the Icebergs Dining Room and Bar at Bondi Beach — with hopes of pocketing at least $15 million.
Mr Singleton and his investor mates, including ex-Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon, financier Mark Carnegie and their backer Suncorp, have been selling hospitality assets of late, offloading at least $100m worth of pubs.
In 1998, Mr Singleton stared down council opposition when he stepped in to save the Icebergs club. It had been built in the 1960s and was riddled with concrete cancer. He said at the time he had not struck a great deal, but the restaurant has since become one of Australia’s best-known locations. “I’m really happy I was able to do my bit to save the Icebergs,” he said yesterday.
“We now have an institution that the community, politicians, swimmers, diners of NSW and Australia can be truly proud of. It is etched in the Aussie ethos of helping your mates, doing your bit and providing something for future generations not only to be proud of, but to reflect on what we had to do to make this great place even better.”
The restaurant and bar is now operated by chef Maurice Terzini.
Ray White selling agent Andrew Jolliffe expects interest in the 675sq m restaurant and bar from domestic and international groups.
Terzini’s company holds a lease to Mr Singleton until 2036, including options, and is understood to be paying rent of about $850,000 a year. Mr Singleton has a lease over the property, built on crown land, until 2042.
“What Singo and others did in backing the repurposing of this undeniably iconic property on Australia’s most famous beach is truly remarkable, and what the current operator Maurice Terzini and his extraordinary team are doing there seven days a week is, by any measure, world class,” Mr Jolliffe said.
“I don’t know anywhere else in the world where, at an A-grade hospitality development, you can enjoy a meal and drinks at a vantage point behind the line-up of legendary right-hand waves that serve as Bondi’s calling card.”
Icebergs is being offered via an international expressions-ofinterest campaign, which closes on October 12.
Restaurant freeholds are among Sydney’s most valuable commodities. The home of Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar & Grill was snapped up for almost $30m last year by fund manager Allegra European Holdings, owner of the nearby Bvlgari store.
The Woolloomooloo Finger Wharf restaurants Kingsleys and Otto Ristorante were also sold to a local private investor for more than $20m last year. Those waterfront restaurants were sold by JPMorgan Asset Management.
The Icebergs Dining Room and Bar at Bondi Beach Toxteth Hotel, Glebe $20m Kinselas Hotel, Darlinghurst $22m Marlborough Hotel, Newtown $33m Peakhurst Inn, Peakhurst $22.5m Bristol Arms, CBD $19.5m Como Hotel, Como $5.6m Sales in the past year by the Australian Pub Fund which is co-owned by Singleton, Geoff Dixon, Mark Carnegie and Suncorp