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Sydney’s Imperial Hotel is facing permanent closure

Iconic Sydney LGBTQI venue The Imperial Hotel is facing a long-term closure order from the Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing (OLGR), after Sydney club nights Meanwhile and Spice were forced to shut up operations at the venue last Friday.

A media release issued today by the OLGR says that venue owner Shadd Danesi has until 11 August to fight the OLGR’s long-term closure order which, if successful, would mean a six-month shut down for the venue while the “disciplinary complaint” is considered.

Friday night party Meanwhile and Saturday institution Spice ERSKNVL revealed last Friday that they had been forced to shut down operations as weekly clubs in The Imperial’s basement rave cave, after the venue was hit with another 72-hour closure order last weekend. An OLGR media release said the shut-down was ordered because of alleged, “ongoing drug dealing and illicit drug use, multiple intoxicated patrons and staff serving to intoxicated patrons.”

“Due to a continued vendetta carried out by OLGR and the local police,” the Meanwhile crew wrote in a Facebook post last Friday, “The Imperial Hotel’s basement nightclub will no longer be operating what so ever for the foreseeable future.” Meanwhile added that it’s “far from the end” for the party, as they search for a new venue.

“Unfortunately there is an ongoing problem with drinking culture, antisocial behaviour, and violence in NSW,” Spice ERSKNVL added. “Whilst we appreciate that the NSW government is trying to reduce alcohol related violence and anti-social behaviour, introducing lockout laws does not solve the problem…incidents occur at all times of the day. The sad truth is the minority of bad eggs ruin it for the majority of people doing the right thing.”

The Imperial Hotel’s owner Shadd Danesi has taken back day-to-day running of The Imperial, our sister site SameSame reports, with a plan to “move forward and return the old girl to her former glory.” Stay tuned for more news to come on the next moves from Spice and Meanwhile. [Photo via Meanwhile]