The Sportsman Hotel

The Sportsman Hotel

CREATED ON // Friday, 09 May 2014 Author // Anthony Smith

The Sportsman Hotel is a fixture of Brisbane’s LGBTI scene and we spoke to general manager Kyle Hogan to find out more about ‘Sporties’. 

How would you describe Sporties to someone who was new to Brisbane – what kind of experience will they have?

The Sporties is a friendly pub where anyone is made to feel welcome. We encourage people to be themselves and want our patrons to have an environment where they can feel safe, relaxed and entertained.

Could you tell us a bit about Sporties – how long has it been a gay bar, for example?

The Sporties has been gay owned and operated by Neil McLucas for 24 years. Prior to this Neil, aka Nellie, also owned other gay venues in Brisbane so he is well known in the community. There is a lot of experience up there in his head!

What’s the layout of the venue?

There are 3 main areas: the Pool Bar, or the Butch Bar as it’s sometimes known, which has pool tables, a juke box and the main bar. This bar has a true old school public bar feel. The music is generally retro camp and the bar staff are friendly and chatty. Open from 1pm daily.

The Bistro/Drag Bar is where we serve meals seven nights a week from 5.30pm. There are $10 meals on Monday and Wednesday nights and great specials every other day. We have Trivia on Tuesday, Karaoke on Wednesday and Drag Shows Thursday to Sunday.

There is also a bar downstairs that used to be known as the Mineshaft, this area is about to be renamed – watch this space. We have Karaoke on Fridays and Saturday nights are filled with various events throughout the month: First Saturday is BootCo; third is Brisbears; and the fourth is Hell Fire.

It’s possible to stay at Sporties – could you briefly outline the accommodation?

We have accommodation available upstairs, it’s basic pub accommodation with shared bathrooms. Very basic but it’s cheap and the people we have through the doors are an eclectic bunch.

Is Sporties mainly a gay male venue, or mixed? Everybody welcome?

Whilst the majority of our patrons are gay males we do not discriminate and welcome anyone as long as they accept us all for who we are.

Gay venues are often important community hubs. Could you tell us a bit about what Sporties does to support the community?

The Sporties is the Home of BootCo and Brisbears. We donate the downstairs space for their events. Their proceeds go to various charities and giving back to the community . We also hold various charity events throughout the year, such as the Boys Own Bakeoff which is huge and raises money for BGF.

Drag is a feature of Sporties – tell us a bit about who’s on show and when people can come to see shows.

The Sporties has always been renowned for its drag. There is always something on the burner as it’s ever changing.

Thursday is Free, Gay and Cabaret Hosted by Vollie La Vont and features performances by herself, Mandy Moobs and guests each week. Shows are at 9pm and 10.30pm

Friday night is about to change in June and will be hosted by Desperate Legends Miss Synthetique and Lidia Box. The night will see the girls and their guests perform selected Icons hits. Shows are at 10.30pm, 12am and 1.30am

Saturday has a new production show every eight weeks. The next Saturday show is a LaVont Production and is a piss take on Mamma Mia. The cast features Brisbane Legends Miss Synthetique, Vollie LaVont, Sasha Trajik-Mole, Mandy Moobs and Tara Moore and are supported by Paul-J (Candy Surprise) and Matty Soppa as the boys. Shows are at 10.30pm, midnight and 1.30am

Sunday has Sporties Legend and long time resident Wanda D’Parke take to the stage with special guests each week. Shows are at 7pm and 9pm.

What special events do you have coming up at Sporties in the next couple of months?

We have many specials events coming up but the most exciting one to mention is an event presented by Brisbane DJ legend Les Smith. It’s called MUMU Land and is on Sunday, June 8. This event has been going for a few years now but has found a new home at The Sporties. We are also excited to announce that DJ Neroli (Heaven London) will be making a special guest appearance on this night.

What’s the best way to find out what’s on at Sporties?

The Sporties is currently overhauling our website and social media so watch in the coming weeks for our new website. In the meantime call the hotel or look in Queensland Pride.

The Sportsman Hotel, 130 Leichhardt St, Spring Hill.


Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith is a Brisbane-based journalist, writer and photographer. 

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