Sly Fox to permanently close its doors

10 January, 2020 by Brydie Allen

Sydney Inner West late night institution the Sly Fox has announced it will be permanently closing, after the outcome of an independent planning panel meeting last month.

As previously reported by TheShout, the meeting was the last stage of the Sly Fox’s development application to trade for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The panel’s final decision was for the Sly Fox to close at midnight, with an extension to 3am on a two year trial period.


The bar had previously been operating 24 hours since 1998, when they received a temporary Development Consent from the council. When it was found that this consent had lapsed in 2016, council permitted the continuation of 24 hour trade, without amplified music after 3am, a stance which changed throughout the application process.

With peak hours at the bar starting from around midnight, the Sly Fox is especially popular among night shift staff, like those in the hospitality business. Throughout the application and when the decision was handed down, the Sly Fox said restricted hours would mean this key demographic would be lost, severely affecting business.

Announcing via social media that the last night of trade will be 18 January, Sly Fox wrote: “We have fought long and hard over the last few years, especially over the last six months against horrific lies from local residents and arguable unlawful tactics of the Inner West Council.”

The post continued: “It’s easy in sad situations like this when the ‘small guys’ like us are targeted, to be negative when having to announce to the public the unfair closure of your venue, extreme loss of personal money and hard work from a huge number of people to supply entertainment to the surrounding residents and beyond. So besides the above, we’re going to keep this announcement positive.”

Sly Fox thanked the majority of the local Inner West community that supported them, all their patrons and all artists who provided entertainment throughout the years. They also encouraged anyone with a connection to the bar to come to one of the final parties before the doors are shut.

The announcement has been met with sadness on social media, with many expressing their anger at losing another iconic Sydney nightlife venue because of council decisions. In this case, there has also been anger that a minority of resident statements were given more weight than thousands of submissions and petition signatures from the public.

Resident DJs at Sly Fox, Mesan, said in a Facebook post they were sad and frustrated about the closure.

They wrote: “Over a three plus year residency we have had some of our most memorable and exciting experiences playing alongside some truly talented local and international names. We can’t tell you how much effort, blood, sweat and tears went into this venue from the Sly Fox team who have turned it into one of Sydney’s best clubs.”

The first of five Sly Fox ‘Last Chance to Dance’ farewell parties takes place tonight, with more information about all events on their Facebook page.