In this age of instant gratification, we’re loving the slow reveal of the Imperial Hotel’s eight-month-long renovation.
Erskineville’s iconic hotel has had its share of fame and notoriety of late. There’s been a dodgy ex-licensee and forced short-term closures, but it’s also the OG home of many of the scenes shot in the Australian drag-love classic The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Dessert. After an extensive renovation to the tune of $6 million cool ones (take that, Reno Rumble), the Imperial is bringing the drag-and-queer-love back home.
The first titillating reveal is Priscillas (sans apostrophe), a restaurant that combines a cocktail and a plant-based menu with a drag show on the side. Call it Drag ‘n’ Dine, if you will. The menu takes cues from the Caribbean and South America, with highlights including the “crabless crab cakes” made from jackfruit and heart of palm, and a jalapeno-laced coconut ceviche from the in-house ceviche bar. We know, we want them both in our mouths too.
Pair with a cheeky cocktail (a “Mitzi”, anyone?) and a roster of risque entertainment that rotates through the weekdays (quite literally—there’s a male pole-dancing troupe at the front bar on Thursdays), and you’ve got one glitzy, meal-deal made. They're also about to open a rooftop bar too and you know everything tastes better sky high.
The Imperial is also opening its own live music and dance venue, the Basement. Operating on Friday and Saturday nights, there’s already a promising line up of events like weekly screenings of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, queer dance parties and jelly wrestling to boot. Basically, it’s just a damn good time.
True to its commitment as a refuge of love, the Imperial Hotel is set to open Australia’s first same-sex wedding chapel in early 2019. They’ve taken over the building next door, and are working to transform it into a beautiful wedding venue for couples to tie the knot.
Keep it up, Imperial. There are so many reasons to say yes, #yes and yass, kween.
Image credit: Supplied