The WA president of the Australian Hotels Association is on the brink of losing his pub after the lease on Mt Hawthorn's Paddington Ale House was advertised for the first time in two decades.
Some of the State's most prominent hoteliers are eyeing off the prime Scarborough Beach Road venue as Neil Randall continues last-ditch negotiations with landlords the Swanson family to keep the lease.
Mr Randall, who notched 210 WAFL games with Subiaco and South Fremantle before becoming a publican, is understood to be keen to roll over the lease for another 20 years and is prepared to pay significantly more rent.
But the Swansons, who used to own Marble Bar's famed Ironclad Hotel, are demanding an even steeper jump in rent and recently upped the ante by advertising the 1676sqm property as an "iconic hotel on a high-profile site" through Jones Lang LaSalle.
That expression of interest period runs until November 14.
Built in the 1930s and one of the few traditional suburban pubs left in Perth, the Paddington has forged a reputation as a go-to venue for big-ticket sports events. It was crowned WA's Best Sports Bar by the AHA in 2011 and 2012.
Mr Randall has run the "Paddo" for 20 years. In that time Mt Hawthorn has changed from working class suburb to an entertainment hub wirh high-income earners - an advantage the Swansons are likely promoting as justification for the rent hike.
Industry sources claimed that any financial upside coming from the area's rising affluence over the past two decades was offset by recently liberalised liquor licensing laws, which ended the Paddo's monopoly in the area.
The dispute also raises questions about the neighbouring liquor store, Paddington Fine Wine, which has operated under a licence linked to the hotel since opening in 2002. Paddington Fine Wine is operated by Mr Randall but the property is owned by the company behind Tredway Shoes, which trades nearby.
Liquor stores were attached to hotels because of the ban on stand-alone stores trading on Sundays. But liberalised laws, which allowed big box retailers like Dan Murphy's and 1st Choice Liquor to trade seven days a week, have eroded the value of these side businesses.
The Swanson family, who own vast tracts of land across WA and who sold the Ironclad Hotel in 2005, could not be contacted and Mr Randall declined to comment.