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Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Royston Hotel, Richmond

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Pub Of The Week: Tony Leonard reviews the Royston Hotel, Richmond

Royston Hotel

12 River Street, Richmond.
9421 5000
When? February 8, 2019


Discreet old time boozer in the back blocks of Richmond, it is strikingly different to any other pub I’ve seen as far as outside exterior colour goes:

Chocolate Brown. Yep. More Club Dark than Dairy Milk.

Inside with a large horseshoe bar dominating,  the concrete and tiled floor, old style 60s (orange) lighting, knick knacks and furniture,  pool room (separated in its own parlour) this is a pub that is a little off the beaten track (end of Bridge road near Yarra) it is a reliable haven for pub punters looking for a ripping catch up.

Championing craft beer – why not with the wonderful Mountain Goat brewery only around the corner – and some different styles, pared with interesting well priced food, the Royston has a very welcoming package.

There are two big  dining rooms; the smaller, quieter one from the front bar is also most appealing, the menu has the right dash of traditional with a bit of flair.

Foxtel for the footy.  No Pokies/ No Tab.

This is a well run, owner/operator pub, that has a popular and has well loved following. Easy to see why.

The owners have reopened the Park in Abbotsford to similar acclaim.


Better level pub grub, and weeknights there’s a bargain to be bagged. (Porterhouse 250g, Ralphs, C&S, RWJus for $18. ^Top Gear, Right price. The menu reads well with the pub blinkers applied. Tried was;

  • Cheeseburger, Spring Rolls, ketchup, mustard, lettuce cups. 13/5/3. Neat trick, sighted only once and that was at the Park. Put them together, bite into the excellent oozing cheese and lamb filling and enjoy,
  • Chicken wings. Honey glaze, Sriracha, Pickled Cucumber. Melbourne must be one of the big hitters in the world for chicken wings.  Good representation here. $16.
  • Sweetcorn Croquettes, Salsa, Tomato, Goats Cheese. $14.  Good plate, nice flavours working with the beer.


The Royston celebrates craft far and wide.  And different. Kaiju Crush Tropical Pale from Dandenong, Fixation Squish Citrus IPA from WA. Moondog Passionfruit and Pineapple NEIPA at 6.9%.

Sticking to the road more travelled, an excellent pour of Mountain Goat Pale ($6/pot) slaked the thirst perfectly.

Different and small is the Wine list at the Royston. Prices just a tad above the mean, but more power to them having a crack by offering such. Amherst Cab Sav or Crittendens Pinocchio PG sail in at $11/$48.


Busy Wednesday lunch, was topped off with some of the most enthusiastic, friendly service I’ve encountered in doing this since 1996. Nothing was genuinely too much trouble.


New category and a bit of a hobby horse for me.  Dining at lunch doesn’t need (or at best barely background) music IMO. Zero for intolerable/10 for Perfect. This was a 5/10.  A notch too loud, sorry. British 60s/70s was the dominant style. Van singing Jackie Wilson said from St Dominic’s preview (BTW< – what is the second line of that song) is great, better just a fraction down.


Big tick.  Your own pool room. (sort off).  No sticking the cue into someone’s stone and wood. It’s a lovely pub.


The Royston is a stayer. Only been twice but there is something that is almost bombproof here. You want a good fun time with friends, in surrounds that are genuinely unique, then here’s your spot.

Just go.

SCORE: 13.5/20

Neil Mitchell