Changes to the state Government’s list of restricted venues will affect the operation of a number of Oxford St venues from December 1.

The Colombian has been added to the list of restricted venues with a level one listing, while the Gaff has had its restricted status increased to level two.

Level one venues will be subject to a 2am lock-out and must stop serving alcohol half an hour before closing. Patrons will be sold no more than four drinks at a time, and will face a  10 minute time-out on drink sales at midnight. Venues must also increase their security and use plastic shot glasses.

In addition, level two venues will be required to use all plastic glassware and have ten-minute time-outs on drink sales on the hour, every hour after midnight.

Arq, the Oxford, and the Exchange Hotel have been taken off the list and had their restrictions removed, as has the Home club at Darling Harbour,

Chief operating officer of the Landmark Leisure Group, which owns the Oxford Hotel, Steven Speed, said he welcomed the decision to remove the venue from the controversial list.

“Yes, of course, although we have voluntarily opted to keep some of the restriction strategies in place as part of our venue safety plan to ensure we are providing the community, management and staff with a safe and secure environment to enjoy long-term,” Speed told Sydney Star Observer.

As for the Oxford being on the list in the first place, Speed said something had had to change.

“The hotel was being driven toward a market that was not sustainable long-term. The statistics and receivership were a reflection of this — it had lost its connection and trust with the gay community,” he said.

“Management and staff changes have been made to rectify this and it is starting to show positive results.”

Arq owner Shadd Danesi said he was very happy to see his venue come off the list. “This will enable us to start operating the business the way it always should have been running,” he said.

However, Danesi is still concerned at the system’s ability to determine which venues are really causing problems.

“Arq, along with many other hotels, were unjustifiably put on this list in the first place,” he said.

“They have to give hotels the right of reply. Under the new system they are doing that to some extent and that is a move in the right direction.

“But personally I would like to see an independent person and not a government department assessing what is going on.”

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