Merivale expands as bank backs hospitality rebound

The ongoing Covid pandemic has not deterred Justin Hemmes from continuing his expansion plans for Merivale, snapping up overwater restaurant and venue The Quarterdeck on NSW’s south coast.

The latest acquisition marks Merivale’s first NSW hospitality venue outside Sydney.

“Narooma has become my second home and the backdrop to so many of my happiest memories with my family,” Hemmes told The Daily Telegraph.

“I think it is one of the most beautiful spots in the world, with a unique landscape, crystal clear waters and an amazing community of people who call it home.”

Merivale’s expansion plans are thanks to the support of CommBank, which recently extended its 22-year banking relationship with the hospitality giant, refinancing the company’s existing debt arrangements, and the provision of further funding commitments for its growth plans in 2021 and beyond.

CommBank’s newly established Major Client Group is bullish on Merivale’s future despite the hardships of the last months and is betting on a strong rebound driven by domestic demand.

“We recognise Merivale is a leader in Australian hospitality, it’s a high-quality and proven Australian business,” said Chris Williams, the head of Major Client Group.

“We have supported Merivale for more than two decades and we’re proud to be part of the next phase of its growth.

“Eating and drinking out is making a good recovery, particularly in regional areas, but it is still sensitive to any periods of restrictions and lockdowns.

“Our hospitality sector has certainly had a tough 12 months but I’m optimistic about the outlook and the opportunities that will come from the economic recovery that is underway. As restrictions ease, we’ve seen many of our corporate customers in the sector working very hard to ensure they can hit the ground running.”