A fond farewell to the Lansdowne Hotel

As a resident of Broadway, the Lansdowne Hotel has always held a very special place in my heart, so it comes as a deep personal loss to hear of its closure at the end of the month.

Not only a beautiful building, but a humming live music hub for up and coming artists, its sticky floors and intense humidity on a night out will forever be etched into my memory. However, perhaps not as many knew of its delectable pub meals, where I stumbled across one of the best pub schnitzels that has ever graced my taste buds – served best at lunch for a measly $9. Gathering with friends on a Thursday for “The Lansdowne” became a weekly ritual that I rarely missed.


The delicious Lansdowne chicken schnitzel

While my memories of The Lansdowne are soaked with cheaply priced drinks and drenched in gravy, the venue should rightly be acknowledged for its role as part of a thriving live music culture around the Central Station area for decades. Most recently it was kind enough to host free gigs, drawing crowds for even the most unknown of bands. It was not fussy in its genres either, with chilled indie rock bands following hard-core punk to even smashing out bangers on a Wednesday night with a DJ. It was esteemed enough to draw the likes of You Am I, The Living End and Mudhoney in its time.

Although the venue is outside the lockout area, many have suggested a flow-on effect across the region, and adding to a loss of interest in live music – with the losses of SOHO and Hugo’s Lounge to name a few.

However, there is some reprieve in that its musical history will be honoured by the new owners who plan on converting the historic venue into a music school for up to 200 students. Isaac Chung Lee, who operates the Academy of Music and Performing Arts (AMPA) – the group taking over the hotel – has reassured music lovers that they plan to continue offering opportunities for emerging artists to use the space, as well as their own students.

So it was with a heavy heart that myself and three friends headed to The Lansdowne for what may have been our last chicken schnitzel. All the bar staff could say was it was “extremely disappointing”, as they poured our drinks sombrely. I thought the news of its closure may have summoned legions of students to its aid, but it remained quiet as I gazed at the $9 menu.


Possibly my last chicken schnitzel at the Lansdowne

I will miss you Lansdowne; for your music, your history, your schnitzels, and even your weird facts I read everytime I head upstairs.

RIP Lansdowne.