Looking to disappear? Go to Gowings

A few months back I booked a dinner at the Gowings Bar and Grill in the City. The restaurant is on the site of the old Gowings Bros department store on the corner of Market and George Streets, Sydney.

The Gowings store, which opened its doors in 1929, sold everything from socks and undies to camping equipment and scooters. The closing of the Gowings store in January 2006, was seen as the end of an era for Australian retail.

I was talking to my Mum about my plans to go out to dinner.

Mum: “Where are you going?”.

Linda Louise: “I’m going to Gowings”.

Mum: “You don’t have to tell me where you’re going”.

Linda Louise: “I’m really going to Gowings. The Gowings Bar and Grill”.

It seems that back in the day, if you wanted to get lost or disappear and not tell anyone where you were going, you’d say “I’ve gone to Gowings”. If your car was dead, you’d say “The car’s gone to Gowings”.

The QT Hotel has taken over the site. You won’t be buying undies but you can grab a coffee at Parlour Lane Roasters and see the original elevators and signage in the foyer. The restoration kept a lot of the heritage features and it’s worth a visit, even just to have a drink the bar. There’s even a wall of old trunks in reception, which reminds me of the ones that may have sold back in the day.

There seems to be a theme of getting lost in the world of Linda Louise this week. I’m about to get lost right now. And if you’re looking for me, I’ve gone to Gowings.

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