Whispers – 209

Local gossip, rumour, hearsay and unsubstantiated fact...

Singo sniffs grungy gold, chicken supplants chocolate, vale Alanna

•  So why did John Singleton buy in the Inner West? As a majority shareholder in the Macquarie Network, which give the Inner West’s two favourite blokes (not) Ray Hadley and Alan Jones plenty of airtime, you would think his conservative views would be more in line with investments in pubs like The Oaks rather than the Vic on the Park. Then again, successful businessmen like Singo are good at sniffing change in the air. If you have been to the newly revamped Vic on the Park you’ll have seen that while it still has old men in it, it is no longer an old man’s pub but a very gentrified and stylised place for well-heeled hipster types to hang out. Maybe Singo realises it won’t be long before grunge turns to gold

•  The Cat and The Fiddle Hotel is being sold by the Laundy Family as it is an asset “inconsistent with what their investment strategy dictates.” Also on the market is the Dry Dock Hotel. It’s not certain yet whether the Singo backed Riversdale Group will put in an offer but the pubs do seem to be consistent with Riversdale’s investment strategy. More pub murmurings include the purchase and revamp of the West End Hotel in Balmain, which was bought by the same boys that bought into the Riverview Hotel. They’ll be bringing along their chef Brad Sloane.l Check out the new chicken shop soon to be opening in Haberfield (if rumours are true).

Special tribute

•  Our hearts go out to the family of Alanna Steel – a much-loved dog walker and minder in the Leichhardt community – who sadly lost her battle with cancer last month. Alanna will be sorely missed, and a proposal for a memorial tree or plaque to be erected in her honour at Hawthorne Canal Reserve, where she spent her days caring for local dogs, is currently awaiting approval from Leichhardt Council.

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