Enormously popular Caxton Street bar Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall has closed. The venue served its final drinks late last week before for-lease signs were affixed to the front of the venue on Saturday morning, the Courier-Mail reports.
The paper writes that the closure took place against a backdrop of significant debts allegedly owed by Lefty’s licensee Arklow Pty Ltd to various entities. Remax real estate agent Geoff Esdale told the Courier that the building is now available for lease, but also for sale for $3.5 million. “I’ve had a deluge of calls since the sign went up Saturday morning,” he told the paper.
It’s a disappointing end for Lefty’s, which under the stewardship of original owner Jamie Webb developed a reputation as one of Brisbane’s very best nightspots, much loved for its freewheeling atmosphere and first-class live music performances (Webb sold Lefty’s in October last year).
Lefty’s also became a frontline in the debate over ID-scanning laws, with Webb a vocal critic of the scanning machines. “It’s terrible. It’s terrible. And it’s taken 20 per cent off our revenue,” he told Broadsheet in October 2018. “It’s killed Caxton Street, it’s killed our late-night economy. Two years ago, it was thriving on Friday and Saturday nights. Now The Caxton, [strip club] Honey B’s and us are the only places open, so it’s a bit lonely.”
The closure of Lefty's leaves a sizeable hole in Caxton Street's nightlife. The relatively small safe night precinct has struggled to absorb the impact of ID-scanning laws since their introduction in mid-2017.