The Imperial Hotel will be open by the end of November, owner Shadd Danesi has guaranteed — irrespective of the outcome of his court case against the City of Sydney.
Residents, City of Sydney representatives and officials from the Land and Environment Court met with Danesi yesterday morning at the Erskineville pub site to discuss its future.
Danesi has for months been petitioning for the council to increase his capacity limit from 442 to 788 patrons.
The Land and Environment Court will now deliberate on the matter, but Danesi has said the venue will have to open soon, irrespective of the verdict.
“I’m hoping now to open up in late October, but probably early November. Regardless of the court case, I’ve got to open up,” he told Sydney Star Observer.
“I can’t leave it shut, so if I lose I’ll just have to accept the numbers and see what happens in the future.
“The court case is only about numbers, but if I lose, it’s going to be a shame, not only from my point of view, but our patrons because they’ll have to wait outside.
“The building works are just fine tuning, and the main thing is just the electricity supply, but I’ve got to turn my attention to the staffing — who’s going to run this pub, the entertainment side of the hotel, and that’s going to take me at least three to four weeks to organise.”
The meeting came as the gay and lesbian community loses a raft of other venues. The Flinders has been sold to a group of buyers who are expected to close the venue for renovations. The Midnight Shift has also closed its upstairs section for a series of rennovations, and the owners of the Clarence last week announced an end to Manacle.

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