After years of servicing the rock and roll needs of musicians and punters alike, "The Sando" in Newtown is in the hands a firm specialising in insolvency after a surprise "visit" yesterday.
Owner Tony Townsend has told The Sydney Morning Herald, "They didn't even call me, they just walked in. No warning, no nothing. " Townsend purchased The Sando seven years ago and resuced the favourite music haunt from the previous pokie installing owners that completely brutalised the internal stucture of The Sandringham Hotel, by removing the heritage listed "round bar" and adding tacky neon lights and a bunch of other eyesores into the mix. The halcyon days of twenty years ago are but a memory for all despite the fact that Townsend has worked hard to rebuild the Sando's reputation as a live music venue, ''We've taken it from one or two shows a week to quite proudly 120 bands a month,'' . ''We're only small but we're I guess the biggest little rock venue in Sydney.'' No easy feat for Townsend as The Sando had previously been hounded by noise restrictions, at one point around 10 years ago performers were resctricted by a noise level gauge that would deaden all sound when it reached a certain level. "You had to keep you eye out for a red light light in the back corner of the room that would signal it was all over for the performance " says one time performer "Darcy."
The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that Morgan Kelly, of Ferrier Hodgson, said that the Sandringham Hotel business would continue to trade, maintaining its essential role in Sydney's live music scene for the foreseeable future. But there is a catch, as always, Kelly added "I will be conducting an urgent assessment of operations and considering the best options for taking the business to market."
Maybe Sydney-siders will witness a miracle not disimilar to the re-opening of The Tote Hotel in Melbourne's Collingwood, where a few peers passionate about live music got together and took on the lease.