Kings Cross facing an uphill battle


Nearly tens months on since the tragic death of teenager Thomas Kelly in Kings Cross the precinct is still suffering through a drop in trade. Bartender has spoken with a number of owners — some off the record — who have said that trade is down significantly, as high as 60 per cent in some cases. “The four to six month mark immediately after the incident absolutely smashed the traffic coming through Kings Cross, due to all the negative publicity the precinct received,” said Ben Walsh, who’s bar, Goldfish, has had to curtail its business hours and service in the wake of recent legislation introduced to reduce violence in the Cross.

“As far as the new legislation and the effect on our business, our weekly beverage sales were made up by 80 per cent cocktail sales.  This is has now fallen by 30 per cent, due to us not being able to serve cocktails between 12am and 7am on Fridays and Saturdays.

“Trade has definitely dropped since the alcohol restrictions have come into action, especially after midnight,” said Nicole Galloway, of Barrio Chino.

“Our customers are generally an older age bracket than the surrounding nightclubs, and are from the neighbourhood, so [not being able to] serve shots of top shelf tequilas and cocktails has meant this regular customer base is coming in less after dinner for nightcaps,” she said.


“It’s unfortunate as there are many well run venues and good operators that have been drastically effected by the conditions placed upon all venues within the Kings Cross precinct,” said John Duncan, managing director of Keystone.

“Penalising all licensed premises is not the solution, considering there was no connection to any licensed premise other than it happened in Kings Cross,” he said.

The new restrictions prohibit doubles and shots, limit the numbers of drinks bought in one round, mandate the introduction of two RSA marshalls, and bans on glassware for larger venues.

“Peoples drinking habits have been forced to be changed and I don’t think it’s for the better,” said Walsh. “People know that the bar will be shut between 4-5 and tend to drink faster.”

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