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Chill out Sydney – no one is taking away your precious late night kebabs

[Article image by Alex Kehr/Flickr]

It’s OK, Sydney. No one is taking away your rights to eat a doner kebab with garlic sauce and extra chilli at 1am.

A Newtown local’s quest for a midnight snack went viral this week, after claiming on Facebook that his favourite kebab joint – Istanbul on King Street – was being forced to close at midnight due to council pressure. “It’s another horrible turn for our nightlife,” they wrote, echoing the concerns of many inner-city residents that oppressive lockout regulations in Kings Cross and the CBD were coming to their neighbourhood too. At the time of writing, the post had been widely shared and liked nearly 500 times.

While Newtown is outside of the lockout zone, there has been a push from police to expand the restrictions to the suburb, which has seen a spike in alcohol-related violence and after-hours crime since the lockouts were implemented in early 2014. The changing “vibe” forced some traders to trial voluntary restrictions, including a 3am lockout and bans on shots and doubles after midnight. Some of those trials are still in place.

Given the community paranoia about Newtown’s night life being squeezed by tougher restrictions, it’s understandable that residents would jump to conclusions. But this is reportedly not the case. An update to the original Facebook post claims the kebab shop in question did not have a licence to trade late at night in the first place.

inthemix has since reached out to Greens Councillor Sylvie Ellsmore from Marrickville Council who assured us that your late night kebab runs are sacrosanct. “We’re been approving a few late night food venues on the Marrickville Council side – more not less!” she said. “I think the bottom line is that the kebab shops of Newtown are not under threat “

Meanwhile, Member for Newtown Jenny Leong addressed the storm in a teacup pita bread on her own Facebook page. “We’ve been in touch with the council and they have confirmed that this is certainly not the case,” she posted. “Our rights to eat a late night kebab or burger are protected!”

There have been some concerns raised on social media and by people contacting our office about an alleged change in…

Posted by Jenny Leong on Monday, December 7, 2015

 

So there you have it – the only thing you’ll have to worry about this weekend is whether to order yours with garlic or BBQ sauce.

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