It was a sad day for the Canberra music scene when one of their most iconic venues, Transit Bar, shut its doors last year. 

While it closed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it wasn’t due to lockdowns that the venue closed. As the bar’s manager Barry Howarth revealed back then, as per Riotact, negotiations on a three-year lease unfortunately fell through when the landlord, the Canberra City YHA, attempted to increase the rent by 10%.

“YHA just didn’t want to play ball with us and tried to put the rent up, so yeah, I’ve handed them their keys back,” Howarth said. He said he tried to negotiate with the YHA but terms could not be agreed upon.

Howarth remained determined though, confirming that he was looking to move the popular bar to a new venue in Canberra.

“The new venue will be a bit bigger and not that far from the current location. It’s a ground floor and basement bar,” he said. “It’s not 100 per cent locked in yet, but it’s a better environment with better soundproofing.”

And now it seems that day is close, with a job notice appearing on Seek this week for a new Venue Manager for Transit Bar.

“The new and improved Transit Bar is one of Canberra’s most popular restaurant, bar and live entertainment venues,” the advertisement states. “Transit plays host to talent regarded locally, nationally, and internationally on a weekly basis.

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At Transit Bar, you must thrive in a dynamic, fast-paced environment, maintaining a customer centric vibe, as well as effectively making use of downtime. Someone with an unparalleled passion for the hospitality industry.  Strong leadership and personnel management skills and the ability to create/maintain a solid team.

Transit Bar is currently seeking suitably qualified and motivated applicants to join our venue, in the Full time position of Venue Manager. You will be a strong communicator with exceptional organisational skills and the ability to balance multiple priorities and act with a sense of urgency, whilst remaining as calm under pressure.”

The advertisement ends by saying successful candidates will be contacted for an interview in the following two weeks after the close of applications, although it’s unclear when that is.

It shouldn’t be too long given that Canberra celebrated its first day out of COVID-19 lockdown this week after two months of strict restrictions.

The ACT government has lifted the lockdown following strong support for vaccines, with the city on track to lead the world in vaccination coverage.

It’s great news for venues, with pubs and restaurants now able to serve seated customers. For indoor service, capacity limits have been set at one person per four square metres or 25 people (whichever is less); for outdoor service, the capacity is set at one per person per four square metres or 50 people (whichever is less).

Keep an eye on news of the reopening date for Transit Bar on their official Facebook page.

Check out yesterday’s ACT COVID-19 update: