Bars and Nightclubs
Inner West, Sydney

The Sly Fox

199 Enmore Rd, Enmore, NSW
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The Sly Fox is an institution in Sydney's inner west! Conveniently located near the world-famous Enmore Theatre, as well as the vibrant shopping and restaurant precinct of King Street Newtown and Enmore Road. A traditional

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The Sly Fox Review

Review by Matthew Harden

At first sight it doesn't appear Sly Fox Hotel is suitably titled. Its appearance is charmed with age and the interior doesn't strive to be anything but a regular pub. Things only get foxy for this boozer when the homely haunt wakes from its slumber on a Wednesday night to the alarm of a dance party. A cunning commotion, on the sly, that's popularity challenges the notion of needing a weekend to party.

I can confess to indulging in far too many dance-floor minutes here, as it neared more ungodly hours of the morning. Without question, it's the most popular school-night sin to commit in the Inner West. But you'll be sinning along with a mixed bag of all sorts that's noticeably more female than male. The crowd is a lucky dip, excluding bland flavours and offering plenty of fruitful ones that give the party its 'Queer Central' title.

This taste of humanity will only become more flavoursome when drag royalty takes to stage at both 10:30 and midnight. These kings and queens of the spotlight win over the room's attention week in and week out. Packaging high glamour and hilarity in their spot numbers that match the expectations of Oxford Street's finest.

Talent also resides behind a booth on stage, in the form of Sydney's finest female DJ talent. These ladies seamlessly conjoin one party anthem after another in an operation of non-stop pop that lulls you into a false sense of weekend-ness.

To experience all this fun, there isn't any purse digging necessary for the friendly bouncers to admit you. And if your hands are digging around in there to buy a drink, you won't need to excavate a gold mine as their prices are in-line for a traditional corner pub.

Once you've stepped through the front double doors, you'll see a pool table beset with leather sofas in all its nondescript glory. It's a number of strides along the lengthy bar before a smog machine glazes over your sight and personal space becomes a foreign concept. This is where the stage and bustling dance floor are located, but after the smog machine has puffed for a few hours, the mist becomes so thick that that's a hard thing to determine.

You'll probably need a drink somewhere beforehand because the place doesn't feel awake and lively until after the first performance. And by the time the second one is through, you'll lose all sense of time and self, as all hell breaks loose upon the midnight hour and things don't gently roll to a stop until the early birds start their song.

If you've stayed that long, chances are you've experienced all the quirks 'Queer Central' at Sly Fox has to offer. Peculiarities such as ladies overtaking the men's amenities, everyone seating their behinds to the sticky, carpeted, pub floor to watch the drag shows and the main ritual associated with a night spent here, the outside smoke. There is a huge culture associated with the outside smoke, so much so that there's a collective tobacco cloud floating along the footpath to rival the indoor smog machine's effects. Whilst you're having a yarn, bouncers will try and shush you to keep the neighbourhood peace, and as far as rules go, that's about it for Sly Fox, a place to go where anything does go.

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