2018 has been a big one for all of us here in Newy. It’s been a wild and bumpy ride and nothing like smooth sailing (rail line) we were promised. As turbulent and crazy as our own personal lives may have been this year, let’s take a moment to remember the small businesses and local institutions who were forced to close their doors this year. This list is by no means comprehensive (there were a LOT of closures this year, a lot) but these are the ones which stood out to us the most.
Yes, Newcastle’s only exclusive LGBTQIA+ venue was bought out this year, and turned into something no one in Newcastle actually needed, the Newy. It’s just another nightclub, and place where teens and tweens hang out, party too hard, and try not to vomit on their shoes. The loss of the Gateway was a big one, especially for the queer community and I am hoping that 2019 will see the revival of a tailor made venue, to cater for a vibrant and much loved section of our town.
For anyone who has grown up in Newcastle or spent any time here as a child, thought that Frontline Hobbies was indestructible. A staple if you will but the Light Rail fiasco and associated construction, forced the shop to downsize to less than half its original capacity. They do have another shop at Broadmeadow now, yes, but there’s obviously a pretty significant reason why they couldn’t continue trading in Hunter Street. Being the city center and all.
RIP amazing coffee, great banter, and a Newcastle legacy. Roladoor recently announced that its doors would close after more than a decade of trading in town. The coffee was great, the service was excellent and it is a venue which will be so sorely missed.
Speaking of coffee and light rail/gentrification casualties, the closure of Vinyl Café was one that hit us the hardest. This family run business was an amazing place to hang out, catch up with whoever you wanted to catch up with, enjoy great coffee and admire some great vinyl. They also held out their hands to the community and supported many events and clubs including Word Hurl, one of Newcastle’s favourite poetry societies just to name one. Citing the light rail and the absolute ridiculousness that was the construction operation for the reason for its closure, this café will be sorely missed.
The news of White Magazine’s demise is actually a joyous one for anyone who believes in equality and subsequently supported the gay marriage vote. So basically anyone with a conscience and even an ounce of empathy as well as realising that they do in fact exist in 2018. White Magazine shut their doors a few months ago, after losing advertising revenue after the word spread that they were more than willing to take money, words, and work from LGBTQIA+ vendors and their friends, but were not so ok with featuring them in a wedding magazine because apparently gay isn’t part of their aesthetic. Soz bout it bye Felicia.
It’s still too raw, I can’t even talk about it RN.