Just a month after being closed by OLGR, Erskineville’s Imperial Hotel has sold to industry stalwarts Fraser Short and AHA NSW President Scott Leach.

The ‘Spicey’ former operators of the famous LGBTI-community venue operated the leasehold business for just three months before a string of breaches and two closure orders forced their removal.

Facing a long-term closure by OLGR, freehold owner Shadd Danesi was left with a tainted opportunity. OLGR has confirmed* deferring a decision on the Notices, which was pending decision mid-August.

Owner of Erskineville’s nearby Rose of Australia and President of the NSW branch of the Australian Hotels Association, Scott Leach, is himself a local and has partnered with awarded hotel operator Fraser Short to take control of the troubled venue.

“We look forward to working closely with the Erskineville community, including police and the LGBTIQ community, on the future direction of this iconic venue,” said Leach.

In a release to industry, the pair state their intentions to consult and work with the local community to create an all-new offering “based around an art deco bar”.

One aspect confirmed is that the dungeonesque underground area – location of so many of the recent problems – “will no longer trade as a nightclub”.

The large format hotel was transacted through JLL Hotel’s Sam Handy, who stressed the upside of the result for the hotel.

“The local community and indeed the wider industry should be anticipating something very special to evolve at the Imperial Hotel,” Handy told PubTIC.

The hotel is expected to remain closed until the New Year.


*An OLGR spokesperson this evening confirmed the following to PubTIC:

A decision on the long term closure order application has been deferred while the new business owners prepare detailed business plans for consideration by the regulator. The venue will remain voluntarily closed during this period.

Photo: supplied by JLL
Photo: supplied by JLL
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