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Popular Kings Cross bar Hugos Lounge has gone into voluntary administration today, following a reported 60 percent decline in revenue over the last 12 months.
The bar, nightclub and pizza restaurant joins a growing list of venues that have been forced into closure following the introduction of Sydney's lockout laws last February.
Owner Dave Evans blamed the NSW State Government for singling out Kings Cross with "anti-competitive" regulations, stating that the lockout laws (that ban entry/re-entry to clubs after 1:30am) and 3am "last drinks" laws in the Cross, CBD and Oxford Street had played a big part in the Hugos Lounge closure.
"We said it would destroy business, we said it would destroy staff," said Evans. "And here we are."
Hugos licensee Adam Hart said he and his colleagues were "pretty upset" and would face unemployment in Sydney's declining nightlife industry.
"The government doesn't really want these businesses to exist," Hart said.
The NSW lockout laws and associated measures — that were brought in to tackle alcohol-related violence following the deaths of Thomas Kelly and Daniel Christie — have decreased footfall in Sydney's King Cross nightlife district by 80 percent since 2012.
[Via Sydney Morning Herald]
Read our recent feature on Australian dance music and the lockout laws here.