'For sale': Midnight Shift on the market
Iconic gay venue The Midnight Shift has been listed for sale.
The long-running venue, which has been trading on Oxford Street for over thirty years as a gay bar, is listed on the market alongside two adjoining shops by Oxford Commercial.
According to a listing on Oxford Commercial’s online directory, expressions of interest are being sought for 85-95 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst.
“Outstanding city fringe development site. The iconic Midnight Shift + 2 adjoining shops,” the listing said.
“Prime location within one of Australia’s premier entertainment and retails precincts on the edge of Sydney.
“Valuable hotel license and entitlement that (sic) can be purchased with the sale.
“Large land parcel in one of Sydney’s most sort (sic) after residential areas where people love to live, work and play,” the listing said.
Owners of the Midnight Shift declined to comment when contacted by SX.
The commercial listing comes just a few weeks after the operators of the Midnight Shift announced it would cut back its trading hours as a direct result of the NSW Government’s tough licensing restrictions.
The Australian Hotels Association of New South Wales said it was not surprised the iconic venue has been put on the market.
“AHA NSW has warned for some time that many venues will be hard hit by the lockouts and 3am last drinks blanket measures imposed by the State Government,” AHA NSW Director of Policing John Green told SX.
Greene said many well-run venues were struggling with the sudden decline in patronage because the lockouts with reports of foot traffic down by as much as 40 percent.
“It’s depressing to see the Shift up for sale, however, we fear other venues may follow suit as the full impact of the lockouts and last drinks measures take effect,” Green said.
A grassroots campaign, Speak Up Sydney, has been formed aimed at raising awareness of the negative impact the alcohol laws are having on Sydney’s gay scene.
The initiative is now collecting signatures for a petition calling for a review of the lockout laws in the Oxford Street precinct.
Sydney Independent MP Alex Greenwich has signalled he will table the petition to NSW Parliament.
“Oxford Street is an important cultural hub for Sydney's LGBTI community with many businesses providing safe and supportive places for our community,” Greenwich said.
“I will continue to work ensure we have a sustainable safe and vibrant nightlife on Oxford Street and this will require a review of recent legislative measures to ensure responsibly run and safe venues are not unfairly penalised because of dodgy ones.”