The next instalment of information and concerns surrounding the future of iconic Sydney music venue, The Annandale Hotel, has emerged, with the venue now officially listed for receiver’s sale by insolvency group Ferrier Hodgson.

Despite former owners Dan and Matt Rule meeting with financiers in a battle to keep to the venue open, reluctantly putting the venue into receivership in February, The Annandale is now being advertised by Knight Frank Real Estate as an “iconic entertainment pub” in a “growth area – 5km to CBD” with bars and accommodation on its 638.6sqm property, and taking expressions of interest for purchase up to May 8th.

In light of the venue’s sale listing, former owner Dan Rule has expressed to FasterLouder his cynicism about the possibility of The Annandale Hotel being bought by someone interested in maintaining its legacy as a live music venue.

“I’d love to think that…but it’d be naive,” says the former lease-holder. “There’s not many people that would want to do live music on the same scale as The Annandale. I hope there is. I’m not sure if that’ll happen. All I can do is hope. We’ve been entrenched in it for so long.”

Meanwhile Knight Frank’s Director for Hotels, Mike Wheatley, was quoted by SPA publication The Music as saying that early responses to the venue listing had been “very good,” but said it was too early in the process to comment on the substance of prospective buyers. “There’s not many people that would want to do live music on the same scale as The Annandale. I hope there is. I’m not sure if that’ll happen.” – Matt Rule, former Annandale owner.

Adding that, “As a music venue it was a pretty unusual property to sell…but fortunately it has a good property values and it’s in a bloody good location so I think we’ll get enquiries from a range of people.”

Furthermore, Leichhardt Council and it’s 2012 appointed Mayor, Darcy Byrne – an outspoken and passionate supporter of Syney’s live music scene – approved a late night trading license for the venue, less then a week after it went into receivership. This was after an application for the same license by the Rule Brothers was rejected in 2004, resulting in an extensive and costly – $200,000 – legal battle with Land and Environment Court. It also cost the local council in excess of $100,000.

Matt Rule released a particularly colourful sense of betrayal, expressed over Facebook, at the sudden change of heart by Leichhardt council, including labelling them “a bunch of c**ts,” which brother Dan said captured both their opinions on the matter, insisting their “rant” was justified.

Dan Rule also claimed that the license approval followed an expression of support for The Annandale’s survival by the Leichhardt Council, saying, “The week after we walked out the door they said they wanted to keep The Annandale there…Well, that’s a bit like shutting the gate when the horse has bolted. They never came and approached us and that’s what hurt the most.”

The Rule brothers were owners of The Annandale Hotel for 13 years, many of those spent fighting council over noise complaints and legislation issues, attempting to re-coup financial costs through the 2011 ‘buy-a-brick’ campaign, where supporters of the venue were encouraged to purchase a stake, which successfully, (but not successfully enough it would seem) raised more than $50,000.

Speaking about the recent real estate listing, Mayor Darcy Byrne tole The Music, “It should be clear to any prospective buyer that in Leichhardt Council they have a partner committed to bringing the Annandale Hotel back to life as Sydney’s premier music venue;” further eliciting his support for live music in the area and The Annandale as a widely known and trusted music institution. “As a music venue it was a pretty unusual property [but] it’s in a bloody good location so I think we’ll get enquiries from a range of people.” – Mike Wheatley, Knight Frank Real Estate

“Momentum for turning Parramatta Road into Sydney’s live music district is becoming unstoppable and there is a greater incentive for investment in the Annandale Hotel as a live music venue than there has been in recent years,” Bryne concluded.

Byrne has previously spoken publically about his support for the local live music scene, including his ambitions to redevelop Parramatta Road into a live music and culture precinct, and most notably, expressed his desire to see The Annandale’s live on as a successful and popular live music venue.

Mayor Byrne first joined the fight to save and overhaul Sydney’s live music scene when he stepped in to help the iconic Annandale and, adhering to venue owners’ woes that the Council’s strict fines and litigations from noise complaints, Byrne then saw the legislation passed for his “good neighbour policy” which will now allow for easier operating of venues with longer trading hours and increased allowances for noise.

The Annandale Hotel became a music venue in the 1980s, and has since been credited with aiding the launch and subsequent success of Australian bands such as the Vines, Jet and The Living End, as well as regularly hosting international artists such the Black Keys, Dandy Warhols and Joan Jett.

With shows still scheduled at The Annandale until June – including the recently accounted Dig It Up! sideshows – Dan Rule hopes interested buyers will see the potential for more live music at the venue.

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