The Bourbon Hotel goes up for sale

Scott Bolles
Shot of history: The Bourbon was a magnet for US soldiers in the 1960s.
Shot of history: The Bourbon was a magnet for US soldiers in the 1960s. Photo: Supplied

It famously hosted visiting servicemen, a black-eyed Ricky Ponting and the hoards who flocked to Kings Cross, but like so much of the "strip" there is change blowing through. The Bourbon Hotel, an icon of Kings Cross, has been put on the market.

The Chris Cheung headed Hotels acquired the hotel in 2011 for a reported $22 million, tipping another $7 million into its refurbishment before reopening last year. It had the timing of a barn find Holden FJ, lockout laws doing little to draw new crowds to the Cross.

A spokeswoman for confirms The Bourbon has been placed on the market, along with a neighbouring property (the former Swans Club) also owned by the group. She says changes in legislation and precinct changes slowed the approval and implementation of a masterplan for the site to activate its upper floors.

"While we traded well, we have only been using 12-15 per cent of the space," she says.

It is believed residential developers are among those eyeing the property.

Opened in the late 1960s as The Bourbon and Beefsteak, the pub was a magnet for US soldiers on leave from the war in Vietnam. It marked the beginning of a golden era for Kings Cross, but in more recent times hospitality operators have complained bad publicity for the area hasn't helped trade.