The Flinders Hotel will shut its doors to weekday trade in a pre-emptive strike against the economic shit storm anticipated by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. From this week the Flinders will only open its doors for trade between Friday and Sunday nights.

The venue’s general manager, Chris Milne, said the move was necessary to protect against further economic downturn.

We’re concentrating all of our energy into the weekend because our Fridays and Saturdays are fantastic, but it’s quiet during the week anyway, and then you have the economic downturn and we’re going into winter, he said.

This is a pre-emptive move. We’re doing it so we can stay afloat in the future, but it’s not like we are in financial difficulty right now.

Milne said plans to renovate the venue would probably be delayed until better times.

The Flinders is not a walk-by pub. We have to make it a destination venue, he said. Heaps of people don’t come out during the week and that’s where people are cutting costs … so we’re just concentrating our efforts into making the weekends bigger and better.

Other venues are still reporting decent numbers, although many are finding it difficult to differentiate between the impact of the slowing economy and the impact of the 2am lockout.

What’s affecting us most is the 2am lockout, but in these economic hard times it is difficult for us to understand why the Rees Government would be inflicting that on us as well, Arq owner Shadd Danesi said.

Stonewall owner Craig Bell similarly reported good figures, but was wary of any sudden change.

We haven’t yet seen any major drop in numbers, but it’s something we are concerned about, he told Sydney Star Observer.

It’s something that’s on everyone’s mind. But at the moment it’s a bit difficult to tell because we’ve had the 2am lockout nonsense which has impacted and we’ve just come through Mardi Gras as well, so maybe through the next six weeks we’ll be able to get a better idea of how things are travelling.

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