Tilley's

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Tilley's Devine Café Gallery
Founded 1984
Founder Pauline Higgisson
Area served
Lyneham, 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, an English Australian gangster and madame from Sydney.

When the café first opened in 1984, it was intended as a women's space, with men allowed entry only when accompanied by women.[1] Popular with lesbian women, it quickly became an icon of Canberra's LGBT scene. Attempts to restrict or limit entry of men brought challenges,[2][3] most notably by a group of cadets from the Royal Military College, Duntroon who attempted to force their way in, instigating a brawl.[citation needed] The policy was maintained for two years.[4]

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, Frente!,[5] and Clare Bowditch. In 2005 concerts were scaled back in order to expand the more financially viable restaurant and café.[6] According to ACT historian Roslyn Russell, it was the first licensed outdoor venue in Australia, and the first Australian bar to ban smoking indoors.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tilley's rule supported.". Canberra Times. ACT: National Library of Australia. 15 March 1984. p. 12. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "Grassby at Tilley's.". Canberra Times. ACT: National Library of Australia. 16 October 1986. p. 2. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Social equality and Tilley's.". Canberra Times. ACT: National Library of Australia. 20 October 1986. p. 2. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  4. ^ Rusell, Roslyn, History, Tilleys Devine Cafe, archived from the original on 25 January 2014 
  5. ^ "From No 1 to Tilley's for Frente.". Canberra Times. ACT: National Library of Australia. 14 May 1992. p. 16. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  6. ^ No more Devine music, RiotACT, 9 August 2005, archived from the original on 11 August 2008 
  7. ^ 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