Our Story

The Ambassadors Café, 1920s

An "indiscretion" in the Wentworth Hotel between a "lady in a low cut dress" and a "slightly drunk" party-goer swung the Strand Arcade into the 20s. The details of the incident are sketchy but it led to an unceremonious eviction from the hotel of Sydney jeweller and well known man-about-town, Percy Stewart Dawson and a new racier image for the Strand. Dawson vowed he would never be thrown out of a nightclub again. To guarantee that he decided to build his own: The brightest and the best night spot Sydney has ever seen. He chose the basement of the Strand Arcade for the venue of his club, The Ambassadors Café. The club housed a large, extravagantly decorated ballroom which seated 700, and a small Palm Court used mainly for luncheons and afternoon tea dances.

The twenties roared as much in Sydney and the Strand Arcade as they did around the world. The shops were busy and the dance club attracted fashionable and colourful people.

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