In November, the NSW Government announced Sydney’s controversial lockout laws will be lifted in the Sydney CBD and on Oxford Street from January 14.
The bans will remain in place throughout Kings Cross.
From January 14, Sydneysiders will no longer be locked out of entering venues after 1.30am. The deadline for last drinks will be extended by 30 minutes at venues with good records, and restrictions on serving cocktails, shots and drinks in glass after midnight will be removed.
Bottle shop trading hours will be extended in New South Wales, and small bar patron capacity will be increased from 100 to 120.
It’s a welcome and necessary change sure to breathe new life into the Sydney nightlife, which has remained somewhat dormant since the lockout laws were first enforced in 2014.
Now, though, we’re feeling excited at the prospect of going out again. Here, we’re rounding up all the places we’re actually keen to spend a night out — one that doesn’t end at 1.00am or when your host runs out of booze.
Anywhere that isn’t the casino
How excited are we to never have to go here again?! We admit the hair straighteners in the ladies bathroom felt like a valued luxury add-on upon our first visit to the casino some eight years ago, but paying a cover charge of $35 for the privilege to stand in front of a media wall for an awkward photo and being squished by drunken suits with no sense of personal space is no longer a vibe (was it ever?).
Anywhere that’s not the Lord Gladstone
We love long nights at the pub; sitting in the beer garden as the sun goes down, grabbing a late bite to eat, and enjoying some bevvies well into the early hours.
Once upon a time, the Lord Gladstone in Chippendale was a great venue for nights like these, that is, until people started flooding the place and treating it like a nightclub all because it happened to fall outside of the CBD lockout zone.
Truth be told, we’d happily return to the Gladdy again. After they’ve had a chance to shampoo the carpets.
Anywhere that’s not my house
With all the venues closing so early, and the bottle shops closing even sooner, the only way to really have a party with your friends is to take one for the team and throw one yourself.
After January 14, with venues near to us staying open later, we’re looking forward to stepping away from the obligation to throw a house party and everything that follows (read: broken glass in the pool area and hours of cleaning), and simply heading on over to a local bar for drinks into the night.
Oxford Art Factory
Some of our most memorable live music performances were held here, but when venues in Kings Cross and the CBD began to spill patrons out at 1:00am, the place began to resemble a club.
Now that partygoers will have a place to dance once more, we’re keen to head back here and watch some gigs in 2020.