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Sydney venue Cafe Lounge announces closure after 20 years

13 May 2020 | 11:44 am | Emma Jones

Citing lockout laws and rising operating costs, Cafe Lounge has handed back the keys and closed its doors for the last time.

Sydney venue Cafe Lounge has taken to social media this week to announce it will be closing. Having been in the game for 20 years, the venue has cited "recent lockout laws" and "rising operating costs" as main reasons for it shutting its doors for good after first closing up shop when COVID-19 restrictions were first put in place.

"From humble beginnings as a licensed café serving breakfast to Oxford Street clubbers, a local live music, party and comedy institution emerged," the venue wrote in a statement. "Today, we handed back the keys from what’s been an incredible run."

"With recent lockout laws, rising operating costs in a rapidly changing neighbourhood, we knew quickly this pandemic was going to be our end. We hope other venues receive the ongoing support required to get through this time and hopefully we all come back stronger with a government who recognises our value."

Cafe Lounge thanked "all the hardworking staff, managers, artists, promoters and previous owners," as well as those who came "to Monday night comedy, a midweek live show or danced all over our furniture on the weekends" over the years.

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"We thank you for that and look forward to doing it all again some day in another place and another time," they said.

This closure comes as the future for live music, nightlife and culture in Australia and around the world finds itself in an unprecedented position. It is not known when venues will be able to return to being fully operational, and with tough and varied restrictions throughout the country still implemented (though some have been rolled back), it's a grim future we're facing with many more probable closures.

Read the full statement fro Cafe Lounge below:


Words by Emma Jones

Image via Instagram