Newtown Hotel Drag

“Does anyone know the last time there was a drag show here at the Newtown Hotel?”, Minnie Cooper asked the crowd tonight. Instantly, my friend Graeme and I knew the answer.

On a Sunday afternoon in November 2007, Graeme and I were due to catch up for a beer, but to our surprise, the night before was the hotel’s final night after many years as a gay bar, and many years with drag shows.

For years, “The Newtown Hotel” had been a legendary “gay” pub run by the very famous/infamous lesbian, Dawn O’Donnell.… Read the rest “Newtown Hotel Drag”

Same, But Different

“I’m sorry, I have absolutely no idea who you are…” is the kind of phrase you never really want to hear. especially when it’s delivered by someone you’ve known for over twenty years.

I was wandering home on Friday night, having spent the evening with a friend at the newly re-opened Newtown Hotel. And just metres from home I saw a very attractive tall blonde woman standing outside a Surry Hills restaurant and speaking on the phone.… Read the rest “Same, But Different”

Flying the flag

As my mate and I sat at the Newtown Hotel tonight we pondered for a while the pub’s sexual orientation. For years it had been a legendary “gay” pub run by the very famous/infamous lesbian, Dawn O’Donnell. It was a fun pub that you could hang out with your mates and have a laugh. For example, memorably, at the end of 2006/beginning of 2007, the pub ran a uni-sex amateur striptease competition. Aside from one occasion where an older female stripper showed a little more than the young men in the front row would have liked, it was a fun, joyous competition that pretty much summed up the pub.… Read the rest “Flying the flag”


Going to Newtown is always a bit of an adventure for me. Although it’s only a short distance away, and I know people who live in the area, Newtown has never been at the top of my list of destinations.

I mean, I really like Newtown and I’ve toyed from time to time with living there. But in my normal day to day existence between Surry Hills (home), and Ultimo (work), it’s not a place that I regularly visit.… Read the rest “Newtown”