The Vic On the Park in Marrickville is a community treasure. Sometimes you can spot four different generations in the crowd, sharing jugs and fried-chicken burgers. Regulars and their dogs are greeted by name. Yesterday Justin Hemmes, Merivale’s CEO, announced he bought the venue, adding it to the hospitality group’s ever-expanding pub empire.
A press release from Merivale says: “There are no plans for a major refurbishment” and there will be a “renewed focus on the [pub’s] food offering”.
But many aren’t convinced. Local Laura Stevenson has created a Facebook event to mourn the pub’s change of hands. It’s called “The Vic’s Funeral”. So far 1200 people are “attending”, and 3200 people are “interested”.
The event’s description reads: “There is an insidious virus infecting pubs in the IW. Another beloved local, The Vic, announced they have sold to Merivale. Before the dark money clouds descend, come down and share a final beer with the Vic that you love.”
“I invited 30 of my friends that live around the area, and now it might reach over 4000 people. It’s quite staggering – I’m quite nervous, to be honest,” Stevenson told Broadsheet.
“You always know what you’re going to get there, it’s got a great feel. Everyone’s response was so sad, which is why I started the event.”
People are expressing their concern on the page: “Was the best pub in the inner west,” said one person. “Hello $12 schooners and $30 burgers, goodbye live-music and awesome local vibe of the inner west,” wrote another.
“How can we make sure that local treasures like this remain great? There are a lot of people that are emotionally invested and attached to this place, another one has gone to Merivale,” Stevenson says.
Merivale will take the keys on November 13. The Vic’s “funeral” will be held the day before on Sunday November 12 from 1pm until 10pm at the pub.
Merivale declined to comment on the event.
The event was not created or endorsed by The Vic.