One month after closing, south side gay venue the Xchange Hotel in Commercial Road will re-open to the public on Saturday, July 23.
altNew licensee Michael Laing told MCV he has taken a three-year lease.
Laing has been a nightclub promoter for 12 years and has spent eight years promoting gay and lesbian events in Sydney's western suburbs.
Laing said he intends to open the premises under a new name, depending on the terms of the license.
“If we can’t change the name on the license we will call it D&M Bar and Nightclub at the Xchange,” Laing said.
Laing said he intends to do some renovations to the venue as well and, although it will be kept as a gay pub, he will also try to bring in the straight community.
“We are going to market it in a similar way to Sydney’s ARQ nightclub and try and bring in the straight community as well.
"We want to try and bring in a mixture of people so it’s not just focused on the gay community, but they are the majority of the target,” he said.
“There are a couple of ideas that we are running at the moment. Monday we will open just the main bar for shows. Tuesday we are looking at having an Asian night. I’ve spoken to a lot of promoters up here in Sydney who say there is a massive call for an Asian night. That will be more focused as a straight night.
"Wednesday we will have a ‘uni’ night for straight and gay.
"Thursday we want to market as a lesbian night. I know there isn’t a big market for them at the moment and we want give them a night. Obviously guys are welcome in as well but we want to focus on the girls that night with drag kings and things like that.”
Friday and Saturday night will be feature shows and the night club with Sundays as ‘industry’ night, which Laing said “will be the club and pub side of it.”
Laing confirmed the club will retain drag shows, initially on Monday nights in the main bar, and was looking at bringing former drag acts back to perform at the new venue.
Laing has appointed a bar manager from Sydney who has 15 years' experience, but says he hopes that when people hear about the re-opening old staff will enquire about positions vacant.
Although not scheduled to open until the Saturday, Laing said there was already a booking for the Friday night [July 22].
“We have 300 people for that already so we will only be able to fit another 200 people in on Friday. I’m going to make it more of an exclusive night and am speaking to a couple of the old staff that used to work here and get them and the shows to make that an exclusive night just for them and have the grand opening on the Saturday night."
IMAGE: Xchange Hotel. Photo: Benjamin Ashe.