By EMIKO REED
Another Kings Cross venue has fallen victim to the state’s lock out laws, as Hugos Lounge hosted its final party last Sunday.
The award winning nightclub marked the end of their 15 years of trade with a packed, bustling crowd last Sunday August 2nd
The venue joined the group of more than 15 licensed venues and 30 businesses that had closed down since the lock out laws took effect in Kings Cross.
Hugos owner Dave Evans said that the laws were entirely to blame for the closure, with business down 60 per cent since their introduction.
“We all know now that was the state government’s plans- to turn Sydney into a nanny state and close down licensed venues in Kings Cross,” he said.
At a meeting hosted by Mr Evans and co-owner David Corsi on Wednesday 29th, the Hugos team of employees were notified of the club’s voluntary administration to HLB Mann Judd.
Lazer Gunne Funke, a DJ duo who had frequently performed at Hugos for over 2 years, said the club was vital to their business.
“It’s one thing to lose your favourite place to knock a few back on the weekend, but it’s a whole other story when it’s your livelihood,” they said.
Mr Evans said that he couldn’t see the benefit of the laws and that violence was just being shifted to other areas.
“The real kick in the guts is that well-intentioned but ill-informed laws don’t appear to be solving the problem- they are simply moving it away, while the good, safe operators can’t sustain their business,” he said.
The government’s ‘one-size-fits-all’ alcohol laws imposed upon Kings Cross and the Sydney CBD entertainment precinct since 2012 has decreased pedestrian foot traffic by 80 per cent.
According to Hugos, the venue never had a strike against the government’s three-strike rule, and was never noted on the NSW violent venues listing.
Hugos has been awarded the best nightclub in Australia six times and as having the best pizza in Australia.
“Hugos was and always will be an institution. And we are incredibly proud to say that we were a part of it,” said Lazer Gunne Funke.