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‘Ridiculous’: Simple photo outrages residents

A new
A new "convenience" store has opened at Kings Cross Station. Picture: Facebook

A former nightlife hotspot crippled by Sydney’s draconian lockdown laws has been taken over by a new kind of business and locals aren’t happy.

Potts Point residents took to social media on Monday to bemoan the opening of another convenience store at Kings Cross station.

Located just below a Woolworths metro, the store is the latest in a long line of tobacconists and vape stores opening in the area.

Tobacconists already occupy three retail shopfronts on one corner of Kings Cross; another seven are just metres away.

“The sheer amount of these stores popping up is suspicious. The strip is beyond saturated,” one fed-up local said.

KINGS CROSS
A general view of the new Convenience store on Darlinghurst road in Potts Point in Sydney. Picture: NewsWire / Gaye Gerard
Tobacco/ Vape Shops Kings Cross
The main retail strip in Kings Cross in 2023. Picture: NCA Newswire/ Gaye Gerard
Tobacco/ Vape Shops Kings Cross
Once renowned Australia's premier night life destinations, King's Cross in Sydney has now been transformed into a thriving hub for tobacco and vape retailers. Picture: NCA Newswire/ Gaye Gerard

“I feel like this could’ve been a Simpsons episode 20 years ago and no one would’ve believed it could happen. Genuinely ridiculous,” another local said.

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The store is located at the former Goldfish nightclub site.

The building, which was the site of the Mercure Hotel, was transformed into a 19-storey residential tower.

When the development was under construction there was talk of plans to bring a premium restaurant.

There were fears the development would erode the culture of the area.

The Kings Cross area was the city’s nightlife capital throughout the 2000s and 2010s but was crippled by 2014 lockdown laws and the Covid pandemic.

Tobacco/ Vape Shops Kings Cross
Multiple tobacco stores have opened in the small suburb. Picture: NCA Newswire/ Gaye Gerard
Tobacco/ Vape Shops Kings Cross
Pictured: Another vape store in Kings Cross. Picture: NCA Newswire/ Gaye Gerard
Tobacco/ Vape Shops Kings Cross
A view of Kings Cross. Picture: NCA Newswire/ Gaye Gerard

Two tobacconists are already located directly opposite the new store at 111-139 Darlinghurst Rd; a number more are located further down the road.

A raft of changes to laws around vapes were introduced in 2024 with more to come, including a ban on the sale of non-therapeutic vapes.

Since January 1, it has been illegal to import non-therapeutic vapes, with retailers given a limited window of time to sell-down stock.

Nonetheless, the outright eradication of vapes, including disposable and single use vapes, has proved illusive for policymakers.

Vapes, containing nicotine, are considered highly addictive and can result in “serious health issues”; some are long lasting.