Fraser Short, Scott Leach, buy The Imperial Hotel

balcony-bar,-imperial-hotelFraser Short has bought Byron Bay’s Balcony Bar & Restaurant (left), and now, Erskineville’s Imperial Hotel (right). Images:

Fraser Short and Scott Leach have purchased Erskineville’s The Imperial Hotel, with the deal being finalised yesterday.

Short, who was named Pub Operator of the Year at last year’s Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards, and owns The Watsons Bay Hotel and The Morrison, said that he and Leach (who is the president of the AHA NSW and owner of Rose of Australia) intend to invest in the revamping of the hotel, with a new-look Imperial Hotel to open in the New Year.

“It is our intention, after several months’ consultation, to inject several million dollars into repositioning the venue with new accommodation and food offerings based around an art deco bar,” he said.

“This will include the introduction of a custom kitchen and high end restaurant business to meet the local community demand.”


He also said that the venue would no longer trade as a nightclub. The Imperial Hotel had housed Spice Cellar ERSKNVL, which faced closures and controversy due to drug use at the venue in recent months.

Short has been busy in recent times, with the purchase of Byron Bay venue, Balcony Bar & Restaurant making news in July. Short will bring chef Sean Connolly to Byron to oversee the food for Balcony Bar & Restaurant — think of oysters a la his Sydney CBD venue, The Morrison, and you’ll get an idea of what’s to come.

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