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Pub Of the Week review: Beehive Hotel, Hawthorn

Tony Leonard

Pub: Beehive Hotel
Where: 84 Barkers Rd., Hawthorn
Phone: 9853 6638
Score: 14.5/20
When: 26 May 2017
Websitewww.beehivehotel.com.au

VENUE

Third review.  (Previous was around 2012 when traded as Barkers Wine Bar and Bistro).

The Beehive is a beautiful old pub, proudly serving the inner east for over 150 years and is going as well as ever.  From the fabulous brick double story facade on the Church St corner, inside to the old Chesterfields, old fashion ceramic tiles in bar, warm and comfortable dining room with a lovely discreet courtyard at the rear, this pub screams creature comfort.

Around 5-7 years ago , the pub changed course and name, ramped up the offer, along with the pricing. There was much acclaim but somehow ran out of steam.  Back to its origins, with a sharper offer as far as the menu goes but still the essence of a pub, the Beehive has found its mojo.

The look and feel hasn’t changed a great deal – No TAB/no Pokies – and that is a good thing. This pub works without gimmicks.

Tuesday afternoon, (Moody Blues should have been in background) cold and windy outside:   inside a full bistro bore testament that this is what they like.  A lot of corduroy, comfy cardigans, and a place to socialise in a better but not too outrageous public house.

To accurately  generalise, categorise and compartmentalise, a perfect Eastern Suburbs pub is the Beehive.

MENU

Good quality pub grub, neat touches and right price points.

Loads of daily specials such as Arancini, Pot Pie, Croquettes, Pasta supports the standard menu. Entrees include wood fired Chorizo with a Pedro Ximinez glaze (12), Korean fried chicken, daikon, slaw  (12) or two sizes of chilli/garlic prawns (16e/29m). Pub favorites in the $20 range are offered along with a stack of wood fired pizza options ranging from $16-22. Most nights there is a spoil with a decent shave of the RRP, or a meal deal involving a drink.  Lunchtime presents some great value and clearly well received by the full dining room in bistro.

Entrees $10,  Mains $24, Desserts $12

TRIED

Bacon and Leek Croquettes.  $9. Very Good. Bowl of perfectly croquettes arrive with a dipper and the pairing of flavours work a treat. As this is a rotating special, freshness is the key here, perfect way to start a pub lunch

Fish and chips $20 (lunch special and comes with a wine/beer).  Good.  Two fillets of Blue Grenadier, fleshy, hot and importantly crispy coated comes with a good serve of chips and freshly made mixed leaf salad. Increasingly BG is appearing on menus – at appealing pub prices – and done well is a fine meal.

Porterhouse, 250g, triple cooked chips, sauce, roasted tomatoes. $26. Very Good. Served MR as ordered, great char, fine support cast, this was a great pub steak and the right price.

DRINK

Commercial taps supports  – Carlton D and some some craft including Coldstream Hills (Pale and very good too) Thunder Road with a couple of ciders on tap. Wine list is small, but doesn’t go to a corporate tick the list and sources local and import. The standard in pricing here of $10pg//45/bottle.

SERVICE AND STYLE

Very Good. Full table service in pubs is more rare than commonplace and it is wonderfully refreshing when delivered. At the Beehive, they make a point of saying, sit down, relax, we’ll do the rest. Gotta love that.

SUMMARY

The Beehive is a genuine stayer on Melbourne’s pub scene, and on my 3rd visit over the past 15 years sits perfectly in that delightful ‘everyman’ feel.

It is not fanciful to compare to the glorious Emerald hotel in Sth Melbourne, a pub that gets this hospitality unerringly bang on. The Beehive has all ages appeal judging on my experience and most importantly is right priced.  This new chapter in the 150 year life of the Beehive has just commenced and should have a long and happy run at it.

The world’s first food and drink critic, Goldilocks,  would have been happy first time had she lobbed at the Beehive.

Tony Leonard
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