US Marines to take Darwin bars


This News item appeared in the January issue of Australian Bartender.

It might be raising political eyebrows, but plans to station US Marines in Darwin could spell a financial windfall for local bars, and potential operators. From mid-2012 the first installment of troops will arrive and by 2017 will reach over 2500.

Sydney’s Kings Cross thrived in the wake of a troop influx during and after WWII with thousands of American boys bringing their money, taste and touch to the area so a new wave of ‘Americana’ style bars might be on the horizon pending interest from potential operators. On the back of a sluggish economy, some in the Darwin hospitality scene see the proposal as a positive.

“As with most restaurants in Darwin it has been a tough year,” said Josh Overton (Hot Rock Restaurant & Bar). “I don’t really see how have the influx of troops arriving in Darwin can have a negative impact on trade.” He does, however, spy one potential issue for the locals – a touch of uniform jealousy.


“I can see that a few of the shift workers who work in remote areas may feel the pinch when they get into town and find that there is anywhere between 250-2500 marines taking away the female interest from themselves.” Ultimately the word from operators is that more visitors equals more ‘bums on seats’, and that’s good for business.

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