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Sydney’s Imperial Hotel Has Been Sold, Is Likely To Reopen

Written by Tom Williams on August 27, 2015

After weeks of uncertainty, The Imperial Hotel in the Sydney suburb of Erskinville has been sold, and its new owners are keen to reopen the venue after consultations with locals.

As SX News reports, The Imperial Hotel’s new owners are restaurateurs Fraser Short (of Morrison’s Bar and Grill and Watson’s Bay Hotel) and Scott Leach (of Rose of Australia). The pair reportedly signed on as new owners on Wednesday, 26th August, taking over from previous owner Shadd Danesi.

The Imperial Hotel is set to stay closed for the coming months as its new owners decide on the venue’s future. Short and Leach will reportedly consult with LGBTIQ communities as they consider the venue’s next phase.

“We have stepped up because we are passionate about its future,” Leach says.

“We recognise the Imperial’s importance to the LGBTIQ community and we will be reaching out to the community in coming months as we try to create something unique and special with the venue, whilst acknowledging its LGBTIQ heritage.”

$3 million dollars will reportedly be immediately injected into The Imperial Hotel, which was forced to closed twice over the past few months over alleged drug offences and breaches of the Liquor Act.

“It will remain shut in the short-term but we are injecting funds immediately to start creating a modern food and beverage option for the venue,” Leach says.

“This will include the introduction of a custom kitchen and high-end restaurant business to meet the local community demand.”

The Imperial Hotel hasn’t reopened since its second closure order in July, and its tenants, Spice Group International, were kicked out later that month.

Former owner Shadd Danesi says he is “sad” to hand over the venue he ran for over a decade, but believes it still has “enormous potential”.

“I wish the new people all the best with it,” Danesi says.

“I believe they will turn it around and it will become a very successful hotel as it should be. I have confidence in the new people taking it over with their experience and expertise in running the hotel.”

It remains unclear as to whether or not The Imperial Hotel’s new owners will make live music part of the venue’s future.

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