Hostelry is a sideline at the Crown & Anchor, the town’s “largest entertainment complex,” as it was in the mid-19th century, when Timothy Johnson built the Central House for entertainment, bowling, and drinking — and only later for lodging. The Central received victims of U-boat attacks off the Cape before the U.S. entered World War II. It was the Sea Horse Inn in the ’50s. Stan Sorrentino reopened it as the Crown & Anchor Motor Inn in 1962, with acts like Bobby Short. For a time, the entertainment included an attic-level cruising spot. The Crown was rebuilt after the 1998 Whaler’s Wharf fire. Under Rick Murray and William Dougal since 2001, its venues are the Crown cabaret, Paramount nightclub, Central House restaurant, Poolside bar, Wave video bar, and Vault leather bar. Headliners include Kate Clinton, Bobby Wetherbee, and Miss Richfield 1981. Carol Channing, Alan Cumming, and Tommy Tune were among recent guest stars.
More than 2,000 buildings and vessels are searchable on buildingprovincetown.com. The Building Provincetown book is available for purchase ($20) at Town Hall, Office of the Town Clerk, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown 02657.