Notorious former Bondi Beach gambling den listed

Notorious former Bondi Beach gambling den listed
Notorious former Bondi Beach gambling den listed

A grand art deco apartment in the landmark 1920s Berkeley Court block at Bondi Beach, once a renowned illegal gambling den, has been listed for sale.

The restaurant was the home to the so-called 'Berkeley Club' during the Second World War, where officially people could play cards and order a sandwich.

However, unofficially, customers could place large bets on horse races and it was considered one of the most popular illegal betting houses in the eastern suburbs.

Crime author Vic Darminian penned a description of the 'Berkeley Club'.

“The room had been set up in a similar style to the lounge at the Bondi Hotel, with comfortable contemporary furniture, a service bar near the kitchen, and a long bench-style table at the back of the room which could easily accommodate three booking clerks," he said.

"A blackboard extended the length of the table on the wall behind it where details for race meetings Australia-wide could be displayed.

"A bank of phones in one corner completed the set up.”

It was ran by bookmaker Jack 'Mo' Reynolds and employed gunman Kevin Gore to 'look after the card games'.

In 1965 Reynolds was fined for having a revolver in his possession and told the arresting police that he had found it at the Berkeley Club and “it went off and wounded me in the chest”. 

Built by the Reynolds family, Berkeley Court operated as luxury holiday flats during the late 1920s and 1930s.

The Gerakiteys family, who transformed the restaurant into three apartments 51 years ago, have listed the three bedroom apartment for the first time.

The 94 square metre apartment is the largest residence in the recently refurbished period building.

Raine & Horne agent Ric Serrao has a March 25 auction date.

This article first appeared in The Sunday Telegraph.

 

 

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Title Tattle Bondi Beach

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