SYDNEY — The party is finally over.
Kings Cross, the notorious red light and entertainment precinct in Sydney, Australia, is dead.
Those wild nights that ended in a toilet cubicle, the first strip club you entered, the five teapots of cocktails consumed at World Bar, the meat pie from a convenience store as you waited for hours for the first morning train. Savour them in your memory, it’s time to say good bye to the king of debauchery, Kings Cross. You can only hold on to your 20s for so long, but fear not, grown Sydneysider, if history has taught us anything, the Cross will live again. Somehow, one day.
There has been talk in recent years about the impending final farewell as the red lights turned off, the nightclub lights turned on and more recently, the streets became still and quiet after midnight. But we didn’t want to believe it, Kings Cross, we shook our heads and took another shot.
At the beginning of 2014, the New South Wales government enforced strict laws on late-night establishments in certain areas of Sydney, including 1.30 a.m. lockouts and 3 a.m. last drinks. Many business owners in the red light and party district claimed it was the nail in the coffin. As revellers found another place to party, many iconic establishments throughout The Cross closed their doors and the properties housing institutions Candy’s Apartment and World Bar went up for sale.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported pedestrian traffic has dropped 84% since 2012, while at least 35 businesses have ‘For Lease’ signs hanging in their dusty windows, many claiming they have lost a huge amount of revenue due to the new laws.
As the music stops, the neon signs fade and the Golden Mile loses its appeal, we say good bye to an icon. Kings Cross, thanks for the good times and the memories. We’ll never forget you.