Parkview Hotel Sydney Reviews – Review: Who would have thought that the Parkview Alexandria Hotel was once one of Sydney’s toughest pubs, haunted by heavy drinking men, frequented by members of the notorious barber shop gangs that plague the inner city suburbs city? Well, not me, until I delved a little deeper into the colorful history of the subject of this week’s pub review.
The Parkview Hotel has undergone many transformations in recent years, and today it caters to the wealthy in Alexandria. On the day of our visit, it was hard to find a seat and a table in the front bar of this cozy little corner pub, established in 1898. It was bustling with well-dressed middle-aged men and women, talking about politics, sport and the subject. Which one would expect from what appears to be a good mix of blue collar and blue collar drinkers, with a few retired, enjoying a Sunday afternoon social. At the back, in the dining room, couples ate grain-fed rump steaks and Al Dente pasta, oblivious to this pub’s violent past, and the 1920s barroom floor was described in a newspaper as down the butcher’s house. After a man was wounded in the neck in a moose attack.
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Parkview wasn’t always this quiet. The first pub host regularly faced Redfern Courthouse for rum and whiskey fraud. While this would put off most civilized pub drinkers, Parkview had plenty of reasons why patrons should look elsewhere for a beer or two. During the 1920s, gangs – known as “bunches” – fought bloody battles on the streets of Sydney’s inner suburbs, regularly meeting in hundreds of corner bars scattered across the city.
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The Alexandria Push can often be found in Parkview and, as early as 1926, had his throat cut in a brawl at his bar. Before I introduce myself, let’s reveal the beginnings of this bistro.
Attempts were made to open a pub on the corner of Mitchell Road and Harley Street in Alexandria as early as the 1890s, as the nearby residents successfully refused a licence, opposite the famous cricket and football stadium, known as the Erskineville Oval, for many years. . It was not until 1898 that an influential man managed to convince the authorities that “neighbourhood requirements” required a pub. He was James Roche, an alderman elected to Redfern Council in 1895. Roche was granted a license for the Parkview Hotel on July 25, 1898.
The 47-year-old publican and his wife Bridget, who married in 1880, had run the Royal Albert Hotel in Ivy Road, Darlington from 1894, before moving — with their five children — to a two-story brick pub in July. 1898. eg.
It is not surprising that the nearby residents, who had fought a long battle to prevent a pub from opening in their area, were not too happy with its opening, and an appeal against Roche’s license was filed in October 1898.
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Residents said that four applications had previously been submitted to the pub, two had been withdrawn, and two had been refused. Since the last refusal there has been no change in the building, nor an increase in the population of the area. It appears that Roach, as an alderman on Redfern Council, was the new right people, and the residents’ appeal failed.
For 12 years, Roach was a license holder in Parkview and a frequent visitor to the courts for violating liquor laws. He appeared before the courts for the first time in April 1899 when he was found guilty of trading out of hours.
Tragedy struck the innkeeper in 1901 when his wife, Bridget, died. The following year, he was fined 20 shillings, plus 1 6 6d costs per charge for selling unprotected rum and whiskey to his customers. It seems the lesson was never learned because eight years later he appeared before a judge again on similar charges. This time however he was subject to a much larger fine after tests proved that his brandy was less than 32.2 per cent, and that 9 per cent water had been added; His whiskey was 30.8 per cent unconfined, with 7 per cent water added, and rum 29.7 per cent with 7¼ per cent water added. For each offense Roach was fined in February 1910, £2 with 6 costs, and ordered that half of the fines go to the Police Prize Fund.
At the age of 59, in 1910, Roche retired as a tax collector at the Parkview Hotel, while continuing his role as an alderman on Redfern Council. The Sydney Sunday Sun reported on August 14, 1910:
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Alderman James Roche has been a prominent businessman in southern Sydney for years, and when he gave up the business last week, the residents of Alexandria decided to recognize his service. Accordingly, a party was held in the local town hall, presided over by the mayor, and Alderman Roach was awarded a gold watch and chain. A pleasant evening was spent in songs and praise.
Roach died at his home in Wilson Street, Newtown, on August 17, 1924, aged 73. Meanwhile, the Parkview license was passed to James Egan after Roche retired in 1910. Egan was only 21 when he took over as publican, and stayed for a short time. After leaving Parkview, Egan was accused of trying to kill his wife, Ruth, after she was shot in 1912.
Egan was said to have been charged with a dwelling in Alexandria, where Ruth was attacked with Charles Waite, a tram conductor, shot with his handgun. The shots hit Waite, Ruth, and her sister-in-law, Myra Johnson, who was in the house at the time. Although all three were wounded – his wife was shot in the chest – all of them survived to tell the story. Egan was charged with attempted murder, and was sentenced to death, which was later commuted to 10 years behind bars.
A number of licensees were named above the Parkview door during the next decade as Alexandria became more working class and the pub more violent. The Tweed Daily reported in May 1926 that there had been four altercations between the “strikers” or gangs in Redfern and a number of people who had been attacked in various other parts of the city the night before. The newspaper reported that the most dangerous of them was outside the Parkview Hotel, between the Redfern and Alexandria gangs.
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Percival Birmingham, 26, who happened to pass into the pub, was attacked with a razor blade. His neck was cut, and he was taken to hospital in a serious condition, having lost a large amount of blood. The wound was seven inches long. Other men were wounded in the same engagement, but their comrades held on. Sydney Truth was more lively in their reporting of gang fights.
STOCK PERCY STOCK AND BLOOD IN ALEXANDRIA, if old Percy Birmingham, here from the scrap that happened in a hotel in Alexandria on Saturday afternoon, May 22nd, is always so dejected in the way he faces punishment, he would make a fighter heavy weight that could. be so. Dependent on sending any audience in the stadium into ecstasy. Percy had a small row at the Parkview Hotel, on Mitchell Road, that afternoon, and as a result, he suffered a neck injury that made the bar-room floor look like a butchery, and he took eight stitches at the Royal South Sydney Hospital. When questioned by the police, he described the case as “some nonsense” that he did not want to make a fuss about.
The violence continued in the pub under the direction of Manos Patrick Heffernan. Heffernan had operated the nearby Camellia Grove Hotel in Alexandria before obtaining the Parkview license in July 1927. The Sydney Sun reported on August 22, 1927:
When Samuel Parker, aged 19, or Fox, a tailor, was charged today at Redfern Court with assaulting Edward William Davis, a builder and contractor, of Hartley Street, Alexandria, Sergeant Robson said that Parker was one of a gang in Alexandria who the police feel they need strict supervision. However, the police were baffled by the silence of the man who had been attacked. Constable Hanson said Parker admitted attacking Davis because he called his brother “an ugly name.” Davies testified that he met Parker in front of the Park View Hotel in Alexandria. “what happened?” asked Sergeant Robson. Davies. I do not want to give any further evidence against Fox. Sergeant Robson suggested to the judge that evidence should be presented, as the case affects the public. McMahon: It looks like Parker beat Davis, but since Davis doesn’t want to give any evidence, I don’t see that we can move forward with this case. Parker is released from the hospital.
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Fast forward another 16 years, and violence comes again to Parkview, when Manos Patrick Heffernan returns as host. Heffernan was licensed between 1927 and 1928 when members of the Sydney barber shops came to him.