PARTY ON: Nation says Yes to same-sex marriage, Sydney says OK to letting gay pubs open late (for good)

Photo: Bidgee/ CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

There’ll be quite a party tonight on Sydney’s Oxford Street — the main nightlife strip for the city’s gay community — after the results of the national marriage equality survey found an overwhelming majority of Australians approved of allowing same-sex marriage.

And it will be able to kick on a little later than many might expect, with the NSW government announcing today a range of iconic Oxford Street venues as among bars that will be able to stay open until 2am and serve drinks until 3.30am.

The Colombian, the Courthouse Hotel, and Della Hyde in the LGBTQI community hub are among those released from the existing lockout restrictions, while another venue in the area, The Gaslight, will be allowed to stay open past 1.30am if it stops serving alcohol at that time.

The Colombian is one of Sydney’s best-known gay bars on Oxford Street, which was the route for Sydney’s first Mardi Gras gay rights march in 1978 and still the epicentre of the annual gay pride parade each March which attracts revellers from around the world.

Some of the extensions have been granted over recent weeks but they were announced in a batch today by state Racing Minister Paul Toole.

The full list of bars that can now let in people until 2am is: Hudson Ballroom, Side Bar and Hilton Hotel in the CBD; the Orient Hotel in The Rocks; and the Courthouse Hotel, Della Hyde and Colombian Hotel in the Oxford St precinct.

“Extended trading is providing more diverse entertainment options for locals and visitors to enjoy,” Toole said. “I’m really pleased with the strong industry response to the NSW Government’s relaxation of liquor laws in Kings Cross and the CBD.”

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