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HOW DOES ONE GO ABOUT MEETING A
PARTNER? CAN YOU MEET THE GIRL OF
YOUR DREAMS ON "THE SCENE"?
JANINE TENNILLE FINDS OUT.
Pubs and clubs are hot spots to make great friends and
partners alike, especially in today's times of internet
dating, which cannot truly provide that physical chemistry
and the first look of desire before any words are uttered.
Where are the places that girls flock?
In every city, there's an engine room that is the heartbeat of
any lesbian community. For Sydney, it's the legendary Bank
Hotel in Newtown. Interestingly, the building dates back to the
late 1800s and has had the same female owner and licensee
since 1973. This watering hole has been a favourite for over
13 years and has stood the test of time in our community. With
a history like that, there's got to be many skeletons about.
The Bank Hotel's tradition of Wednesday nights started in
the early 1990s with a pool competition started by the lesbian
bar staff. It was eventually run by an eager 19 year old, Ally
Smith, who also ran the cocktail bar and was her path to
coming out. Ally was then kicked out of the pool comp, as she
had no idea of the r ules or how to play. Imagine the cheers of
joy from the older more serious lesbian pool players.
Ally recalls, "Twelve years ago when I came out there was a
street safety campaign that involved wearing whistles, as it was
the height of gay bashings. The Bank was our midweek oasis
where we could hang out and be lesbians without fear of getting
hassled. It was my first space that I ever went into that was full
of women and by the end of my first week out on the scene, I'd
been to every venue possible and loved that pub the most!"
Then in 1995, Ally met "the one" at the Bank: Karen
Bryson arrived fresh to Newtown and started running the
cocktail bar. The story goes that the girls use to flirt
outrageously with Karen and bets were made about her
sexuality and who could win a kiss. Ally won the bet, they then
fell in love and are still together today.
Chris has met most of her girlfriends at the Bank Hotel
including her current love. She feels that it's easy to meet a girl
in the pub or cocktail bar because it's a time to socialise and
have fun. "Everyone is generally out to have a good time so
they're in a great mood especially at the Bank. It's packed full
of ladies, so the socialising fun factor goes beyond."
There are many cheeky glances across bars and dance floors
that have led to love, lust, and laughter. What is it about the
Bank Hotel? Is it the beer goggle eyes that come out after
dark, the delicious cocktails, the pool comp or the cool tunes
by resident DJ Kelly Lynch? My guess it's the friendliness and
a sure fire place where the girls call home each Wednesday and
have for the past decade.
Countless first kisses and first loves have originated in pubs
and clubs. But what are the key ingredients of love and lust? A
pinch of eye contact, a dash of the right attitude and put that
in a super size bowl of confidence. Stir with a smile and
sprinkle lightly with a few winks. I'll let you in on a big secret
though; don't go out looking and that's when the magic of the
unexpected hits you. A splash of magic just may be in your
next cocktail. Cheers!
The Bank Hotel Newtown is Tasty every Wednesday night.
The Grand Final of the DJ Competition is on October 20. Prizes for
the winner are a set at Candy Lips, The Bank and The Lord Roberts
Hotel. Don't miss DJ Kate Monroe with Kelly Lynch on October 27.
KAREN (LEFT) AND ALLY
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