Inner-west residents eager to see the revival of the local bar scene will have to wait a few more months for the Imperial to shine again.
Refurbishments have stepped up at the world-famous hotel, but the reopening has been moved to June.
It’s getting to the exciting phase, owner Shadd Danesi said.
Main construction is almost complete. Walls have come out, extensions put in: new bars, toilets, a stage, a pokies room, and the controversial smoking deck. All that remains to finish is the roof for the new stage in the cabaret bar, soundproofing and the final fittings.
The greatest increase in size is to the cellar bar which has been opened up to two levels, thinner supporting columns, a carpeted mezzanine, and a significant-sized timber dancefloor.
The inner-west really needs a dance space, Danesi said. I hope people will be impressed by what we’ve done here.
The City of Sydney is yet to respond to the Imperial’s request to allow more people into the cellar and cabaret bars. The current licence allows just 150 people in the cellar bar, but it has a capacity of 500. Danesi hopes the increase will be approved in the next month.
There will be lot of interest when we open, if only for curiosity, he said. They are going to get upset with us if they have to queue and there are only 150 people down there when they should be getting upset at council.
Likewise, the cabaret bar was once a cramped setting during a popular drag act, but with a new stage extension the area can now accommodate 288 people.
More signs will be erected to warn patrons about the need to keep street noise to a minimum. Security guards will patrol the entrances and taxi rank, and a bus -“ currently on loan to the Luncheon Club -“ will be available to take patrons to nearby locations.