A New Generation of Drinking
XXXX pots and $5 counter
meals at the West End Hotel in Townsville. I should have been studying but who
can turn down a couple of cleansing ales and a meal all for $10. I spent a lot
of time in traditional Aussie pubs in those days. The counter would be studded
with old timers in King-Gee shorts, drinking ponies and watching sport on the
Because of my misspent Uni
years, I’m not intimidated by going into an old pub. I’ve spent plenty of time
in them since, playing pool and listening to bands. But over the years live
music and cheap eats have increasingly been replaced with pokies and play
areas. Some pubs have kept pace with the changing times and offer great meals
or an alternative space for alternatives. More and more higher end bars have
emerged – craft beers, cocktails and gourmet pizza. The distance between the
traditional pub and the demographic out and about for a drink has never seemed
In Room for a Pony’s new
bar on Friday night I pondered whether the great Aussie pub has lost its
relevance. Does a casual place to drink and socialise still exist?
The boys from Room for a
Pony have proved themselves with their popular café. It’s tremendously
successful with young people but it speaks to a wider age group too. The
breakfast menu is new wave – it’s less hollandaise, and more cultural and modern influences. They have outdoor space and morning sun.
The bar has been in the
pipeline since the early days. A few weeks ago, when I asked co-owner Drew what
the bar’s agenda would be he replied, ‘Having fun and getting drunk.’
It’s good to keep things
On first blush, the bar
around the back looks like it will enjoy similar success to the cafe. It has
restaurant style seating and open space including an outdoor area facing the
Prices are what you’ve
probably come to expect - $10 pints and a $11 Tassie reserve Chardonnay. On opening night there were canapes like vegetarian pakoras,
pork potstickers and salmon and avocado or mushroom and hummus bruschetta; similar to their food menu which is designed for
snacking and sharing – stomach liners while you have a drink. I'm looking forward to three types of steamed buns for $12.50 per plate - fried chicken and buttermilk mayo, pickled eggplant and yoghurt and salt and pepper squid with hot sauce.
Its modest size, open space
and casual approach is bound to attract a lot of people who like to go for a
drink and might not normally go into pub and are not keen on the Salamanca
It’s a new generation of drinking and it’s growing North Hobart.
They’re open seven days
from 2 pm until midnight.
You’ll find them at 338
Elizabeth Street Hobart.