- De Bortoli Wines
- Grosvenor Hotel
- Mountain Goat Brewery
- The Graham
- Great Western Hotel
- Union Club Hotel
- Railway Hotel
- Emerald Hotel
- O’Sullivans Sibeen
- Melbourne Public
- National Hotel
- Transport Hotel
- Butcher Shop Hotel
- Pubs of the Month - 2nd Quarter
- Naughton's Parkville Hotel
- Stolberg Beer Cafe
- The Turf Bar
- Chelsea Heights Hotel
- Spottiswoode Hotel
- Wayside Inn Hotel
- Prince Maximilian
- Railway Club Hotel
- Royal Standard Hotel
- Pubs of the Month - 1st Quarter
- Lomond Hotel
- Junction Hotel
- Water Rat Hotel
- Telegraph Hotel
- The Last Jar
- The Plough
- Back for a 17th Year!
- Woodlands Hotel
- Review: Napier Hotel, Fitzroy
- The Lincolnshire Arms Hotel
- George Hotel
- Yarra Valley Grand Hotel
- Leinster Arms Hotel
- Windsor Castle Hotel
- Donnybrook Hotel
- Cornish Arms Hotel
- North Fitzroy Star
- Village Belle Hotel
03/02 - North Fitzroy Star - North Fitzroy - 14.0
10/02 - Village Belle Hotel - St Kilda - 13.0
17/02 - Cornish Arms Hotel - Brunswick - 13.5
24/02 - Donnybrook Hotel - Donnybrook - 12.5
02/03 - Windsor Castle Hotel - Windsor - 13.0
09/03 - Leinster Arms Hotel - Collingwood - 14.0
23/03 - Yarra Valley Grand Hotel - Yarra Glen - 14.0
30/03 - The George Hotel - South Melbourne - 14.0
13/04 - Lincolnshire Arms - Essendon - 13.5
20/04 - Napier Hotel - Fitzroy - 14.5
27/04 - Woodlands Hotel - Coburg - 14.5
05/05 - The Plough - Myrniong - 15.0
11/05 - The Last Jar - Melbourne - 13.5
18/05 - Telegraph Hotel - Gisborne - 14.0
25/05 - Water Rat Hotel - South Melbourne - 14.0
8/06 - Junction Hotel - Newport - 14.0
15/06 - Lomond Hotel - East Brunswick - 13.5
22/06 - Royal Standard Hotel - West Melbourne - 12.0
29/06 - Railway Club Hotel - Port Melbourne - 14.5
06/07 - Prince Maximilian - Prahran - 14.0
13/07 - Wayside Inn Hotel - South Melbourne -16.0
20/07 - Spotiswoode Hotel - Spotswood - 14.0
27/07 - Chelsea Heights Hotel - Chelsea Heights - 12.5
03/08 - The Turf Bar - Melbourne - 13.5
10/08 - The London - Port Melbourne - 13.5
17/08 - Stolberg Beer Cafe - Preston - 13.023/08 - Naughton's Hotel - Parkville - 14.5
07/09 - Butcher Shop Hotel - Bunyip - 13.5
14/09 - Transport Hotel - CBD - 14.0
21/09 - National Hotel - Richmond - 15.0
28/09 - Melbourne Public - South Wharf - 14.5
05/10 - O'Sullivans Sibeen - Essendon - 13.0
12/10 - Emerald Hotel - South Melbourne - 14.5
19/10 - Railway Hotel - Windsor - 14.0
26/10 - Grace Darling Hotel - Collingwood - 14.0
02/11 - Union Club Hotel - Fitzroy - 14.5
09/11 - Great Western Hotel - CBD - 13.5
16/11 - The Graham - Port Melbourne - 15.5
23/11 - Mountain Goat Brewery - Richmond - 0-20
30/11 - Grosvenor Hotel - St. Kilda East - 14.0
Ok, it is not a pub, so please pay no attention to the mark afforded; it is done to fill the gap. But for all intensive purposes (deliberate before you write in - we are using pub language), the Mountain Goat Brewery could easily pass as a pub.
The Graham has been held in the highest regard amongst Melbourne pub diners who seek out food and drink at the higher end of the pricing scale. ( I loathe the term ‘gastro’ and try to avoid at all costs).
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.
The Union Club is a deceptively large brick boozer in Fitzroy. A smallish bar greets you and the draught is top notch. To the left is a large dining room with furniture and tables of various sizes and designs, but still in the 60’s.
Beautiful, historical bluestone pub, the Grace Darling has been a fixture as a trading hotel for over 150 years, and once inside it is easy to be taken on a time travel back to Melbourne in the 1850’s.
A massive two storey pub near the Dandenong Rd end of Chapel St, all the action regarding food and drink takes place on their thoroughly modern first floor that packs a punch in a rather limited space.
Like visiting a dear friend or a chance meeting with a treasured love of 20 years past, the Emerald greets you with a hug, sit down, have-a-drink-and-a-good- to-see-you, what have you been up to, welcome.
Neat, comfortable, straight up and down local, run by long time hoteliers the O’Sullivans, the Sibeen is one of the last of the Irish, a wave that swept through a dormant and turgid Melbourne pub scene/culture in the late 80’s.
Ok, it’s an area of town - South Wharf - that I struggle with, and suspect a stack of Melburnians do also, but if an effort is made you will find a ripper new player on the Melbourne pub scene, banging out terrific pub grub with a range of offers to suit the budget.
A stunning remodelling of the old time Richmond boozer, the National (aka The Nash, natch!) is one of my surprise packets of 2012, with an interesting offer the likes rarely seen in Melbourne pub life.
