How Mary’s Poppin became one of Australia’s premier gay clubs


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Image: Mary's Poppin

Adelaide, the City of Churches has seen a seismic shift in queer visibility over the past decade, and a lot of that can be attributed to Mary’s Poppin.

The iconic gay bar in the Adelaide CBD recently celebrated its sixth birthday, a milestone for the club that has become one of Australia’s premier LGBTQIA+ venues.

For forty-years, The Mars Bar was Adelaide’s longest-running gay club and an institution for generations of queer South Australians.

When Mary’s Poppins opened its doors in 2016, the bright pink multi-level club brought Adelaide’s queer visibility to a new level.

Mary’s Poppin owner Stephen Craddock is well-known as the owner of ITDEVENTS, Australia’s leading LGBTQIA+ touring and concert promoter.

“My first business was ITDEVENTS, mainly touring RuPaul’s Drag Race artists across Australia and Asia,” Craddock said.

“Out of that (and many trips to Adelaide), I fell in love with the city and decided to open something new, shiny and exciting.

“Mary’s Poppin was born in April 2016 and I’ve never looked back.”

Mary’s Poppin owner ‘wants to prove that Adelaide can bring it’

Historically, Adelaide has been a city that is often overlooked for national tours.

However, being the home base for Australia’s leading LGBTQIA+ entertainment company has ensured everyone stops in at Mary’s.

From international drag superstars to the iconic Mary’s Divas, Mary’s entertainment offerings rival those seen in Australia’s major cities.

Craddock said the Mary’s Poppin team was consistently elevating, ensuring that Adelaide continues to punch above its weight.

“It’s grown organically over the years, we work really hard on the entertainment offering and our Mary’s Divas,” he said.

“We’re constantly upgrading, changing the venue, and ensuring we have the very best of everything available to us. We’re here for the long haul.”

With plans for a rooftop bar in the works, patrons can rest assured that Mary’s is only going up from here.

“We want to prove that Adelaide can bring it,” Craddock said.

“Adelaide might be a small city, but we have huge dreams.

“We regularly get comments about Mary’s being the best LGBTQIA+ venue in Australia and we’re so proud of that.”

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