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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Cafe Lounge Has Closed Its Doors Permanently After 20 Years of Live Gigs and Comedy Nights

"With recent lockout laws [and] rising operating costs in a rapidly changing neighbourhood, we knew quickly this pandemic was going to be our end."
By Samantha Teague
May 11, 2020
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Cafe Lounge Has Closed Its Doors Permanently After 20 Years of Live Gigs and Comedy Nights

"With recent lockout laws [and] rising operating costs in a rapidly changing neighbourhood, we knew quickly this pandemic was going to be our end."
By Samantha Teague
May 11, 2020
  shares

For 20 years, Cafe Lounge has been a beloved go-to for many a Sydneysider — whether you were a regular at its Monday comedy nights, swung by for an occasional 'sundae' session or were a dedicated fan of its $10 pizzas. But, the Surry Hills favourite has now called it quits, citing rising costs, lockout laws and the COVID-19 lockdown as reasons for its closure.

In a statement posted to its social media accounts yesterday, Sunday, May 10, Cafe Lounge said, "today, we handed back the keys from what's been an incredible run. Cafe Lounge was a business passed on between friends who shared a passion for creating a space where people came together to meet, eat, drink, laugh, kiss, dance, love and live life."

The Surry Hills venue, which opened back in 2000, started out as a cafe, then evolved into a live music favourite — open seven days a week — with regular comedy sessions, live bands, DJs and daily food specials, including those pizzas.

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From humble beginnings as a licensed café serving breakfast to Oxford Street clubbers, a local live music, party and comedy institution emerged. Today, we handed back the keys from what’s been an incredible run. Cafe Lounge was a business passed on between friends who shared a passion for creating a space where people came together to meet, eat, drink, laugh, kiss, dance, love and live life. Endless first dates, proposals, lifelong friendships and romantic partners were formed as the sun always set, thanks to a mural by a local artist. With recent lockout laws, rising operating costs in a rapidly changing neighbourhood, we knew quickly this pandemic was going to be our end. We hope other venues receive the ongoing support required to get through this time and hopefully we all come back stronger with a government who recognises our value. We‘d like to thank those who played an integral part in keeping the good times flowing, all the hardworking staff, managers, artists, promoters and previous owners. They kept the dream alive for 20 good years. Lastly, none of this would have been possible or worth it without you. If you came to Monday night comedy, a midweek live show or danced all over our furniture on the weekends, we thank you for that and look forward to doing it all again some day in another place and another time. Much love The Lounge

A post shared by CAFE LOUNGE SYD (@cafeloungesydney) on

While the institution survived Sydney's lockout laws, which were wound back in January this year, it didn't make it through unscathed. In the statement, the venue said, "with recent lockout laws [and] rising operating costs in a rapidly changing neighbourhood, we knew quickly this pandemic was going to be our end. We hope other venues receive the ongoing support required to get through this time and hopefully we all come back stronger with a government who recognises our value."

It's not the first Sydney arts organisation to take a hit during the pandemic, either, with Carriageworks entering voluntary administration just last week.

Cafe Lounge is closed for now, but the owners said they "look forward to doing it all again some day in another place and another time". We'll let you know when more news on that front is announced.

Cafe Lounge has now closed its doors for good. 

Published on May 11, 2020 by Samantha Teague

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