The owner of Sydney’s embattled Imperial Hotel has confirmed speculation of the venue’s indefinite closure along with the news that the venue’s current tenants Spice Group International have been booted, as the hotel’s immediate future remains unclear.
Reports Fairfax, The Imperial’s owner Shadd Danesi is in negotiations with the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing and NSW Police after last week the hotel was given its second 72-hour closure order in a month. The Spice Group, took over the hotel’s lease in March, are not part of the negotiations.
While no final decision had been made to close the Imperial Hotel permanently, Mr Danesi said authorities wanted to impose a long-term closure of more than a month. “It might be closed for a period of time. I have to have some discussions with the authorities in that regard,” he added.
The Imperial Hotel’s second 72-hour closure came just a month after the venue, made famous by being featured in seminal Australian film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, was shut down by a police raid, which allegedly found staff using drugs on site while working. Two staff members were charged with drug offences.
A previous statement from the Deputy Premier’s office details an incident allegedly witnessed in the Hotel where the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) marshal watched and laughed while a male patron licked a spilt drink off the hotel floor. The statement also alleges that open drug dealing was taking place inside the venue.
“I would never tolerate the supply or sale of drugs in any venue which I operated,” said Mr Danesi. “I can understand the authorities are extremely concerned, as I am. We are both on the same page.”
The latest forced closure was issued the same day that the Spice Group International, run by Murat Kilic, announced that its other nightclub, The Spice Cellar, will close its doors for good after four years, placing the blame square on Sydney’s controversial lockout laws.