2020 85-95 Oxford St Darlinghurst, formerly “Midnight Shift” Nightclub - Heritage Impact Statement Facade of Midnight Shift featuring the prime ministerial contenders for the 1996 Federal Election, John Howard and Paul Keating. [Clive Faro, with Gary Wotherspoon, Street Seen, A History of Oxford Street, Melbourne University Press, 2000, p.250.] Regional DevelopmentSocial HistoryCommerce Author: Dr Sue Rosen and Liz Gorman Client: Universal Hotels This project was a Heritage Impact Statement prepared for our Client’s new hotel at 85-95 Oxford St Darlinghurst, formerly “Midnight Shift” Nightclub. The site has been continually developed since the 1850’s, undergoing many reconfigurations in layout and purpose. Initially, the building was a shoe store operated by jeweler and shoemaker W. Berkman from the 1920’s right up until the late 1970’s. By the late 70’s, Oxford Street was emerging as an LGBTQI+ cultural and entertainment hub, and became the stage of the first Mardi Gras in 1978. The building at no. 85-95 was therefore adapted to suit its new clientele, sequentially functioning as a cabaret restaurant, vegetarian take-away, Spanish restaurant, supermarket, and, in the 1980’s, a discotheque and nightclub. Tragically, in 1980, the property - then known as ‘Club 85’ - fell prey to one of a series of arson attacks on LGBTQI+ venues, resulting in almost the entire interior being gutted by fire. Until this point, Club 85 had been ‘... the most glamorous new nightclub on the strip’, ‘packed to the rafters with Oxford Street’s new men from the day it opened’. The well-known local moniker Midnight Shift is associated with Club 85’s successor, one of several clubs and pubs on Oxford Street that also boasted restaurants. Midnight Shift was known for its drag shows and trivia nights, after starting out as a men’s disco in 1980 and serving as a venue for Sydney’s Hellfire Club. Midnight Shift closed on 1 October 2017 in response to declining trade associated with lock out laws, however in July 2018 it was purchased by Universal Hotels and is currently being remodelled.