Provincetown’s Crown & Anchor Prepares For An Ownership Change

Long considered the centerpiece for the city of Provincetown, The Crown & Anchor is known for the place to grab a great meal or a quick cocktail as you stroll down Commercial Street during the day and the place to dance the night away in the evening to one of the galaxy of international DJ’s who spin their during the summer. Now though, change is coming to one of the cornerstone’s of this Cape Cod haven’s business landscape-The Crown & Anchor is officially changing owners and is currently under contract. 

For those that are extremely curious about the identity of the new owners of Crown & Anchor, they might be familiar to keen-eyed visitors to the Cape Cod locale. Longtime Crown employee Jonathan Hawkins & his boyfriend/business partner Paolo Martini will be taking the reins at The Crown & Anchor. Hawkins, an established vocalist who runs his own production company has been behind the scenes at The Crown for seven years, booking a variety of their own entertainment. During last week’s licensing board meeting, Hawkins revealed (courtesy of The Provincetown Independent) to the board that while he arrived in P-Town as an entertainer, he quickly moved on to helping current owner Rick Murray produce his concert series.

“For the last two years, Rick and I have worked together to make this transition as seamless as possible. 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.” – Hawkins

While Martini told the licensing board last week that he is “the boring one” he is in fact, absolutely anything but. Martini, a chief scientific officer for rare diseases at Moderna (the maker of MRNA Covid vaccines in Boston), was not able to discuss details of the actual sale, he did discuss his own life & career with The Provincetown Independent. After buying his own apartment in 2020 in P-Town, Martini then ended up buying a home with Hawkins when he ended up staying full-time. At a time when science was needed the most, Provincetown became a haven for scientists. “Counting me, it was four gay scientists, just at that apartment complex,” said Martini. “To live in a place that lets you be who you want to be — these are people who are going to come and stay.”

The ability to work remotely from a place like Provincetown, as well as giving queer artists a much-needed place to show their own art, are two passions for Martini. He went on to tell the Independent “I want to put together a foundation that can give artists an opportunity to create here,” said Martini. “Give them a full experience, and the opportunity to exhibit and sell in this town. And then, if they decide this is the place they want to be, make it sustainable for them. “The number of young people who can afford to be here is very limited,” said Martini. “I want to discuss, eventually, what can we do with the town to create these spaces that would allow young people to stay.”

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