An easy going, friendly pub, Transport is the first part of 3 storey “family” offer (the others being Taxi and Transit) that gives the punter a terrific, straight up pub experience in the middle of town at the ever increasingly popular Federation Square.
There were some hits hits and misses - the tap beer playing up wasn’t a great start - but with an offer of well thought out dishes with pub favorites, a comfortable, welcoming experience awaits. It is well thought out pub grub, with some nice twists.
Long time “student” pub in leafy Royal Pde Parkville, Naughton’s, directly over the road from Melbourne Uni, has been re-opened after closing for the past two years and is taking a different direction, without alienating its traditional base of thirsty academics.
REVIEW: Old time Preston pub that has been turned into a boutique beer hall, with an aim of showcasing different beers to a “non pokies/tab” in the northern suburbs while doing basic pub grub at reasonable prices.
Situated in one of the windiest parts of Melbourne on the edge of Port Melbourne/Beacon Cove, The London has re-opened and re-branded itself as ‘local cafe/bar with European menu’ for those located off the well worn track of Bay St, Port Melbourne.
Delightful, subterranean bar/pub in Queen St that has all the feel of an exclusive club with dark timber floors, tables and booths (with wrap around curtains), great front (and only) bar, the Turf Bar (TTB) does a neat trick of separating areas in a very limited space.
In reviewing pubs for the past 17 years with Neil Mitchell, never before has there been a better example of why pubs are so important to community, than the newly re-opened Spottiswoode Hotel, in the shadows of the railway station.
In such a cluttered area for dining choice, the decision to take on the Wayside was risky for sure, being in an “unattractive” area of South/Port Melbourne, with plenty of industrial and little residential surrounding it...
Renovated, re-invigorated, renamed and more importantly re-trading, the Prince Maximilian aka Hotel Max, has been a long time and successful fixture in Commercial road within the shadows of the Alfred hospital.
A good looking double storey pub, located in that rarely accessed part of William St near the Victoria market, the Royal Standard is a straight up and down basic hotel covering one large area, separated by the rectangular bar in the middle.
Thoroughly modern and sharp take on an old pub, the JBHAWR has instantaneously won over a stack of 'new west” punters looking for the traditional pub experience in the western suburbs, but something more interesting than a 'Colour TV here' sign painted on the pub window.
TONY'S BEST: Let’s cast our eyes over the Debortoli pubs of 2012 from February to May and hand out three monthly (March and April are combined) awards. By and large, the standard is consistently good, with none reviewed showing up any major flaws...
With its facelift, the Water Rat is as visually pleasing inside and outside as any pub in the CBD/South Melb area. Chocolate/Vanilla exterior with a very nice street dining set-up, polished boards inside with leather lounges and room to move and a separate dining room.
Good signs of life on entering greeted me with a welcoming publican, the fires going, TAB in swing (no pokies), and a sense that while the suburbs advance, it proudly showed its rural past with prints of Gisborne in earlier times.
Food is a generous serve: it is good, solid pub grub nothing more or less. Starters include crispy Pigs ear $5, mackerel pate $6, battered sausage $6. Bar snacks? From county Meade “Tatties”, the Irish equivalent of Smiths crisps.
In slightly off the beaten track Myrniong just north of Bacchus Marsh, the Plough has been making some quiet noises since its rebirth some three years ago as a place of family friendly comfort and dining at superior levels.
Totally and fabulously renovated pub in Sydney rd between Moreland rd and Bell st, the Woodlands is a multi-story old pub that has recently been brought to life in the ever burgeoning (as far as food and drink is concerned) suburb of Coburg.
PUB OF THE WEEK: Glorious, wonderful, delicious (I feel Bruce Mcavaney is channeling this review) throwback Fitzroy brick boozer that, for a first time visit, absolutely won me with a no ‘tish’ attitude to its pricing of food and drink with cheerful service completing the package.
PUB OF THE WEEK: Extremely solid citizen that has been part of the northern suburban landscape for years, the Linc is an all things to people kind of pub with enough quiet and space for smaller groups to gather, or larger ones to gather and watch the footy.
Genuine old school South Melbourne pub, presented with a new set of eyes, the George, in the shadows of the famous South Melbourne market, is a wonderful example that in 2012, pubs can be all things to all people without a TAB or poker machines.
The YVG reveals itself as a ripper, basic, comfortable pub that uses its natural assets to best advantage with a engaging, small front bar - plenty of choice on tap - outdoor decking for dining and live music...
The Windsor Castle is a popular, out of the way, sort of hard to find old/modern boozer in the back streets of Windsor/prahran whose most prominent feature is the three pink elephants on top of the roof, clearly visible from Dandenong Rd.
Welcome readers to the Donnybrook hotel, a generous, good old fashioned country pub, 40kms from town up the Hume hwy, which for the moment is still pretty rural, but the expanses of Cragieburn loom large in the foreground.
The pub is welcoming, and the staff, in spite of what would have been a very late night previously, was most cheerful. The CAH also does a number of meal deals throughout the week, confirming its attachment to the local community.
Compact, labrythine old boozer, tucked away in the shadows of the San Remo Ballroom in Nicholson St., the North Fitzroy Star (NFS) does a fabulous job of being a place of local community and comfort, while banging out neat pub grub at very fair prices in 2012.
It seemed like everyone knew each other, so the atmosphere is good and to complete the picture, at least 3 different styles of carpet adorned the floorboards. Food is fairly priced and plentiful, wine list provided a nice read and point of difference, but the beer...
The De Bortoli family is committed to making distinctive wines from their Yarra Valley and King Valley vineyards in Victoria and from their vineyards in New South Wales; wines with true varietal and regional expression - wines with a sense of place. For more than 80 years the De Bortoli family tradition of sharing good wine, good food and good times with family and friends remains unchanged