Erskineville resident Anna Maxwell has a problem with people who buy properties next to pubs and then complain about the business operating.
The long-term inner west resident is particularly tired of the ongoing complaints about work at the iconic Imperial Hotel.
It’s terrible, Maxwell told Sydney Star Observer. I have lived in the Newtown area for 10 years and part of the reason I moved here is the pubs.
I don’t understand people who move to the area because of what it has to offer and then get annoyed with the consequences of that. You can’t have it both ways.
The last five of those years have been spent living behind the Imperial Hotel.In that time she’s had little cause to complain about patrons -” although one neighbour was assaulted by a person urinating on his house.
I was well aware that I was moving in near a 24 hour pub, she said. We get noise from people leaving the pub occasionally but no more than people heading down Newman St from King St. I wouldn’t class a little noise as trouble.
Despite objections from a vocal group of residents, Maxwell doesn’t feel opposition to the upgrade is particularly widespread.
There has absolutely been concern from locals including myself, about the proposed Woolworths on Erskineville Rd, but this situation is different, she said.
The Imperial has been there forever. We’re not talking about anything new, just larger volumes of people. I can’t speak for everyone, but those I have spoken to, even those who were very vocal about the Woolworths, are not concerned about the pub.
Though not gay herself, Maxwell even welcomes the plan for a Priscilla-style shoe to be erected on the roof of the pub, recently rejected by council on heritage concerns.
Erskineville is known as a gay-friendly area and everyone knows the role the pub played in the film, she said. That is something locals should be proud of and it’s totally in keeping with the local colour of Erskineville. I have absolutely no problem with the high heel.
The one area where Maxwell says concerns do need to be addressed is a proposed rear exit that would empty into the lane behind the hotel.
If it is an emergency exit only, then fine, but if people are exiting from there at other times they are going to congregate there instead of on Erskineville Rd, which is the better option, she said.
The noise would be increased dramatically for those in Toogood Lane, Union St and Newman St, no matter how much they try to move people on.
Answering this concern, Imperial owner Shad Danesi confirmed to SSO the rear exit is an emergency fire door which has been fitted with an electronic trip switch so that if opened, music in the bar would be shut down -” meaning any unauthorised tampering with the door would be immediately apparent so it could be dealt with by staff.
I will be dropping off my number to local residents to keep them informed of our progress, and if anyone has any concerns, I invite them to come to the hotel and I’ll happily answer them, he said.
I really want to work with residents to make this a success.
Work on the hotel is almost finished and Danesi is planning for a middle to late November re-opening.