By Triana O'Keefe, editor Australian Hotelier
Sydney venue Soho has closed its doors this week after blaming the lockout laws for reduced trade in the Kings Cross area.
News of the closure began circulating on social media over the weekend with owner Andrew Lazarus confirming the decision on Monday.
“The lockout laws have destroyed an entertainment precinct making us the latest victim,” Lazarus told inthemix.
“These laws have seen patronage to the Kings Cross area decline significantly and when combined with the increased cost of compliance; it has made the business of providing entertainment no longer viable.”
Recently, the venue entered the public spotlight with Lazarus’ 23-year-old son jailed for a minimum of three years for raping a teenage girl outside the club in 2013.
In reports of his son's conviction in March of this year, Lazarus noted that Soho had suffered a "major backlash" and that patronage had decreased significantly. However, many of the club’s patrons turned to social media to blame the lockouts imposed in 2014.
Jamie Olsen said on Facebook that it was "a sad day".
"Absolutely clear the NSW government wants to eradicate nightlife in Kings Cross," he wrote. "How on earth can anyone run a business given the punitive operating conditions imposed on long standing legitimate reputable businesses?"