Eat & Drink

Small businesses are excitedly preparing for this relaxation of Newcastle’s lockout laws this long weekend.

As part of a six-month trial, from Friday the 1st of October, Newcastle’s lockout laws will be scrapped after over a decade of being the state’s first lockout law home.

Since its introduction in 2008, the Newcastle lockout laws for bars, restaurant, pubs and clubs aimed to curb the amount of anti-social behaviour, alcohol-related incidents and injuries presenting to hospital. The impact of COVID-19 on small businesses and employment in this region has encouraged the state government to review the city’s lockout laws.

Following similar changes in Sydney’s CBD earlier this year, Newcastle Labour MP Tim Crakanthorp anticipates our city’s nightlife will be rejuvenated after a long-needed boost in the second-largest city in the State.

With similarities in culture, the Central Coast has been able to keep its small bars open until 2 am. It is hoped Newcastle will be able to help struggling bars operate in the longer trading period in a safe environment.  These better-licensing conditions will see more people visit small bars and restaurants and more tourism for this area.

It will also foresee an increase in employment for young staff in a sophisticated and potential Melbourne-esque atmosphere.

Blue Kahunas, a cocktail bar in the Hunter Street Mall and known for championing the extended trading hours, announced their new trading hours earlier this week via an Instagram post.

“Excited to be a part of progressive change in Newy’s nightlife, see you for a cheeky cocktail.”

The post can be found here.

Blue Kahunas will now operate Wednesday & Thursday from 5pm to Midnight and Friday & Saturday 5pm to 2am.

Coal & Cedar have also joined in on the excitement in their Instagram post “Welcome to your New Castle.” Their new trading hours will be every day except Sunday from 5pm until 2am.

The significant cultural change Newcastle has experienced within the past decade anticipates a newly vibrant nightlife which offers more than just a kebab after midnight.

What are you up to this weekend?