Hugos Lounge is suing the NSW Government over lockouts
Kings Cross bar and club Hugos Lounge today announced its plan to launch a class action lawsuit against the NSW State Government over the controversial lockouts legislation.
Hugos Lounge was shut down yesterday, placing the blame on a 60-percent drop in trade and 80-percent drop in customers since the 1.30am lockouts and 3am last drinks came into effect last February.
“The NSW Government not only wouldn’t hear us out, they wouldn’t even take our calls. So instead, now they can take the calls from our lawyers,” Hugos’ owner Dave Evans said at a press conference today. Hugos Lounge said that two law firms and “multiple property owners and businesses” have contacted them about being part of the class action law suit against the government.
“Hugos in Kings Cross set the standard on how to have a great time safely – but we had no chance once former Premier O’Farrell introduced his one-size-fits-all laws. After the tragedies [one-punch deaths in Kings Cross] that occurred, the NSW Government’s knee-jerk laws were well-intentioned but they were ill-informed.”
Evans said that over 170 staff had lost their jobs at Hugos as a result of the lockout laws, which have seen foot traffic in Kings Cross drop by up to 80-percent.
Hugos is the latest in a string of iconic Kings Cross venues to close since February last year. Resilient nightspot Soho closed last month, saying that the loss of patronage caused by lockouts made business unviable.
Fellow Kings Cross venues The Backroom, Trademark and The Bourbon have also closed, along with Darlinghurst’s Flinders and, most recently, the enormous Q Bar complex on Oxford Street. “The area itself is a ghost town from what it used to be,” Kings Cross Liquor Accord Chief Executive Doug Grand told the SMH recently.