Kings Cross’s Gazebo bar up for grabs

The Gazebo Wine Bar on Elizabeth Bay Rd has been an icon of Sydney’s nightlife history. Picture: Phil Rogers)

A landmark Kings Cross bar and eatery that featured in the Underbelly television miniseries, and played its part in Sydney’s night-life history, is up for grabs.

One of the first dedicated wine bars in Sydney, the modern watering hole known as Gazebo opened in 2005, but there has been a bar on the same site since the building took shape in the late 1960s.

When the 18-storey Gazebo Hotel opened its designer doors in May 1969 at 2 Elizabeth Bay Rd, the ground floor bar was named Pavilion, however since then the property has had several reincarnations.

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After the old hotel closed in the 1990s, the distinctive circular tower was then sold off as residential apartments from 2005.

The Elizabeth Bay bar “Gazebo” is on the market.

Hospitality giant, The Keystone Group, the one-time food and beverage firm behind Sydney institutions such as Bungalow 8, Jamie’s Italian and Cargo Bar, acquired Gazebo Wine Bar & Dining in 2014.

But after the group fell into receivership in 2016, Sydney restaurateur Liz Taylor bought the iconic bar and dining venue.

Despite a significant refurbishment in 2014, Taylor gave Gazebo another lush facelift in 2017.

The Elizabeth Bay bar “Gazebo” is on the market.

“We just saw a chance to make it even more welcoming and gentrified. It’s really an amazing venue and there really is no more money to spend,” she says.

“The only reason I’m stepping away now is that I’m ready to retire. It has been wonderful to be a part of such an iconic place,” Taylor said.

Over the past half a century there has been a huge cultural shift in “The Cross”, a place that has at times been as famous for its criminal underbelly as its fun loving partying past.

The fully stocked bar’s colourful design.

While many night spots have recently suffered in the wake of the State Government’s inner city lockout laws, selling agent Kate MacDonald of Knight Frank said today’s Gazebo still presents a promising opportunity for buyers.

“The government’s lockout laws might have affected the overall traffic in Kings Cross and Potts Point, but places like Gazebo remain pretty well untouched,” she said.

“Gazebo has always had a licence until midnight so nothing has really changed for the clientele,” MacDonald says.

The bar has plenty of seating outside as well as inside.

Reluctant to publicly name a price, MacDonald says the popular premises, which has the capacity to seat up to 160 people, dishes up plenty of potential for an astute operator who is willing to tap into the evolving neighbourhood’s needs.

“As far as nightclub venues, many have left the area, but wine bars are just what the local community wants and is craving,” she adds.

It’s not just the bricks and mortar for sale, the name Gazebo will remain and the new owner will purchase a turn key investment with a 15-year lease.

There’s plenty of seating for big parties inside.

Records show that in the 2015 to 2016 financial year, the venue was taking income of over $2 million a year.

“It will continue trading as is if that’s what the buyer wants. It’s always up to the new owner what they choose to do with a venue, but with a name like Gazebo why would you change it?”

Gazebo Wine Bar & Dining is being sold through an expressions of interest campaign that will close on Wednesday April 3 at 4pm.

This article from The Daily Telegraph originally appeared as “Landmark Kings Cross wine bar Gazebo is up for sale”.