9.00pm Friday in Sydney

Even on a Friday night, it can be hard to find somewhere to eat in Sydney after nine o’clock.

This is not a new thing, but it seems to have worsened since COVID, with many restaurants closed.

I remember arriving in Rome a few years ago, and the incredulity of the waiter to my assumption that at 9.30pm I was already “too late” for a meal. He just didn’t understand why I would even think that.

And then in New York, being able to see a show on Broadway, and then going to a fairly nice restaurant meal at around 11pm. Salman Rushdie was dining at a nearby table

Although Sydney often likes to think of itself as a “world class city” our opening hours for restaurant meals seem to harken back to the 1960s.

Getting a meal at 9.00pm on a Friday night seems to be the equivalent of the six-o’clock-swill in 1950s hotels here. You need to get in early or go with whatever is available.

And on Sydney’s Oxford Street now, that seems limited to burgers.

If you don’t want to go to the Sydney Casino, you need to go to Chinatown, and that’s what I did last night.

Though a little expensive, East Ocean is the best place!!. You can go in there at midnight, and the food is still good. This meal actually lasted me three meals, with a late night snack and lunch the next day also covered!

In other Oxford Street news, a major hotel renovation which has been proceeding at a glacial pace has taken a step forward as a legendary sign is replaced, which suggests a more “upmarket” venue is emerging.

The Brighton Hotel. The infamous “Lick Her” sign that used to accompany the liquor store.
The building has been under renovation for maybe a year or so, but finally they’ve gotten around to changing the sign. The Brighton has become The Riley.

4 Replies to “9.00pm Friday in Sydney”

    1. Really? I hadn’t noticed that. I remember seeing a late night bottle shop on maybe a Saturday night, but Sunday is different? Makes sense, I guess. “Day of rest” and all that, but kinda stuck in time also.

  1. Historically I think people (especially performers) generally adjourned to the Cross for post-show dining. But maybe that is no longer a thing. On the “classical” side audiences aren’t getting any younger and are probably more likely to head straight home. Show starting (and finishing) times have also been trending earlier, partly because of the audience but maybe also because of industrial award implications if they run later.

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