- Taylors Lakes Hotel
- The Retreat Hotel, Brunswick
- The Grand Hotel
- Irish Times
- Heritage Tavern
- Grandview Hotel
- Yarra Hotel
- Harbour Town Hotel
- RSS Syndicate this blog (XML)
What we're talking about
- Kelley on New release movie reviews - November 8 Grant is portrayed as a saint, which is misleading and manipulative. The message this film sends to the black community is ... more
- kg on New release movie reviews - November 8 I disagree with the review on Fruitvale. Oscar's flaws were obvious and uncomfortable. The manager who denies him his job ... more
- Heath on REVIEW: Union Hotel Yes. In the union at the moment. Love this place. Not surprised to learn its owned by the same people as the standard. ... more
- peter michelsz on Ballcourt Hotel can anyone tell me what last weeks pub of the week was 26-7-2013 more
- Vera on Plough Hotel We enjoyed a lunch at this hotel last weekend, the place was packed (a good sign).Fourteen of us had lovely meals which ... more
- Bill on Pub of the Week 2013: The search ... Hello Tony,Recently I had the nicest surprise I have ever endured I attended a private function at the Spotswood Hotel well ... more
- Jeff on Pub of the Week 2013: The search ... Tony, The popular Zorka and Volbi are back at The Orrong Hotel - 709 High st Armadale (they sold North Fitzroy Arms)! Yes, ... more
- Shane W on Pine Grove Hotel How long have these 2 pubs been on the website? more
- Bill Graham on Pub of the Week 2013: The search ... You really MUST try The Snug Public House, 68 Sydney Road, Brunswick.... Kim and Michael are building one hell of an eating ... more
- tony on Lord Newry Hotel we do sunday lunch and i must say the rose hotel was one of the best keep it up more
- Shane W on Prahran Hotel How come this page hasn't been updated for weeks? Looking forward to more reviews. more
- IAN on Pub of the Week 2013: The search ... Tony ???Still none in the Pakenham-Dandenong- Cranbourne- Rowville.??area To far for the "MAN" who travels by Train. more
- michele on Woodlands Hotel Absolutly fabulous pub went there wednesday for a curryand a pot/cider for $15 food great service excellent and decore ... more
- Julia on The 2012 3AW De Bortoli Pub of the ... Why would he go out in the Burbs, customer service is appaulling and the language is disgusting. more
- Bill Graham on Pub of the Week 2013: The search ... TonyLast year I recommended you paid a visit to the Last Jar....now this year, I thoroughly recommend you pay a visit to The ... more
- Rochelle on Little River Hotel Never fails! A real pub in every sense of the word! Can't go wrong for honest pub grub with an old school charm! Do yourself ... more
- Garry on McKinnon Hotel Hey Tone, can you remind us who won Pub of the Year Last year?I recall your interview with the winners on Neilo's show and ... more
- leemob on Pub of the Week 2013: The search ... Hi Tony, I read your comments re expected pricing of Pub meals. Tony you seriously live in another world to the average wage ... more
- Mick fisher on Little River Hotel Mick I am trying to call to make a booking calling forr 4 hours tonight we need a booking for Wednesday at 6.30pm my mobile ... more
- Famous Bars for Lease on Mail Exchange Hotel It is really a great service of hotel or pub. Many bars or pubs also offer same services at reasonable price to make feel ... more
Great Western Hotel
Pub: Great Western Hotel
Where: 204 King St., Melbourne
Phone: 9670 4389
Date: 9 November 2012
Here’s a quaint hospitality proposition that couldn’t possibly work: ignore every trend regarding food and wine, put on an offer, when stripped bare, is nothing more than a friendly place to gather and have a drink and see how it pans out in 2012.
Totally implausible. You must a wow factor.
First- Get the best architects to redesign and redevelop the interior with whatever is cool, eco-friendly, minimal carbon footprint and a conversation starter.
Second - Food trend. Surely a menu with sliders, tacos, and pizza, with burgers made from parts of an animal that have never been used, home bake a brioche and then you may have a chance. Pork belly? Not in 2012. Have you considered Pork Testicles? Its all about nose to tail now m’dear.
Third - Wine. Get a sommelier who, not only is the full book on Chilean wine but happy to write the gear up in Spanish and correct you if you don’t roll your r’s when ordering.
Ah, now you have something.
Or maybe not. Enter the Great Western Hotel, King St., Melbourne.
Steadfastly bucking every trend imaginable, GWH is a haven for collars blue and white, men and women, who like to spend a lunchtime or evening, standing around, having a beer (mainly) chatting with colleagues and choosing from the most basic menu.
And here’s the clincher: It is outrageously successful.
Entrees: Not really
Wine: Perhaps, but didn’t see a list. A couple of bottles were in a fridge!!
Simply put, the GWH is a throwback to a long forgotten, non-OHS era when people gathered at lunch, stood around and bitched about their working lot over a couple of beers and went back to work and to my eye not a lot has changed. Good.
It is clean, friendly and familiar. The beer is outstanding and the small bar services two sides of the room with a very cramped TAB jammed into a neutral corner. A small beer garden backs up onto a lane.
The food is dispensed from Ronnies Galley, which in essence is really Ronnies Cloakroom. Small, so small, and neither the cook nor menu has changed over the years.
Here’s an example of their pricing policy which I defy any wunderkind who can recite PI to 300 decimal places to work out: a special of a bowl of chips was $8 (big bowl too). The other special was a rump steak, egg and chips for $10!!
Go figure. The top price is $25 for a 400g New York Porterhouse, fully plated. All bases are covered.
Ronnies menu is basic, but the food is honest. Order at the galley, and when it is ready his crackly intercom announces for you to pick it up. Think Yarra river and ‘would the person in paddle-O #35 come in please come in, your time is up’ and you got the picture.
The pub works. Friday night when a game is at Etihad has become a mecca for those in the city or coming from the ‘burbs. Try getting a seat inside.
If you’re reading about the GWH for the first time don’t be misled into thinking it's a blokes pub; far from it. Such is the welcoming nature women make up a sizeable percentage of the customers.
There’s a limited range of wine available, but the secret to the success is familiarity. Those behind the jump have been the owner/operators for years and everyone seems to know each other.
- Porterhouse 200g, chips, salad - $20. Looked a bigger size than the 200g, , good meat, cooked to order.
- Fish, chips and salad. $20. Plentiful supply of flathead, served hot, salad fine, good eating also.
Daily specials for a tenner, every basic staple of pub menus you have seen are there, great beer; it is a package long offered and still successful. No web-site, no advertising, no urbanspoon/yelp recommendations but the pub is the envy of many in the industry.
Well maybe, the GWH does what many in hospitality or retail Australia have forgotten to do - Serve. Engage. Respect.
The flock keeps returning.