Closure of Sydney’s Iconic Hugo’ Lounge in Kings Cross Marks the End of a Decade!
Recently i received an email from Hugo’s Lounge Nightclub in Sydney’s Kings Cross which inspired this blog post.
The email from Hugo’s Lounge, Kings Cross, signifies the end of a period in my life. How tidy! about the only thing in my life which i could describe as being perfectly packaged up.
A period in my life, now before me like a closed cardboard box, jammed full of objects once meaningful, clothes i have outgrown, a few momentos and accessories to be thrown or given to charity! adornments and fashion pieces to be passed down to the next generation of partygoers. When will i ever wear my designer blue sequenced sexy statement dress now? I stopped clubbing years ago, by 2010 i was completely out of the scene. The blue dress, something an ex purchased from New York is one of many useless items taking up space in my wardrobe, in my life. I closed the cardboard box. folded down the corners. Game over. Done! I taped down the edges, ready to roll! the end. Taxi!
In the email Hugo’s Lounge invites members tonight to the final night of operation! Save the last dance for me Hugo 🙂 I was disappointed to find out Hugo’s have been forced into closure after Sydney’s lockout laws killed their business. Hugo’s was generous and always had a good vibe, good businessmen who thrived on Bayswater road for 15 years.
As a member of Hugo’s Lounge i was always invited to host my birthday’s upstairs in a section of the bar on the house with complimentary pizza for a couple of hours for all my guests! I loved their delicious pizza and modern Australian-Italian restaurant downstairs as well, perfect place to catch up with friends for dinner and later dancing up stairs. Hugo’s was the best club in Sydney! I prefer the smaller venue compared to the Ivy, masses of people and over-crowded venues never appealed to me.
Sydney’s lockout laws were introduced following the fatal one punch manslaughter of a young man on Victoria Road in Kings Cross. The Australian public and government demanded urgent action and within what seemed like a few weeks the government cracked down on “drug and alcohol-fuelled violence” through the introduction of the new alcohol laws. Sydney’s nightclubs and bars from George Streets iconic Ivy to Kings Cross’s Trademark and Hugo’s were forced to deny entry and impose lockouts at 1:30am with last drinks at 3am.
The precinct where the laws are in force stretches from parts of Surry Hills and Darlinghurst to The Rocks, and from Kings Cross to Cockle Bay. From 18 until now (although i stopped going out years ago) i was a member of Ivy and Hugos, two of the nightclub businesses severely effected by the new lockout laws. I unapologetically spent my weekends at Hugos and Ivy or wherever the night took us before the lockout came into play.
Before the lockout laws we were once able to embrace the city for all that it had to offer in its wonderful uncensored form, there was no “nanny state” style of government shutting down bottle shops at 10pm across Sydney! Shutting down Sydney’s Kings Cross would have been laughed at! Kings Cross was the main clubbing arena and it was one of those areas i thought would always be a nightclub or party destination for international and national travellers to Sydney.
Hugo’s over the last decade was the standout club. Whenever new clubs opened the crowds would move away. Hugo’s members always remained because it was a club that delivered! quality Dj’s, the best food and cocktails, class, style and a laid-back atmosphere.
When i was in the scene from 1998 – 2010, before the lockout there was a freedom in knowing you could go out on Friday night, move between venues and possibly not go home until Sunday, no one kept time, and time didn’t matter.
No-one in my networks or party groups ever became aggressive to the point where police became involved. People from clubs would be invited to private parties which would continue at private residences or sometimes a few of us would go to Bondi beach for a swim the next morning then sleep a portion of the day away before starting all over again.
Sleep. Rave. Repeat. Sleep. Rave. Repeat.
I never witnessed on alcohol fuelled violent event at Hugo’s Lounge on Bayswater Road on any of the nights i was there! which is surprising considering how smashed some guys would get and i have read crime stats on violence in the cross.
Hugo’s was a safe and responsible venue. Those drinking after 3:00am were contained and there was never any trouble. The Government essentially wanted intoxicated persons out of the cross full stop, and Hugo’s was one of hundreds of clubs in Sydney whose patrons spilled out into the city streets intermittently from 3am to 6am, and statistically it is the patrons on the street during the hours of 3am -7am who are implicated in the majority of the recorded violent acts.
