You’re forgiven for not immediately recognising the name, though you may have visited one of Dixon Hospitality Group’s venues last night for post-race drinks. Dixon was founded by father-son duo Bruce and Michael Dixon in Melbourne in 2012 and is fast becoming one of Melbourne and Sydney’s most prolific privately owned hospitality groups.
With a property portfolio that already includes The Forresters, The Norfolk, The Oxford Tavern and Beer DeLuxe, Dixon is now also the owner of The Keystone Group’s Bungalow 8, Cargo Bar, The Rook, The Winery, Manly Wine and Kingsley’s Woolloomooloo. Keystone went into receivership earlier this year; Dixon took over the day-to-day running of the venues yesterday and will take full ownership when the sale is finalised.
It’s not the prospect of change that drew Dixon to these venues but the success of each in their own right. “The great thing is that these venues are operating really well, hence why we purchased them. We won’t be making any wholesale changes, it’s day one today and very much business as usual,” says Marcia English, general manager of sales and marketing at Dixon.
Dixon’s foray into the Sydney food scene started this year and it has already amassed 13 venues. The next to open is a 1000-metre-squared restaurant-bar in Barangaroo’s Tower 1 headed up by chef Justin Wise (from Melbourne’s The Point). It will be a “nod to Australian farmers and produce and perfect for a long lunch”, says English. The other is a “laid-back, northern-Queensland” themed rooftop bar on top of one of the commercial buildings in Barangaroo designed by Durbach Block Jaggers Architects.