STAFF at an iconic Hobart pub hold fears over what the sale of the business will mean for their employment, the hospitality union says.
North Hobart institution the Republic Bar and Cafe has been sold pending settlement to restaurant monopolist company Pub Banc Group which owns Cargo Bar, Jack Greene, Post St Social, Observatory Bar and Telegraph Hotel.
Listing agent John Blacklow of Knight Frank said the business was sold for “pretty close” to its $4 million asking price.
United Workers Union’s Jannette Armstrong said Republic Bar staff planned to meet next week to discuss their futures following the pub’s sale.
She said the impending new owners had given staff little indication on their vision for the bar, adding calls had already been made on staffing arrangements.
“It is disappointing that it appears Pub Banc has chosen not to keep on the core staff who have made The Repub the friendly, welcoming, well-patronised institution it is,” she said.
“The union understands that permanent staff have already been made redundant, while other casual staff have yet to hear if their employment will continue with Pub Banc.
“Many Hobartians will have fond memories of big nights, great gigs, and friendly down-to-earth service at The Republic Bar, all made possible by the awesome staff team.
“We would encourage Pub Banc to do the right thing by these loyal staff members, by offering them ongoing employment and the opportunity to be part of The Republic’s next chapter.”
A Pub Banc spokesman said the company was unable to offer comment until after sale settlement on February 4.
The first drinks were poured in 1831 when the pub was known as the Rose Hotel House. It was later called the Rose and Crown.
By the late 1930s it had been rebuilt as an art deco building and renamed again as The Empire Hotel, the name it carried until the mid-90s when it changed to the Republic Bar & Cafe.
It’s understood an undisclosed share of the property was last sold in 2010 for more than $1 million.