The Flinders Hotel quietly re-opened in December last year. This Saturday it’s staging a big comeback to show off its new, lockout-law-friendly concept.
Known once as a sticky-floored, dance-all-night venue that poured Sydney’s best pickleback (a shot of whiskey chased by a shot of pickle juice), it was a lockout law causality that closed its doors in January 2015.
Saturday’s relaunch party will include an hour of free drinks from 8pm, pizzas and a reunion: some of the venue’s old mainstay DJs (Chux, Dream Catcher and Ariane) are coming back to launch the venue’s next chapter.
Vin [who would prefer not to give his last name], a new co-owner of the Flinders, says he saw potential in the hotel’s history. “Its history plus location, food and bevs is a great equation. We want to stay open late, and to do that we want to make our money earlier in the day.”
The concept includes an up-market refurb, a new cocktail menu, live music capabilities, a new DJ booth, pool tables, a food menu of “pizzas with burgers and ribs to come” and no pokies.
Jordy Mitchell is a soon to be co-owner of the Flinders and a nightlife consultant in Sydney who has worked with the Beach Road Hotel and Darlo Country Club, among others. He’s been instrumental in revamping the Flinders. “The new owners have more of a food background, so I’ve been helping turn it into a nightlife venue,” Mitchell says. “It’s not going too ghetto-divey like it was before. Not too alt that someone from Double Bay can’t come by for a cocktail. We don’t want to ostracise anyone.”
The hotel is covered floor to ceiling in fresh graffiti calling out the lockout laws but currently the refurbishment only covers the hotel’s ground floor. Phase two includes a revamp of the second floor for dining and, hopefully, development approval to use the hotel’s rooftop.
“Lockouts have been in for a while and people have adjusted their partying schedules accordingly. We want to be part of the solution, not the problem – so we will be taking a serious stand against violence and will be trying to set a good example,” says Mitchell.
The Flinders hopes to soon apply for the relaxed lockout hours that the Baird Government introduced for live music venues.
63 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst
(02) 9356 3622