The inner west will get a new gay bar on May 30 -“ this one in Petersham.
Manacle owners Andrew Clarke and Stuart Fraser this week confirmed the widely circulating rumour they had bought the Clarence Hotel on the corner of Parramatta Rd and Crystal St and would be opening for business on the last day of the month.
The popular Manacle club, previously located under the Taylor Square Hotel, will form part of the new venue.
If you’d asked us two years ago if we would ever move away from Oxford St, we would have said no, Clarke said. But it’s become too violent now.
The pair, who have been without a venue since Manacle shut its doors late last year, said they were confident the new location would attract not only patrons of the previous club, but a whole new host of people who no longer want to go out on Oxford St.
In the last five weeks we were at Taylor Square we did a postcode survey and found that about 75 percent of our customers lived in the inner west, so we’re moving into their neighbourhood rather than having them come to ours, Fraser said.
It may mean that we lose some of our clientele who happen to live in Randwick or Bondi, but we are still only a cab ride away.
Clarke and Fraser believe the purchase of the Clarence Hotel will make it the first gay-owned freehold venue in Sydney for a number of years.
However, the couple said patrons can expect more from the hotel than just the well-known Manacle brand. As well as the club, there will be a gaming room, public bar, TAB facilities, bistro and, in the future, the possibility of gay and lesbian accommodation.
The Manacle everyone knows and loves will form a key part of the overall venue and will maintain the same flavour as the previous venue, as well as the discreet entrance.
This has to look exactly like Manacle at Taylor Square, otherwise our patrons are going to feel cheated, Fraser said.
That includes the 300-plus pieces of framed memorabilia now sitting in storage at Rosebery, the infamous Manacle chain spiderweb, the cage, and the expected return of the strip’s best-known bouncer, Viv, who has been offered a return to the new premises.