You’d have to call it one of Sydney’s top party bars. Always a popular student hang, the Marlborough Hotel has become, since the lockouts skewed the crowds away from the east of town, an absolute lightning rod for Sydney nightlife. Maybe it’s the fact they’re open till 4am six nights a week, or the large beer garden. Perhaps it’s the live music or the DJ nights downstairs in their Tokyo Sing Sing room, or the classic rock upstairs at Miss Peaches. Whatever the reason, the Marly is the epicentre of one of the most vibrant parts of Sydney. Observing it all with wide, admiring eyes is staff newcomer Tara O’Connell.
How long have you been at the Marlborough, Tara?
I have been an assistant manager at the Marly for just over two months, and before that a loyal post-work frequenter.
What do you love about Newtown?
Newtown has always been a place in which I’ve felt not just safe, but wholly welcome. The sense of community that binds the neighbourhood is as blindingly obvious as the rainbow flags plastered throughout business fronts on King Street in shows of love and support. The venues dotted throughout Newtown work together in a fashion I doubt you’d find anywhere else. The overall connectedness is what really gets me.
Who is the most memorable customer you have ever encountered and why?
I remember this young uni student who was a dead ringer for David Wenham. I said to him: “How many times a day do you get told you look like David Wenham?” The guy had no idea who I was talking about, so we went through the filmography and when we landed on The Lord of the Rings it clicked.
What does the Marly bring to the local community?
The Marly offers such a wide range of experiences within such a small space, it’s impressive. From an ambient nightclub downstairs, a heaving pub space dominated by bands and flowing drinks, to an upstairs bar offering carefully curated cocktails – there’s a bit of everything for the varieties of human that make their way through our doors.