Imperial owner Shadd Danesi has won the battle over the new smoking deck and hopes to reopen the iconic hotel in late May.
But more problems could arise as the City of Sydney is yet to decide on the numbers of people inside the venue or whether to allow a giant rooftop stiletto.
During mediation in the Land and Environment Court, the City upped its consent from 11 to 42 of the requested 52-people allocation and allowed bench seating for smokers in the non-drinking area.
But the concession has cost the licensee an estimated $10,000 in legal fees. The cost to taxpayers for the City’s legal fees could also have been avoided, Danesi said, if applicants were to be given a fair hearing before matters reached the Land and Environment Court.
“I said to Council previously I would accept 40 and I would be happy, but they wouldn’t do it. I never objected to [the City’s condition of] no alcohol or seating,” Danesi said.
“It’s not just the cost, it’s also a question of my health and every applicant’s health who finds themselves in this situation.
“There should be more conciliation. I wasn’t offered a reasonable opportunity [to negotiate]. They shut down on me.”
The next potential conflict is over Danesi’s request to increase the numbers at the hotel from 356 to 788 people, based on the new layout already approved.
Plans for a giant stiletto on the roof, inspired by the movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, are also waiting approval.
Danesi has plans for a smaller public bar attached to his other venue Arq, which are also waiting council approval.