Iconic Sydney venue The Annandale Hotel may be saved after all after current owners Matt and Dan Rule, who have been looking to sell the business for over a year, have decided instead to launch a brick buying scheme to raise funds to reduce the businesses debts.
In July this year the Rule brothers told anxious fans of the live music venue, which has hosted almost all of Australia’s top bands at one time in their careers, that they were assessing other options to selling after all the interested applicants made it clear they’d demolish the pub.
“There have been a lot of enquiries recently asking if the hotel has been sold yet,” they posted on the pubs Facebook wall. “To this, the simple answer is no. That being said there are currently a handful of developers circling, with an eye to turning the site into a combination of retail stores and apartments. As of yet no deal has been done. And as it has been made public knowledge this is not the Rule Brothers desired outcome.”
Since then the Rule brothers have sold off the venue’s poker machines to help pay down the debt that is crippling the business, and next year will kick off the buy-a-brick project. Music fans will pay between $20 – $250 for a brick which will bear a plaque with their name. T
A number of bands that have played the venue have already donated money to help the owners, who discovered debts of over $2.5 million after buying into the local music icon over a decade ago. Since then they have tried to revitalise the business on a number of occasions but the debts have continued to rise.
“Pretty much any band who has made it big in Australia has played here,” owner Matt Rule said in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph announcing the brick scheme. “Some of the Foo Fighters were here on Wednesday night with Jack Black watching a band; Kings Of Leon have played here, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Hummingbirds and Paul Kelly.”
He continued “The Metallica guys turned up after a Big Day Out, and bassist Rob Trujillo picked up glasses when we were short of staff. Having punters own a part of this place will allow it to remain as a music venue.”
Money used from the sale of bricks will be used towards an upgrade which will include overhauling the ageing live music room, replacing beer-soaked carpets and renovating parts of the exterior.