I got politely asked to leave Grain Bar a couple of years ago after requesting a round of neat Taliskers to celebrate Tom’s wedding day. I hadn’t realised the time and was told I was only entitled to my round of premium spirits if they were combined with a sugary mixer. At only a couple of minutes past midnight, I opposed and knowing I couldn’t have the drink I really wanted, happily obliged to the direction of the door.
Outside of the fact that the Lock Out laws have devastated Sydney’s cultural identity (you might enjoy my Saying Goodbye to Sydney article from last year), they’ve stopped folks like myself enjoying a neat dram in the wee hours. From midnight Sunday, the law that requires a mixer for any measure of straight spirits after midnight will be abolished for small bars.
From Sunday the state government is allowing venues in the CBD, and Kings Cross, classified as small bars (which can only host up to 100 customers), far greater flexibility on spirits, allowing patrons who, in response to ridiculous rule had previously gone without, to quaff again!
Also being scrapped for small bars is the bizarre rule that prohibited bar staff making cocktails that weren’t listed on menus.
“Bartenders are rightly proud of their trade, and by removing this restriction, we are encouraging Sydney’s small bars to innovate and flourish,” Liquor Minister Paul Toole responded.
Midnight, Sunday also marks the start of the new “three strikes” regime, whereby licence holders can be stripped of their right to sell booze if they continually breach liquor laws.
Previously the rules applied to venues rather than individual licence holders.
Sydney’s booze laws were relaxed in January, including an extension of last drinks from 3am to 3.30am for venues offering live entertainment.
Bravo to the folks at Keep Sydney Open for fighting the good fight!
Source: Daily Telegraph