Iron Bar, a Port icon, set for its 23rd NYE

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR FESTIVITIES -

NEW Year’s Eve in Port Dou­glas is tra­di­tion­ally a very big night at the Iron Bar Steak­house on Macrossan Street.

“At some point most peo­ple are go­ing to come here, even if they go some­where else ear­lier on,” said owner Shane Lough­nan.

It can be so pop­u­lar that some­times the Iron Bar owner is in the un­happy sit­u­a­tion of hav­ing to turn peo­ple away on the big night.

This time the Iron Bar is go­ing to do some­thing about that.

For lo­cals, it is sell­ing $15 tick­ets to the event that guar­an­tee the bearer en­try to the venue at a cheaper price.

“If they want to make sure they can get in, and they want to make sure they don’t have to pay $20 en­try, they can come and see Alis­tair over the next weeks in the af­ter­noons to get a ticket.

“We’re go­ing to sell 100 of those tick­ets, just to lo­cals, who come here all the time and don’t want to miss out. Make it easy for your­self, and you can get in for just $15.”

As usual, the Iron Bar will be turn­ing on the en­ter­tain­ment for what will be its 23rd New Year’s Eve. It will be a White Party stay­ing open un­til 4 am. A DJ will start on the up­per deck at 9 pm go­ing through till about mid­night or a bit later.

Lo­cal band Girl Ra­dio will start play­ing down­stairs at about 10 pm, un­til about 1:30 am, and then a DJ from Bris­bane, DJ Bren­tos, will go through un­til clos­ing time at 4am.

It prom­ises to cap what’s been a good year for the Iron Bar. Trad­ing for the land­mark steak­house has been ex­cel­lent, ac­cord­ing to the owner. Big tourism num­bers in town have been very buoy­ant for the venue, which is one of the fam­ily favourites by day and a pop­u­lar late night venue for older pa­trons.

Shane Lough­nan is par­tic­u­larly pleased with his culi­nary of­fer­ing, say­ing that his chefs have done re­ally well and he was pleased with the Iron Bar’s food and drink stan­dards.

Next year the Iron Bar is on track to be­gin its pok­ies room. It has ap­proval for 25 ma­chines, which should be ready by mid year.

The only sour note has been the Back­pack­ers Tax. Shane said he was re­lieved the tax deal has been struck at a level at which it was about as low as it could go, but the whole thing has been a dis­as­ter.

And at the full rate of 32.5 per cent, Shane said, it would have “wiped the town out”.

“I don’t know how we would sur­vive with­out back­pack­ers, to be hon­est. I just don’t know where we would get staff from. We have sev­eral lo­cals work­ing here all the time, but in the peak sea­son we just wouldn’t have staff.

“Ten years ago you had a lot of Aus­tralians com­ing up from the south look­ing for work for a few months – univer­sity stu­dents and so on – but not any more. “

The Iron Bar is go­ing to be closed on Christ­mas Day.

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