- The Exchange Hotel Kalgoorlie is one of Australia’s most famous Skimpy bar’s
One of the most frequently asked questions I get from people outside the industry is what is a Skimpy and basically why they exist in the first place ( apart from many reasons men will always love beer and boobs – well most men.Obviously not gay men.Or arse men. Or men with foot fetishes .. but you get my point).
Skimpies are basically glorified barmaids. And I mean that in a good way. I loved being a Skimpy because it was all the fun of working behind a bar without the crappy bits (Skimpies don’t have to clean the bar or stock fridges although if you do you can expect to get along well with the other bar staff ). They are employed to wear skimpy outfits (hence the name ) and pour drinks while keeping up the banter with the customers.
In some venues , the Skimpies can do ‘jug runs’ , where they do a whip-round the bar for tips in exchange for stripping down to either a bikini or topless , depending on the venues licencing restrictions.
There is a serious side to the Skimpy role in mining towns though. They provide much needed light entertainment at the end of a long shift, in an environment where most workers are thousands of km’s from their homes/ families/mates/etc. I’m not saying Skimpies fill the role of any of these things but they are a welcome distraction and sometimes even a bit of a connection to the outside world.
I remember myself , stuck in Gove ( in the middle of East Arnhem Land) for a few months ,surrounded by flood water and feeling like I was in the most remote place on earth . Even I looked forward to the girls flying in from the Gold Coast ! Especially since half of them would smuggle in 5 bags of Hungry Jacks on the flight over from Cairns. You know your in the bush when a whole pub starts fighting over a 4 hour old Whopper ….