Last drinks for The Sporty

Owner Justin Dash in the Sporty''s dance floor and stage area. 181765_02 Picture: ROB CAREW

By Kyra Gillespie

One of Warragul’s favourite night spots will close its doors for good next month.

The Sporty, or previously known as Jim’s Sports Bar, Retro Room and even ‘The Dirt Bar’, is set to be transformed into a multi-purpose function room.

Over the last 23 years the popular watering hole has been the home of up to 650 of the south east’s party animals for the past 1,200 Saturday nights from 10pm till the wee hours of every Sunday morning.

Owner Justin Dash said the club was sad to hang up the boots, but is excited for the venue’s future plans.

“I’ve personally been running the nightclub for 13 years and it’s been really hard work,” Mr Dash said.

“We started renovating the Railway Hotel three years ago and we were desperate for a function room.

“It was really hard to make the decision to close our doors but we’re really excited for the changes ahead.”

The Sporty, which has been described at “the Railway Hotel’s crazy younger brother who only comes out late at night,” has hosted some of the biggest DJ’s in Australia including Will Sparks, Joel Fletcher and Some Blonde DJ.

Mr Dash said the Hotel is keen to move away from the nightclub scene.

“We’ve had some great DJ’s come through our doors. It’s been good fun but the team is pretty worn out.

“We’re going to create a space where people can come and have after dinner drinks; we’re going to create a lounge space with a bar area, fireplaces, and booths – somewhere nice to have a drink and listen to music.”

This coming weekend they are hosting their final hurrah, with a completely sold-out night of partying expected to be the best in the venues history on Saturday 16 June.

“All 650 tickets completely sold out in three hours which was just unbelievable,” Mr Dash said.

“We didn’t realise we would get the hype that we have.”

$5 of every ticket sold will be donated to Olivia’s Place, a pregnancy and early parenting resource centre in the heart of Warragul.

The venue is set to become a Bar, Lounge and Function Room.

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