Post-party institution Paddington Indian Home Diner at risk of closing


What kind of crazy would think of stuffing a garlic cheese naan with curry and potatoes? More importantly, what a drunken partier would say at 3 a.m. Nope to such a Frankenstein’s monster of a food to absorb the sins of the night?

For over a decade, Oxford Street’s favorite after-party, Indian Home Diner, has been serving such delights to weary clubbers until the wee hours of the morning, providing an important service when it comes to our beautiful city’s nightlife.

It would appear, however, that the Woolahra council has other plans, finding that the late-night exchanges breach Indian Home Diner’s DA agreement. And while that might technically be the case, we don’t know how a curry and kebab house catering to the carb needs of the post-pub crowd really hurts.

The restaurant asked Woollahra Town Council in November to formalize its current opening hours – Friday and Saturday 11.30am to 3am, and Monday to Thursday and Sunday 11.30am to 11pm. However, the request was denied in March. A few reasons were given in the denial – including that the application did not demonstrate satisfactory crowd and waste management, did not “protect the amenity” of neighboring residential properties and is “not considered being in the public interest”.

The saga is very much like history repeating itself in the field without harm or fault, with parallels to 2020 when Enmore’s late-night LGBTQIA+ haunt, the Sly Fox had its trading hours reduced when a council benefactor pointed it out that the 24-hour venue was actually not that at all, although it had operated as such for years.

The news that the independent business that has roughed up the Sydneysiders on some of their biggest parties is under threat stands in stark contrast to recent promises by the NSW Government to bring nightlife and entertainment back to our city. The government’s Nightlife Economy website features a mission statement stating, “Nightlife is one of the most important parts of a city or town’s culture. Captivating entertainment, delicious food and drink, and a thriving arts scene are our vision for nightlife statewide.

Not only is the hospitality and nightlife sector struggling to recover from the impacts of the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns, it has only just been freed from the grip of the lockdown laws, which have been introduced in 2014 and lifted in full on March 8, 2021. .

In September 2020, the NSW Government launched the 24 Hour Economic Strategy, its long-term vision for Sydney. The strategy is designed as a collaborative effort, reflecting the work of numerous NSW government agencies, an industry advisory group and a number of Sydney councils actively involved in shaping the night economy. Paddington and the surrounding area has always been a thriving center for arts, culture and hospitality, with more pubs than you can pick. This includes the Unicorn Hotel late night trade which trades until 3am every Friday and Saturday night, just meters from Indian Home Diner.

Community-focused group Bondi Lines (which became a household name in late 2021 and early 2022 with its real-time updates on wait times for Covid testing facilities) have started a petition to save the restaurant well -liked, citing that the store is much more to the community than just a place to get food. A member of the Bondi Lines group said on his Instagram: “The council have advised that they are no longer allowed to trade after midnight. Not only will you be deprived of your last meal of the night, but there will be no more the community that is After IHD.”

Bondi Lines has also launched a GoFundMe campaign, on behalf of owner Robert Chowdury, to help cover the revenue Indian Home Diner is losing due to reduced hours. So far, that has brought in $109 of his target of $950.

If you want to help our city’s small businesses thrive, why not check out some of our favorite cheap eateries in Sydney here?


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