The Lockout Laws in Sydney which prevent customers from entering a venue after 1.30am are killing businesses in the hotel and night club industries. This law was ostensibly brought in to curtail the violence that had resulted in the ‘king hit’ deaths of two young men in Sydney in recent years. It seems we must punish the many innocent to stop a minority of guilty violent youths who cannot handle their drinks. The upshot of it all has been iconic Sydney venues closing forever in response to these financially damaging laws.
The Exchange or ‘Sexchange’ Hotel went last year and I know personally that I exchanged large amounts of saliva with peoples unknown in dark corners of these subterranean bars. Sydney’s Darlinghurst will never be the same; Oxford Street will be missing something like a back molar in the mouth of some salacious beast. Where has all the disreputable fun gone from this city? Where, indeed, not to the ‘Cross’, because Hugos Bar and Lounge has also closed down. That Bacchanalian expanse of late night bodies crammed into some Roman like pavilion, where one would go when other joints had dimmed, is no more.
Iconic Sydney Venues That Have Closed Since the Lockout Laws
Late night Sydney bars and clubs are becoming an endangered species and the #lockoutlaws are killing fun. #keepsydneyopen and #casinomike are raising awareness about the conservative wet blanket choking the life out of ‘sin city’.
The mighty Lansdowne Hotel has also gone. The sticky carpet on the floor, the grunge bands and the almost desperate ambience; which had lasted for 90 years is now a distant memory. I remember pool tables and quiz nights full of large amounts of beer with my now ex-wife; Sydney has changed forever. Where will my children go and let their hair down, take drugs and meet other girls and boys?
Kings Cross is a ghost town with the closing of so many late night venues. Kings Cross was a late night destination; how can you be a late night destination if all your venues are lock outs? The Soho has closed, with the loss of late night business, according to owner Andrew Lazarus, squarely to blame. Night clubs due to ‘nanny state’ laws are no longer financially viable; there are so many compliance costs that without the late night alcohol sales it is unfeasible.
Bar Century in the city has closed down. Just about every place that was known as a late night option has shut its doors forever because of the lock out laws. Goodgod Small Club and The BackRoom have both shut down. Is everyone doing yoga and going to bed early these days? Such a dying shame!