New owners of the Beresford Hotel, the Merivale group, have vowed to build on existing ties with the gay and lesbian community.
Bar baron Justin Hemmes, of the Merivale group, which also controls Sydney’s swankiest settings for a tipple — The Establishment and The Ivy — has added the Beresford to his empire.
Picking the venue up for a reported $14.6 million, it was a veritable bargain considering the $30 million in renovations done by the previous owners.
The Beresford, once an iconic venue on the gay and lesbian scene, struggled to be adopted by the local community after re-opening. Rumours that door staff were maintaining a homophobic agenda to keep gays out initially created problems for the owners, who soon acted to rectify the situation with new gay and lesbian events and fundraisers.
Merivale was quick to assure that the gay and lesbian community would be catered to and welcomed.
“Merivale has a strong relationship with the gay community,” Merivale spokesman Tim Allerton told Sydney Star Observer, citing the gay and lesbian nights and Mardi Gras events that have been held at the Ivy.
“For us, the Beresford provides a great opportunity to continue to build on our strong relationship with the gay community.
“The Merivale Group will bring to the Beresford a quality, premium and safe environment, to benefit the gay and heterosexual community. We look forward to servicing both of them.”

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