BALLARAT nightspot JD’s Sports Bar on Lydiard Street has been sold after more than eight years under the current ownership.
Regulars and friends were treated to an invite-only party upstairs last night to reminisce about their visits to the venue over the years.
JD’s Sports Bar co-owner Jason Yean said he sold the business to spend more time with his family.
“I’ve been doing it a long time. I think if you don’t have the passion it’s time to get out,” he said.
He expected the new owners to keep the current name of the bar, while giving the premises a “freshen up”.
“We just need someone with fresh blood in there who are a bit more keen to do the hours than I am,” he said.
Mr Yean said alcohol-fuelled violence in Ballarat’s CBD was no worse than it used to be, although he had noticed a shift in the aggression of some people.
“I think that drugs are an issue. I’ve noticed that our minimum spend has gone down and people are so aggressive,” he said.
“And it’s not just from grog, they’re on whatever they’re on. You can’t rationalise, you can’t talk to them. It’s just too hard.”
The make-up of Lydiard Street had changed over the years, he said, with a move away from late-night venues to more boutique bars.
“Lydiard Street was just carnage for the first four years. If there was gonna be a fight it was from there to there,” he said, pointing outside.
He said the late-night drinking crowd had moved to other areas, such as Camp Street and Mair Street, decentralising the possibility of violence.
Mr Yean said he hoped people would remember their visits to JD’s fondly:
“I hope that’s what they remember, the good times.”