Universal Sydney

Darlinghurst's legendary gay bar Midnight Shift has been resurrected.
Libby Curran
Published on October 17, 2018
Updated on January 15, 2020


There was a big, fat question mark hanging over the future of The Midnight Shift after its closure in 2017, but the beloved gay bar has been bought by Sydney group Universal Hotels and resurrected.

Things are a little different, though. For one, the new venue is now called Universal, with the new owners leaving the name to rest in peace. "Universal [is] an evolution of the Midnight Shift, rather than a revolution," explained owner Jim Kospetas.

He also confirmed that the group — which conducted an online survey to gauge what the community wanted them to do with the venue — plans to respect the "special role that it has played for the LGBTIQA+ community" and continue its long-held legacy of inclusivity.

The venue launched with a huge three-day opening party, and is continuing to host late-night dance sessions every Friday and Saturday night. Running till 4am, the parties change weekly, with ones like FAB, featuring live performances, DJs and drag shows; Satori​, with a healthy dose of creativity in all forms; and a disco-, funk- and house-filled Midnight Discotheque making regular appearances.

The venue also partnered with Heaps Gay for its big launch party, so you may see them pop up a few more times in the future, too.


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