This is not as the subject line might lead you to think.
I doubt many of my Melbourne readers have not heard of the Chevron Hotel. It was at the corner of St Kilda Road and Commercial Road. Before high rise hotels were built, for a time it was a place to stay for the rich and famous.
In the early days of the 2000s it was ripped apart and turned into apartments. I recall someone telling R that the noise levels from the other apartments was horrendous and the person moved out, solely because of the noise. I think this would be in the original part, not the new additional building.
In the nineties within the Chevron was a nightclub called The Dome, presided over by a drag, Miss Jane. We never attended as we were getting a bit too old for late night clubbing. Not so our electrician at the time, a gay man who was older than myself and was an attendee at the venue and died on the premises. Heart attack? Drugs? Combo of both? Who knows.
In the mid 1970s there was discotheque in the below ground area of the Chevron called Babes. I worked there behind the bar for a couple of nights. It was a great venue for its time, but I could not cope with the noise levels.
By the 1980s a gay bar called Chaps had opened. As bars did back then, it closed at 10pm. I recall it as being a place to sit at tables with friends and have a drink, and that was what we did. Did it have any entertainment? Did it have loud music? Not that I can remember but apparently it did. If you are a local person and female, you simply must have heard of the larger than life frock designer Alannah Hill. Here is a snip from the Facebook group, Lost Gay Melbourne.
first time i clapped eyes on Alannah Hill was on the dance floor of
Chaps, in a tattered fake flapper dress, fringing all ripped, white
spike heels and a pink, or was it green mohawk.
One of my main memories of Chaps was a night when a nice looking but vicous queen called Jodie, who worked for Ansett Airlines, glassed someone in the spacious men's toilets.
Slowly other gay venues opened in Melbourne and Chaps was no more.
Here are a few photos.
Some older photos. I think I can see an FX model Holden, so this photo would be post 1948.
The Commercial Road entrance, but I am not sure if this was the main entrance. I think the main entrance was, well, I will show you in another photo.
The dining room looks to be a classic, of the period. I like it heaps.
The Chevron Hotel opened in 1934 and I think cable trams in St Kilda Road disappeared soon after. Such an interesting building with so much history, but still stands today.