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The opening of Alex and Co. The opening of Alex and Co. Featured
01 November 2017 Posted by 

DRAWING FROM DOWN-TOWN SYDNEY

Parramatta is night-time capital
RED DWYER
THE Aslan Hospitality Group’s $2.5M investment in Alex & Co highlights the hopes of Parramatta becoming the “night-time capital” of Greater Western Sydney and drawing revellers back from down town Sydney.
 
A newcomer to the city, Alex & Co is a 600-square-metre café, bar and restaurant venue seating 359 guests at the epicentre of Parramatta’s night time economy – “eat street”.
 
It is at the foot of the Meriton-built 54-floor Altitude residential tower, in Church Street, beside the Parramatta River
 
Owner Alex Aslan said the venue would be a game-changer for Parramatta.
 
“I want to bring to Parramatta a first-class venue that people typically associate with waterfront restaurants at Circular Quay and Woolloomooloo Wharf,” he said prior to opening.
 
The growth of the city’s restaurant, cafe and takeaway sector – which has increased by 43 per cent during the 2009-2015 period – has largely contributed to the growth of the city’s night time economy, valued at $908.7M (2015), according to a council-commission document
 
This document, City of Parramatta Night Time Economy Discussion Paper (Micromex, August 2017), proposes ideas to develop further the city after dark as part of a “more productive” strategy.  
 
The ideas aim to unlock the value of the increasing number of workers in the CBD and local residents; for example, over a five year period an additional 22,000 people will be working in Parramatta and the city’s population will grow by 41,000 residents, according to the Parramatta City Council-commissioned report, Parramatta 2021 Unlocking the
Potential of a New Economy, (PricewaterhouseCoopers, October 2016).
 
“Not pursuing a framework for the night time economy will be detrimental to the city,” the discussion paper said.
 
“It could mean the loss of economic growth, loss of flexible employment, and missed opportunities to attract large corporate [and government] offices and talented workers, potential residents, businesses as well as talented creatives and artists.”
 
The city’s hotel sector is expanding to meet the rising demand from, in particular, business people who occupy the majority of rooms on weekdays.
 
The most common responses, in the consultation process, about how the CBD could be improved in the evenings were accessibility, live music, trendy food and drink options – particularly among younger generations – more to do in the evenings, apart from restaurants or specific events and late night shopping. 
 
Increasing the feeling of safety and improved late-night transport were high on the respondents’ list of issues.
 
“For many Greater Western Sydney residents, Sydney CBD is the [main] destination of choice for heading out at night; there is an opportunity for Parramatta to become the regional night time capital in Greater Western Sydney.” 
 
The NSW Councils’ Night Time Economy Forum, held at the Parkroyal Parramatta on October 12, brought together more than 120 representatives from 29 councils across NSW and state government agencies to share their experiences developing and managing local night-time economies. 


editor

Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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