New branding for old leather bar
Sydney could soon have two leather clubs as the owners of the Taylor Square Hotel vow to keep the former Manacle venue running as a themed gay club.
Hotel marketing manager Priscilla Caiza said a new name would be chosen for the bar – but everything else would stay the same, especially for the day club.
“We don’t want to change anything, we want to keep the same clientele, we like the clientele, they don’t cause a lot of problems and they spend a lot of money,” Caiza said.
“It’ll keep the same DJs, the same atmosphere, the same lighting, the same décor, the leather-orientated features will be the same, and live bands during the week … there might be a few more murals.”
Caiza said the venue would hold a competition to choose a new name before the end of October, and the winner would win a holiday.
But some in the community were concerned by how well the owners would treat the loyal fetish clientele.
Harbour City Bears president Philip Penwright said the management was happy for the group to meet at the venue as long as they kept their shirts on and could bring dollar value in.
“I don’t think they’ll be looking after the leather crowd all that well,” he said.
Justin “JBear” Standley, who got his musical break at Manacle, said the venue would continue to be popular with the leather and fetish community because there wasn’t anything else for them in the area.
“Part of its appeal is to do with the fact it’s an underground venue where you can’t tell if it’s day or night. That whole idea of entering via a door in the back alley – it’s almost cloak and dagger,” Standley said.
“I think it’s great that T2 is trying to open up another club and maintain that feel of the place, but I don’t think they could exactly replicate what Manacle is.
“The essence of Manacle is quite unique, but I’m all for having another leather bar.”
The current operators of Manacle are yet to find an alternative venue.
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