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DeBortoli Pubs of the 1st quarter (27 January – 28 April 2017)

TONY LEONARD

DeBortoli Pubs of the 1st quarter (27 January – 28 April 2017)

Review date: 5 May 2017

Preamble:

Time to look back on the first 3 months of Pub of the week and nominate the best from each month.

Before doing so, here are some observations/generalisations from doing the rounds. Also the number of pubs closing appears to be at an all time high. Farewell to great pubs like the Royal, Clifton Hill, Great Western in the CBD.

All reviews, along with other news on food, drink, movies can be located at www.3aw.com.au/lifestyle

THE GOOD:

The offer of a weekday lunch/night time special deal has never been better and the value and quality is stonkingly good. These deals are not limited to the bar and while going out on Wednesdays does not suit everyone, more and more are using midweek as an opportunity to have that discretionary spend or using the pub to catch up and have a cheaper (dollar not quality) meal.

It is not uncommon to have a great meal – fully plated – and a glass of house or pot of craft and spend no more than $20.

THE SO SO:

In looking at where to spend, pubs must play their part. For sure, Facebook/Twitter are still the go to for the immediate, there is a tendency to neglect the website (or not even have one) and have out of date info still being displayed. Selling the benefits of the pub via the WWW is cheap and has all ages appeal. A plea to publicans: Keep reviewing your website

THE BAD:

Glassware Glassware Glassware. Pouring Pouring Pouring. Been a noticeable drop off here. As a consumer, nothing rankles more that paying a fiver or more for a pot only for it to become as flat as a carter’s hat when presented. Also, in endeavoring to get a head, more often than not the beer overflows into the tray. Is anyone being taught how to pour a beer anymore? This literally is money down the drain. Publicans: YOUR MONEY.

PUBS OF THE MONTH 1ST QUARTER:

From the first quarter reviews (27/1 and 28/4/17), 3 pubs have been nominated;

● February – Hotel Lincoln, Carlton.

Pub of the year in 2011, but this version of the Lincoln isn’t as high end as far as the food goes, but nonetheless is fabulous and clever. The old school pub touches remain, front bar is a wonderful throwback and a mix of spot on hospitality without gimmicks makes it one of Melbourne’s best.

● March- Healesville Hotel.

First time visit here but it’s reputation was matched by the hospitality. Beautiful pub, fantastic gardens filled with the most intoxicating aromas, but more importantly is run as a pub with a welcoming front bar and prices pitched at all levels.

April – Golden Fleece, South Melbourne.

This pub is recently reopened and has struck a chord in an area that relies on business rather than residential. The GF is one of a wave of pubs doing real deals at lunch time to bring you and is working. In the Port/South melbourne area, competition is always fierce but the new chums here are off to an excellent start.

All correspondence via email is read and when an answer is needed I will get back to you. Please keep comments and suggestions coming to tleonard@fairfaxmedia.com.au

Thanks again for the support from Vince Gurciullo and the team at DeBortoli.

TONY LEONARD
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