By Clyde Mooney

After seven years back on the scene, landmark Sydney live music venue, the Sandringham Hotel in Newtown is now in the hands of receivers.

Famous as a venue for both established and up-and-coming musical acts, the 'Sando' has for the past seven years been operated by former music promoter and agent, Tony Townsend.

However, despite boasting a gig line-up of more than 100 acts each month, the hotel has been unable to translate its popularity into financial stability.

Speaking to TheShout, Townsend concedes that “The live music model is not as return-ready as gaming.”

“To say I care about the music industry and the development of grass roots beginnings is pretty true… you gotta have the wetlands, or you’re never going to produce the stars.

Time Out music writer Andrew Street lamented the development in Sydney’s music showcase.

"If the Sando falls it'll be a cruelly ironic blow, since it's been one of the few inner west venues to keep providing live music week-in-week-out for the last decade.

“Tony Townsend has keep that dream alive in a way few venues have dared to do and for this to happen just when there are the beginnings of a live music renaissance in the area is heartbreaking."

The Sandringham has undergone significant renovations in recent years that included expansion to incorporate an adjoining two-storey shop, and last year was on the market through Manenti Quinlan in an attempt to keep the business alive.

Last year, financier Bankwest declined to offer a continuation to the Sandos finance contract, instead giving notice to quit and deliver the outstanding $3.2 million within a week.

Despite even going to auction, a sufficiently high offer was not received to release the venue from its financier’s grip and on Monday action was taken to foreclose. 

The hotel is now in the control of receivers Ferrier Hodgson, with outstanding debt to Bankwest of around $3.7 million.

The area is enjoying a continuing rise in popularity and with development parameters recently expanded the 100-year-old pub could prove a profitable acquisition for the right buyer.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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