Newcastle gay hotspot Unity to shut its doors
Popular Newcastle gay and lesbian night spot, Unity, has been forced to shut its doors after a change of management at the Sydney Junction Hotel that houses its premises.
The Hamilton pub has played host to Unity every Friday and Saturday night for the past 18 months. Operated by local promoters, Metro entertainment the club was established to provide a safe space for Newcastle’s LGBTI folk to dance and party the night away.
Since opening its doors, Unity has drawn a regular crowd of a around 500 punters each night – a far cry from the 80 or so that used to cate the venue.
Performers such as Mel B and The Veronicas had played gigs at the club.
However when new licensee Kate Beauchamp took over the hotel she opted to go in a different direction and has told the promoters they will need to go elsewhere as Unity wasn’t working for the pub in terms of profits.
Metro entertainment director Ashley Doran told the Newcastle herald Beauchamp’s decision was disappointing. He also rejected Beauchamp’s claims the nightclub was unprofitable. Doran told the Herald: "They paid for a DJ and we paid for promotions, performers and entertainers, we weren't costing them a cent as they already had a DJ before we came.”
Doran says the closure of Unity left Newcastle without a dedicated LGBTI venue. He feared the LGBTI community would now be more at risk of violence.
"It's not just about having a gay or lesbian bar, it's about having a bar where yes they feel safe but so people can come where they don't have sleazy guys who hit on them - they don't want the violence and aggravation that can result in a hetero nightclub," he said.