Provincetown Gay Party Central, Crown & Anchor history

Now called The Crown & Anchor, the New Central Hotel was a popular Provincetown Inn in the 19th century

Now called The Crown & Anchor, the New Central House was a popular Provincetown Inn in the 19th century and  today is a  “happening place”.

The handsome waterfront Provincetown Inn located in the center of Provincetown on Commercial Street has gone by many names. In the antique postcard shown above it is called “New Central House”. Said to have been built in 1836 as the Central Hotel by 1868 it was considered the largest hotel at the tip of Cape Cod, with 75 guest rooms.  A private beach with cabanas and long porches with rocking chairs for guests to sit out and look at the water, made this Inn a successful business that kept expanding through its many incarnations. Its been called: Ocean House, Central House, New Central House, Towne House, the Sea Horse Inn. and the Crown & Anchor as it is known today.  At the end of the 19th century it catered to prosperous guests by providing a  billiard hall, smoking rooms, gentleman’s parlor, and ladies’ reading room for a mixed clientele of families and primarily straight travelers. But as the town evolved into a mecca for gay travelers, it gradually evolved into a thriving complex of bars and restaurants that cater to gay and lesbian patrons of varying tastes.   Although the Crown & Anchor was burned to the ground in 1998 when adjacent Whaler’s Wharf burned as well, it was faithfully rebuilt in its previous architectural style. The leather bar is known as The Vault and the restaurant Central House at the Crown pays tribute to its earlier years by using the earlier name of the hotel. while  the Paramount Nightclub, Piano Bar, Wave Video Bar and more make certain there is always a party going on somewhere.   Places to have a good time are an important aspect of life in Provincetown, whether you are a tourist or a resident, and in the new mystery novel Remaining in Provincetown a popular hang-out is the fictitious “Cowboy Club”. Want to learn more about what goes on there? You’ll have to read the book now available at and as an ebook on Kindle. Like our Facebook page and you may win a FREE copy.