Ptown's Crown and Anchor in Process of Being Sold

Sunday October 17, 2021
Originally published on October 15, 2021

Provincetown's iconic resort The Crown and Anchor is in the process of being sold, the Provincetown Independent reports.

"The current owners of the Crown & Anchor complex, Bill Dougal and Rick Murray, are in the final stages of selling the property to their longtime employee Jonathan Hawkins and his boyfriend and business partner, Paolo Martini. The innkeeper, entertainment, and liquor licenses were all transferred from Dougal and Murray to Martini and Hawkins at a licensing board meeting on Oct. 12."

Details of the purchase have not been revealed.

The landmark Commercial Street property is, according to its website, the resort town's†"largest entertainment complex." It is, according to the Independent, "a cornerstone of gay life in Provincetown. Its three stages host numerous drag shows, Broadway singers, stand-up comics, and variety acts, and its six bars are a key locus for many of Provincetown's gay events, including Women's Week and Bear Week."

Built in the mid-19th century and called the Central House, it was the largest hotel in the town. "This house has accommodations for about 75 guests, has a fine billiard and pool-room attached, ladies' parlor and sitting-room, gents' reading and smoking-room, fronts the principal street of the town, while from the veranda at the rear a fine view of the harbor and its shipping can be obtained; the facilities for bathing are also good," wrote a review in late 19th century according the website Building Provincetown.

In the 1950s it was called the Sea Horse Inn and became the Crown in Anchor in 1962. A 1988 fire nearly destroyed the structure. in 2019, the current owners celebrated 20 years of owning the property.

Of the new owners, "Hawkins background is in the performing arts. A trained vocalist, he runs a production company, Live From Provincetown, and has worked at the Crown & Anchor for seven years, helping to book shows of all kinds," adds the Independent.

"I have had the privilege of working under Rick Murray since 2014," Hawkins told the licensing board on Tuesday. "I came here as an entertainer, then began helping him produce his concert series. Last summer, Live From Provincetown worked with the Pilgrim House, the Boatslip, the Provincetown Brewing Co., and the Brass Key, all to help keep art and entertainment alive during the Covid pandemic."

"For the last two years, Rick and I have worked together to make this transition as seamless as possible," said Hawkins. "The Crown will be run as a business — but my commitment will be to the community, its artists, and all those who enjoy coming here year after year."

The Independent writes that "Hawkins's business partner, Martini, is chief scientific officer for rare diseases at Moderna, the maker of mRNA Covid vaccines in Boston. 'I'm sorry, but I'm the boring one,' he joked to the licensing board."