By Andrew Starke

The owner of a new East Sydney small bar – Stanley Street Station – has credited the City of Sydney with assisting him in setting up operations although city rangers have been rather less supportive.

Stanley Street Station, which held its official launch last week, describes itself as ‘a local eating house, bar and place to play’ and is situated on the corner of Stanley and Crowne Streets.

Owner and head chef, Greg Vankuyk, told TheShout that the new venture would be targeting ‘funky urbanists, the curious, discerning city dwellers, local businesses and the art schools and communities living and working in the area’.

“We are surrounded by five art schools, stacks of galleries, all manner of creative agencies and industries, and residents – who love to live and work in the thick of Sydney’s urban landscape,” he said.

“Based on the concept of psychogeography – the arty notion of jolting commuters off their predictable paths – we are aiming to provide more than just a place to eat and drink.”

Owner and head chef of Stanley Street Station, Greg Vankuyk

Vankuyk praised the efforts of Mayor Clover Moore and the City of Sydney (COS) Laneways Project in smoothing the way for small bars like his to flourish.

“Clover’s been a great proponent for small bars,” he said. “COS have a dedicated liaison officer to facilitate with the set up and operation of small bars, we met with him when we were first setting up and he gave us some good advice.”

However Stanley Street Station has already had some noise complaints and trading hours remain an issue.

“Trading hours are the big one, we’ve got a 12pm license, but would love to trade until 2 or 3am,” Vankuyk said. “It is a shame our customers can’t just relax into their evening. Most people are just settling into the bar and music with our awesome DJ at 11pm so it’s not great to have to close then, and force our patrons into the big beer barns and nightclubs, when they’d prefer to just chill out.”

While Stanley Street Station has endeavoured to keep within its licensing guidelines and respect the local residents, it has encountered a few teething problems.

“We had a few noise complaints on our launch party and the rangers have given us a bad rap because of that,” he said. “I mean really, it’s one night, and we had an amazing singer – Anikiko performing live with her band and then later improvising with the DJ – I wouldn’t class that as noise!”

Vankuyk said his small bar would be interested in joining the newly-created Small Bars Association.

“Yes, we’re looking to do that, as soon as we have a second. I have heard it’s a great opportunity to network and learn.”


The Shout Team

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