Darlinghurst will soon lose another of its famed venues, with the Green Park Hotel after some 127 years of pulling beers now set to close on December 20.
The news comes after venue owners Solotel Hospitality Group sold the premises for between $5-10 million to the trustees of neighbouring St Vincent’s Hospital on Monday.
The much-loved venue will of course be sorely missed by Sydney’s LGBTQI communities, with St Vincent’s deciding not to extend the venue’s existing liquor and gaming licences, it will instead be redeveloped into an outreach centre for “hospital-related patient care, training and research endeavours.”
Speaking of the loss of the iconic venue, Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich said in a statement, “It’s such sad news that the Green Park Hotel will be closing. The venue has been a Darlinghurst and LGBTQI community hub for decades, where great times and tough times have been shared amongst friends. Countless relationships and friendships have been formed at the Greeny as one of the handful of gay bars in Sydney.”
“This is a timely reminder that as we move out of lockdown, it is vital that people support their favourite local venues that have been hit so hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Part of St Vincent’s plans for the venue include a drop-in “safe haven café” at night. A program to be partly funded with $850,000 over two years from the State government’s Towards Zero Suicides initiative.
Plans also include space for the St Vincent’s Curran Foundation Arts for Health Program, as well as a studio for St V’s TV and offices for the hospital’s innovation and improvement hub.
“It is with some tinge of sadness… It is a bit of a landmark pub… but in some ways it’s moving with the times,” said St Vincent’s clinical director of mental health Dr Nick Babidge.
“[From] 1893, when the area was predominantly working class, to more recent decades… as a particularly inclusive watering hole, especially for our LGBTQI community.
“We will ensure we preserve the building’s heritage and acknowledge its historical legacy.”
With the closing date only a matter of weeks away, Solotel CEO Justine Baker thanked the venue’s many regular patrons assuring them the venue would get the send-off it deserves.
“The support we’ve received over the years from our much-loved guests, the Darlinghurst community and the Green Park family has meant the world to us. To each and every one of you, we say thank you for making the Greeny all that it is.”