Brisbane’s drag queens are returning to the Sportsman Hotel

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Photos: Jordan Hirst

Brisbane’s drag queens are returning to the Sportsman Hotel from tonight as Queensland’s COVID-19 restrictions ease further.

Sporties owner Neil McLucas said from tonight (Friday, June 5), two queens will entertain diners and the Butch Bar will also reopen.

“Given the restrictions, we decided to turn it into a theatre restaurant, with the queens entertaining everyone coming in for meals,” he told

“At the moment, we’ve just got one or two drag queens for each sitting. As we can increase our numbers in the hotel, we’ll be able to put on bigger shows.”

Neil said well-known drag stars and some newcomers will return to the stage every Friday and Saturday night. He said the drag queens all jumped at the chance to come back.

“They all can’t wait to come back to work. Even though we can only offer them a limited time each evening, they just want to come back to the hotel more than anything,” he said.

“It’s exciting and it’s their first night tonight. I’m positive they’ll do an amazing job.”

The Sportsman Hotel can now serve twenty people at each dinner session – 6pm and 7.30pm – with social distancing measures in place. The team are still offering takeaway meals until 8:30pm in the evenings.

Call the team on (07) 3831 2892 or visit their Facebook page to book a seat or find out more.

The Sportsman Hotel bar also reopening as COVID-19 restrictions ease

Queensland’s COVID-19 restrictions eased at noon on Monday to allow cafes, restaurants, pubs and clubs to host up to 20 people.

Then, from noon today (June 5), venues can host up to 20 patrons in each area of their building, a week earlier than planned.

As a result, Neil said the Sportsman Hotel’s Butch Bar is also reopening for the first time from 3pm today (June 5).

No bookings are required. But the Sporties team will keep a total of 20 people in the bar at a time and maintain social distancing.

Neil said operating under these restrictions is very challenging, but the team want to keep serving the community.

“You could have 20 people come in [to the bar], but they want to stay,” he said.

“For a lot of people, Sporties is their home, whether they’re there for hours or just a few drinks.

“We can’t make any money out of what we’re doing at the moment, but we want to stay open and provide a service for people.”

The Sportsman Hotel closed its doors for the first time in its 30 year history when COVID-19 shut down Australian pubs and nightclubs in late March.

The Sporties team reopened the restaurant on May 16 to a limited number of patrons for dinner.

Bottle shop Liquor on Leichhardt is also open, for anyone who wants to support the Sportsman Hotel. It’s two doors down from the pub on Leichhardt Street.

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