Tilley's

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Tilley's Devine Café Gallery
Founded 1984
Area served Canberra
Website tilleys.com.au
A lively crowd at Tilley's
Tilley's by night

Tilley's Devine Café Gallery is a well-known café in the suburb of Lyneham in Canberra, Australia. It was named after Matilda 'Tilly' Devine, a gangster and madame from Sydney who lived in the mid-twentieth century.

When the café first opened in 1984, it was intended as a women's space, with men allowed entry only when accompanied by women. Popular with lesbian women, it quickly became an icon of Canberra's LGBT scene. Attempts to restrict or limit entry of men inevitably brought challenges, most notably by a group of cadets from the Royal Military College, Duntroon who attempted to force their way in, instigating a brawl. Eventually the policy was dropped.

Tilley's originally had seating for 60, but subsequently expanded five times, and now has large indoor and outdoor eating areas. It was once a popular space for night time concerts by local musicians, hosting names such as Mia Dyson, Lucie Thorne and Clare Bowditch. In 2005 concerts were scaled back in order to expand the more financially viable restaurant and café.[1] According to ACT historian Roslyn Russell, it was the first licensed outdoor venue in Australia, and the first Australian bar to ban smoking indoors.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ No more Devine music, RiotACT, 9 August 2005, archived from the original on 11 August 2008 
  2. ^ Rusell, Roslyn, History, Tilleys Devine Cafe, archived from the original on 25 January 2014 

Coordinates: 35°15′7″S 149°7′27″E / 35.25194°S 149.12417°E / -35.25194; 149.12417