Hugo’s in my opinion from knowing Sydney and being in the scene was not a main player in the accountability of “alcohol fuelled violence” stakes, not at all! So thank you!! for imposing a blanket law which discriminated against responsible business owners in your designated target area! After the Hugo’s group provided your city with a world class, world renowned nightclub venue, a drawcard for international tourists.
I would argue the governments “lockout” laws should have been imposed across Sydney rather then discriminately target a few areas. The current trend for partygoers now is to either go to smaller outer suburbs venues or to Star City Casino. It will be interesting to look at the statistic for “alcohol fuelled violence” and whether the lockout laws have had an impact.
Before the lockout laws everyone in Sydney moved between clubs, taxis were in business, clubs were thriving. In the earlier days it was DCM’s, Qbar & ARQ on Oxford, day clubs, later bars like Tank, Cargo, The Loft, Bungalo 8, Chinese Laundry, Home at Cockle Bay, Numerous clubs in the Cross (Dragonfly, Sapphire, Bourbon, Lady Luxe etc).
Hugo’s was the club i gravitated to on a weekend, or Ivy pool bar parties on deliciously hot sunday summer afternoons with smooth beats outside and perfect cocktails and the best Sydney DJ’s inside.
Weekends during my 20’s were spent inside those iconic clubs, living in the moment, on the dance floors, celebrating birthdays, after work drinks, new lovers, old lovers, new friends, old friends, falling outs, frivolity, fiction interlaced with facts and everything in-between.
Around the time i celebrated my 30th birthday (at Hugo’s Lounge), i had already left the nightclub scene and realised that night would be one of my last big celebrations at Hugo’s. I had been accepted into a Postgraduate Masters course at Sydney University and I was no longer interested in the clubbing scene on weekends. It was time to reconnect with old friends, work colleagues and people on my level.
Despite this blogs focus on my weekends lost to partying, most of the time it was a friday night and then kayaking or lunch on the weekend. I don’t want to paint an inaccurate picture of living a life of excess with no responsibilities during my clubbing period i completed a Bachelors degree in Psychology and worked in Sales & Marketing, Logistics for a transport company, Directory Assistance for Telstra and Community Service Worker.
I loved the understated glamour that was Hugo’s, the warm and inviting ambience, the food, the people and the location minutes from my place. Later when Ivy opened the Sydney club scene dispersed, Ivy became known for being overcrowded while Hugo’s remained the same! Hugo’s was a smaller boutique venue which was never over crowded. Always a pleasure! I will miss Hugo’s!!
Sydney’s nightlife was a living breathing organism, buzzing from DJ’s decks and the electric life force of all who inhabited the venues and poured out onto city streets at daybreak. I never had any issues or fights at places like hugos, everyone was there for a good time.
So here it is, the final curtain call. The last email from what became my most recommended Sydney nightclub (2002 -2015) and occasional stomping ground:
Thankyou for the memories! You guys were the best in Sydney!! XXXXX Hugos, Kings Cross And so the end is near….. This has been a sad week in Sydney’s nightlife history with both Hugos Lounge and Hugos Bar Pizza announcing its closure due to the crippling lock out laws as well as 30 other restrictions put in place across Kings Cross in the past 2.5 years. Despite efforts over this time to convince the Government to re-look at their approach and not to single out venues in Kings Cross alone our voices have fallen on deaf ears. We would like to thank all of you for being part of the Hugos family over the past 15 years. Over this time we have all had many a fun night, shared memories, made new friends, celebrated birthdays, weddings, farewells, sipped on cocktails, enjoyed pizzas, danced under the disco balls and this weekend we can do it all over again….
for one last time Join us over the weekend and help us give the venue the send off it deserves!
The Hugos Team Hugos Lounge 2000-2015 Hugos Bar Pizza 2004-2015 33 Bayswater Road Kings Cross, NSW 2011 9357 4411 hugos.com.au This e-mail was sent to firstname.lastname@example.org Unsubscribe from this list | Forward To A Friend Powered by MyGuestlist Too many newsletters? You can unsubscribe. © 2015 Microsoft Terms Privacy & cookies Developers English (United States)