In Business & Trade by Clyde Mooney

Click here to share this article with a friend

Merivale has announced a monster Happy Hour throughout June across all its venues – as the City of Sydney convenes the much-awaited Nightlife Advisory Panel.

For all of June, the trailblazing Merivale presents Bottoms Up, Sydney, offering 49 per cent off all drinks from 5pm – 7pm, at 37 venues (list below).

The initiative is a nod to ten years since the group began March into Merivale, encouraging people during the GFC to get out and have some fun.

Since February 2014 Sydney has been struck by its own financial crises, as patronage has plummeted in many areas as a result of the lockout restrictions on the CBD and Kings Cross. Adding insult to injury, the city’s major thoroughfare, George Street, has been in turmoil in pursuit of a light rail taking years to finalise.

Brilliantly timed just days after the City of Sydney revealed its new advisory panel to address the carnage caused to the city’s nightlife, Merivale CEO Justin Hemmes is putting up the party to bring people in.

“I truly believe that Sydney is the greatest city in the world; it is at the heart of everything we do and the reason why we continue to invest so much in our portfolio of venues,” says Hemmes.

“This is our small way of saying thank you to Sydney; we want to celebrate it and give our guests even more of a reason to get out, socialise and experience everything the city has to offer.”

On Friday the City of Sydney announced the details of its new panel, charged with helping “reinvigorate the city after dark”.

CoS called for applications in February, and a rigorous selection process whittled 126 applicants to the final fifteen, representing industry and stakeholders, including Solotel CEO Justine Baker and AHA NSW director John Green.

CoS says the panel will advise on best working with industry and authorities for a thriving, diverse and safe nightlife, considering new initiatives, emerging issues and opportunities.

The panel is dubbed a ‘unique opportunity’ for those involved to help shape Sydney’s night-time economy, in the wake of the State Government’s blanket curfews.

“Sydney has the potential to be one of the world’s great 24-hour cities, with an exciting and diverse nightlife that matches our thriving daytime economy,” declared the Lord Mayor.

“Unfortunately, there’s no escaping the fact that the NSW Government’s lockout laws have put the brakes on Sydney’s nightlife – they were a sledgehammer blow when what we needed was an evidence-based approach to the problems we share with other global cities.”

CoS implemented OPEN Sydney in 2012, which has worked to support the night culture, funding late-night safety ambassadors and providing grants to businesses to diversify, bringing a live music action plan, and promoting development through small bars, food trucks, upgraded taxi ranks and increased CCTV.

The Panel is modelled on existing panels in Amsterdam, Berlin, London and New York, and will meet quarterly to help Council toward its vision for a “world-class 24-hour” Sydney.

“While we continue to advocate to the NSW Government to relax lockout laws, provide adequate late-night transport and explore licensing reform to allow well-managed venues to continue to trade, we are doing everything we can as a local government to revitalise Sydney’s nightlife.

“This new advisory panel brings together passionate and experienced industry professionals to help us navigate the challenges and opportunities facing our night-time economy at this most critical time.”


The panel members are:

Justine Baker – CEO of Solotel Group, representing cafes and restaurants

John Green – director Australian Hotels Associations NSW, representing hotels

Greg Turton – GM World Bar, chairperson Kings Cross Liquor Accord, representing night clubs

Joshua Green – GM Side Bar, Haymarket, representing small bars

Joy Ng – owner and licensee The Bearded Tit, representing small bars

Kerri Glasscock – Venue 505, Surry Hills, CEO Sydney Fringe Festival, representing performance spaces

Kat Dopper – Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, representing festivals and events

Emily Collins – MD Music NSW, representing live music producers

John Ferris – advisor to APRA, representing electronic dance music producers

James Winter – director Brand X, representing theatre and performance producers

Emilya Colliver – founder Art Pharmacy and Culture Scouts, representing retailers

Stephan Gyory – The Record Store, Darlinghurst, representing retailers

Jacob Collier – president Glebe Chamber of Commerce, representing business associations

Michael Wynn-Jones –UTS, representing building and regulatory frameworks

Phillip Wadds PhD in criminology – representing public safety


Bottom’s Up Venues

30 Knots, Angel hotel, Ash St. Cellar, Bert’s bar, Charlie Parker’s, Coogee Pavilion bar, Coogee Rooftop, El Loco, Establishment bar, Excelsior, Felix bar, Fred’s bar, hemmesphere, Hotel CBD bar, Hotel Centennial bar, ivy den & lounge, ivy Pool Club, J&M, Level 6 (members only), Ms. G’s cocktail bar, Palings bar, Palmer & Co., Queen Chow Manly bar, Queens Hotel, Slip Inn, Tank Stream Bar, Tennyson Hotel, The Beresford, The Collaroy bar, The Fish Shop bar, The Grand Hotel, The Newport, The Paddington bar, The Royal George, The Vic on the Park, Wynyard Hotel, York 75.

Bert’s, Sydney