Pub king Arthur Laundy and his massive new Marsden Brewhouse are back in the headlines and the talk of the greater west, after outraged locals took offense to the (new) dress regulations.
The $45 million pub-brewery is the result of a streamlined 12-month build and six decades of Laundy’s experience and accumulated skin in the game. It occupies a huge greenfield site within the new Sydney Business Park in western Sydney growth corridor Marsden Park.
Laundy threw open the doors for an invitational toast in late March before welcoming in the public on 2 April.
But even before it opened, the big new target drew ire on social media and from shock-hungry media for offending allergy sufferers.
The furore centred around a pre-launch post on Facebook spruiking the new menu that included a disclaimer that allergens such as nuts and gluten may be present.
“Please take this into advisement” the post seemed to warn food allergics.
After tabloids raced to rage against the injustice a timely clarification appeared on the still unopened pub’s feed explaining that they “already have 19 Vegetarian/Vegan Options and 19 Gluten Free Options on our menu and will where possible assist with other allergic requests”.
In recent weeks the impressive site, with its multiple bespoke zones and multi-faceted menus, has seen thousands of curious locals and industry devotees into Blacktown LGA to see Laundy’s legacy, which represented his foray into ground-up establishments.
The pub veteran has bought and sold scores of pubs over a long career, and proudly speaks of being “astounded” by the success of the new venture.
However, a dress policy notification appeared at one of the Hotel’s entrances that has taken it back to the realm of worksite conversations and talk-back radio.
The somewhat specific rules ban entry to anyone sporting certain styles of Nike shoes, men’s ‘satchels’ or bumbags, and any general clothing that is deemed “offensive”.
Also banned after 6pm is all tradie wear – high-vis and boots – and thongs, as well as facial or gang-related tattoos, anytime.
Laundy appeared on 2GB with Ben Fordham on Monday, explaining that the notice was pulled down immediately, when he learned of it that morning.
Laundy said while he is not opposed to sensible regulations there are no dress codes in any of his other hotels. When asked whether the whole thing was about skilful use of the media for free publicity the veteran said no … “[but] it would look that way”.