Iconic Sydney pub goes into receivership despite campaign headed by Madden twins to save it

One of Sydney’s most famous live music pubs, the Annandale Hotel, has been placed in receivership.

The hotel, which has been operating in Parramatta Road, Annandale, since the 1930s has hosted hundreds of bands including Midnight Oil, Jet, the Living End, Jimmy Barnes, the Dandy Warhols, the Hoodoo Gurus, The Vines and Sarah Blasko.

In 1998, new owners replaced the bands with poker machines but when brothers Matthew and Daniel Rule bought the pub in 2000 they reinstated live music and cut the pokies down to nine.

But the pub continued to struggle and on the verge of closure in late 2011 the hotel launched a ‘Buy-A-Brick’ plan, which allowed fans to buy a stake in the venue, which raised more than $50,000.

The owners also ended up in a lengthy battle with Leichardt Municipal Council about late-night trading based on noise complaints from a small group of residents, which Fairfax reported cost the pub more than $250,000.

The appointment of Ferrier Hodgson as receivers came despite many famous supporters of the hotel.

The Madden twins of Good Charlotte called on locals last week to save the hotel, while last year Peter Garrett, federal government minister and former Midnight Oil singer, urged baby boomers to come to the rescue of the pub.

“I really believe that this is a venue that’s been one of the spiritual homes to Australian artists – in all genres and at all levels. It’s a place where we [Midnight Oil] played, where [Jimmy] Barnes played, I mean just everybody basically has been on that stage. That sweaty carpet can tell a lot of great stories,” he said.

Ferrier Hodgson partner Morgan Kelly was appointed receiver and manager of the pub last week and said the Annandale Hotel business would continue to trade on an as-usual basis, and for the foreseeable future would maintain its role in Sydney’s live music scene.

“We are sensitive to the history and the significance of the Annandale to the local music scene and will be working in consultation with management and the local council to keep the doors open and the business operating as usual – within the constraints of the receivership,” Kelly said in a statement.

He said the receivers’ first task will be to conduct an urgent assessment of the viability of the business and review options for the hotel’s future.

Kelly said selling the hotel was one option he would be considering.

“Given the iconic nature of this establishment, I would expect there to be significant interest if we were to take it to market,” he said.

The Annandale’s demise follows the receivership of live music pub The Sandringham, known as The Sando, last year with a debt to Bankwest of $3.6 million.

Ferrier Hodgson would not reveal how much debt the Annandale Hotel is in or who the major creditors are.

SmartCompany also attempted to contact the pub’s owners but did not receive a response prior to publication.

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