The dishonest folk of Keep Sydney Open proclaim Kings Cross in 2017 is a “ghost town”. Apparently they pine for the old Kings Cross, the one they say was “vibrant”, of the pre-2014 lockout Mayhem Period. They claim the lockout laws devastated the “late night” economy of Kings Cross. The lockout laws imposed a curfew on alcohol sales after 3am, taking away the right to sell alcohol in the 3am to 8am period. The period 3am-8am could hardly be described as “late night”. A better description is “early morning”.
Some alcohol vendors departed the scene immediately the lockout laws were introduced, indicating they were well aware their business model was dependent on the early morning period. Those dependent on late night trading (up until 3am) did not have to take a hit because of the lockout laws, and would not have done so, had they adjusted their business model, remained positive and promoted their late night businesses. Instead, they went into full on whinger mode, declaring the ruination of Kings Cross and bitterly attacking the government of the day. In this they were ably supported by the Kings Cross Chamber of Commerce (known as Potts Point Partnership), which it seemed placed priority on looking after its alcohol industry members, rather than promoting and assisting the “non-alcohol” section of their membership base.
The whinger whiner mode adopted by the industry players was to a large extent a self-fulfilling prophesy, as no doubt punters stayed away because of the negative publicity. After all – who wants to join a sinking ship?
Those with foresight saw a great opportunity arising out of “lockouts” for the non-alcohol sector.
The alcohol industry had dominated the Kings Cross economy pre-2014. Some say it had cannibalised it.
Within 2 years of lockouts over 70 new businesses had started in Kings Cross, as reported in March 2016.
The move into a balanced diverse economy in Kings Cross – away from an alcohol industry based monoculture – continues, and seems to be gaining momentum in the second half of 2017.
For example, A Squad called Savage – a fitness studio – opened in October 2017 in premises in Springfield Mall. The premises, despite having DA approval for a licensed restaurant, had been vacant and unoccupied for 9 years, creating an eyesore in the heart of the Cross with its garish “To Let” signage.
A little while earlier Almeida – a hair salon – opened in premises which, likewise, had been vacant for a very long time.
A few months ago Petal & Fern – a florist – opened a shop front store in Kings Cross.
In mid 2017 Fashion+Music+Friends – clothing – opened a pop-up shop and is now looking for a long term lease. The proprietor says she made the decision to move from Paddington to Kings Cross because “it’s the place to be”.
Opening on 4 November 2017 in Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross is Double Cross Clothing.
Live Music received a real boost mid-year in Kings Cross with The Beat nightclub opening at 42 Darlinghurst Rd. It has non-stop live music 6 nights per week. Regrettably patronage is not higher than it is. Where are all the Keep Sydney Open people who marched in the streets for longer alcohol sales hours, saying extended hours were necessary for culture and particularly live music?
The transformation of the Kings Cross economy from an alcohol based monocultural one to a healthy diverse one continues…..