They say necessity is mother of invention, and it looks like Sydney’s lock out laws are forcing some creative measures from a strip club owner looking to leverage (exploit?) the ‘softer’ trading hours afforded to small bars.
Last week, a small bar application with a difference popped up on my radar. With the as yet to be named venue located in a basement below a home decor shop, at 636-638 George Street (next door to Hungry Jack’s).
The new 60 x patron small bar/adult entertainment venue is seeking to leverage the softer trading hours applied to small bars (2am) whilst operating as a strip club and staying open until 3am.
According to an article by Kirsty Needham at the Sydney Morning Herald, the bar’s owner (Michael Tsoukatos who previously managed Dreamgirls in Kings Cross), wants to ‘enrich the city’s vibrant and diverse culture’ with nude table-top dancing, striptease and 12 private show rooms.
This will be Mr Tsoukatos second CBD strip club, after he took over the Governor’s Pleasure on Clarence Street 18 months ago. When he observed a pattern of earlier trading (3-4pm onwards) and people staying at city venues longer, and not heading up to Kings Cross. He has since renamed the venue to the Velvet Underground.
Personally I don’t have an issue with strip clubs, i’ve been to a few in my time, and I don’t think the type of liquor licence they trade under really matters to the punters who visit these venues. Conversely, I don’t think that couples looking for a quiet glass of wine, craft beer, or plate of charcuterie are likely to head to a strip club. So it remains to be seen if strip clubs, applying for small bar licenses will have any impact on small bar culture.