Imperial Hotel_web_crpBricks and mortar owner of Erskineville’s troubled Imperial Hotel has been granted a two-week extension to explain why the venue shouldn’t close for up to six months.

Provisional lessees Spice Group have recently seen the mire of the Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing (OLGR) after inspectors observed a string of breaches including both staff and patrons seen consuming and snorting illicit drugs, and rampant intoxication.

The Hotel was slapped with two 72-hour closure notices in the space of a month, the second resulting in its indefinite closure and the eviction of Spice Group – which only took over in April – with former operator and freehold owner Shadd Danesi taking back the reins.

Danesi promptly appealed against an OLGR application to impose a long-term closure on the hotel, which was lodged mid-July and due to be ruled upon by the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) yesterday.

Last night ILGA issued a two-week extension on the decision, taking into account Danesi’s repossession of the property and likely his past good record; he oversaw operations at the LGBTI-friendly* late-trading hotel made famous in Priscilla Queen of the Desert for more than two decades.

ILGA says it will rule on OLGR’s long-term closure order within seven days of the extended deadline of 11 August. If enforced, the hotel would close for up to six months while ILGA considers the disciplinary complaint, or incur “significant other trading restrictions”.

Outgoing operators Spice Group have pointed at the displacement of late-night revellers by the infamous “lockout” laws in the CBD, bringing a skewed percentage of the party crowd to city fringe establishments.

Spice Group front man Murat Kilic declined to comment further to PubTIC.


*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual and Intersexed

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