June 12, 2017
The Town Hall in Balmain is due for closure later this year and destined to become a medical centre. We’re not sure if the traditional Balmain medical centre ( the bottleshop ) next door will remain.
This follows on from the closure late last year of the iconic Exchange Hotel just down the road.
Today, especially within the greater Sydney region, the closure of Pubs is becoming more common place. while things may seem dire now, thank the beer gods it’s not the early 1900s.
The Reduction Vote was introduced between 1909 to 1912 and its main aim was to reduce the number of licensed premises in certain areas, with the Balmain/Rozelle peninsula probably the worst affected with 9 hotel closures.
The theory was that fewer places to drink equals less alcoholism and less of what was termed ‘rowdyism’.
Venues with a bad record, (usually some recorded criminal activity occurring on or around the premises) were the first to get the axe, with some others, the forced closure just sped up the inevitable end for the business.
Whilst almost every second street corner in Balmain is haunted by the ghost of an old pub, some notable Reduction Vote closures – ‘The Waverley’ ( now looks like a two bed cottage on Darling St), ‘The Albion’ (now a very Balmain Cafe) and the Lord Nelson (someone’s house and you can’t have two in a city can you).
Whilst a couple of pubs closing on the peninsula is making it a little harder to get a drink in Balmain today, there are still plenty of pubs, so come for a visit as you’re not going to die of thirst in 2041 anytime soon.
Join Gregg on a Dave’s Pub Walk of Balmain every Saturday at 2:30pm.