It has been almost six years since the Red Lion Hotel was demolished but the memories still live on.
As the bricks and walls were torn down in 2012, people swore they could smell the scent of stale beer, a classic trademark of the pub.
Residents have shared their memories and we have compiled a list that will make you declare “I remember that” from those Red Lion days.
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Thongs were not an option
You could walk into the Red Lion in pluggers and sure enough, after a few steps, your thongs would be left behind, stuck to the sticky carpet. Spilt alcohol would bubble up around your shoes with each step on the carpet before the mushy flooring would claim your shoes as its own.
If these walls could talk
They would probably be asked to be wiped down. Too often the walls looked like they were sweating as much as the patrons as condensation could be seen dripping down them.
Smoke-free zone … not
The Red Lion was open in the good old days when it was acceptable to smoke anywhere inside the pub and didn’t the patrons take advantage of that? Upstairs was always a bit of a maze through the haze of smoke and it took a few washes of your hair and clothes to truly feel clean again. It was hard to tell if the smoke was from a smoke machine or the packet of Peter Jacksons being passed around at the next table.
The Red Lion’s soundtrack
Come Friday or Saturday night there was one thing that was as sure as the sticky carpets and that’s the playlist. A combination of 50 Cent, Chingy, Fatman Scoop, Nelly and Missy Elliott would be on repeat, blaring through the speakers. And somehow, patrons never got sick of the tunes.
The Lava Lounge
If there was one place you wanted to set up for the night it was the room upstairs to the right, if you could find room in there. Tables and booths packed together with the pumping music from the dance floor outside made it probably the loudest area in the whole pub but did we care? Not really. And if you found a table, you hung onto it.
The Red Lion wasn’t known for its space but this didn’t stop there being multiple levels to the dance floor. Of course, dancing was limited to some bobbing at the knees and sporadic arm movements because your feet were stuck to the floor. And the higher up you climbed, the more you felt like the king or queen of the dancefloor.
Get in line
There were many occasions when you’d round the corner from Baylis Street to find the line had snaked around the corner. You’d breathe a sigh but realise the cheap drinks inside were worth the wait.
Everyone has a Red Lion story
Those who visited there, even only once, are sure to have walked away with a tale or two, whether it’s rearranging the furniture to suit your group’s need, a raunchy competition you entered or setting the downstairs bar on fire. And while there are many pubs and clubs in Wagga, both now and in days gone by, the Red Lion holds a special place in the hearts of those who visited or frequented the establishment.