Founded in 1876, the Lorne Hotel is considered an iconic pub on the Great Ocean Road. It’s known for its traditional pub set-up – chicken parmigianas, schnitzels, pokies and Carlton Draught on tap. Now, the historic pub has been acquired by hospo group Merivale – only weeks after the company announced its first break into the Victorian hospitality industry.

“The Lorne Hotel is an iconic venue in a truly spectacular location,” says Merivale CEO Justin Hemmes in a statement. “It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know John and Paul Upham, who have been the proud custodians of the venue for the last 11 years. We feel honoured to continue their legacy and help usher the pub into the next phase of its incredible 145-year history”.

It’s been a big week for Hemmes. Merivale also announced another Sydney pub purchase, Norton’s Irish Pub in Leichhardt. It currently operates more than 80 venues, including its first bar in regional NSW.

The Lorne Hotel has a cracking rooftop beer garden overlooking the ocean. In summer, tables are often packed with people looking for a pub feed after a dip.

Merivale gets the keys to the Lorne Hotel later this year, and the pub will trade as normal over summer.