When I first moved to Hobart I didn't have any friends. Well, okay, I had one or two, but I couldn't make them drink with me EVERY night. I was pretty lonely, and pretty homesick (for a city I'd be desperate to get out of) and pretty open to distraction. Read: beers.
The beer garden at the Republic Hotel in North Hobart provided that outlet. Home away from home (conveniently within crawling distance), and before the Alley Cat came along, my only option anyways. And you could smoke in that beer garden (back when I would smoke "full-time," and not just intermittently like now - depending on the weather, the booze at hand and if I can afford it).
It's best on a lazy afternoon, in particular if its raining. I think I've sunk more coin into this establishment than a third-world debt, but I wouldn't say I've nothing to show for it. I've made friends here, and lost friends here, broken up petty fights and knocked other peoples drinks over, been hit on (successfully and unsuccessfully) and watched any number of my mates make ridiculous on at least a weekly basis.
A correctly timed visit and you might find the evening's entertainment doing a sound check, although Diesel seems to be around these days a little too much for my liking.
The food's none too shabby either. I'm particularly partial to the milk fried venison, marinated in garlic and cayenne pepper, served on a lemon and thyme risotto cake (not unlike venison KFC) and there is a porterhouse drowned in Jack Daniels sauce to soothe the inner bogan. This is the menu that price rises forgot, what other pubs still list side dishes at $4 and hand cut their own chips?
After 10 (I'm rarely ever about after 10) the band kicks on and the restaurant tables make way for what will become an utterly filthy dance floor. I'm not a fan of pubs after dark (thankfully daylight savings has increased my allotted drinking time), I prefer loungy bars with less shouting and marginally cleaner floors.
So if you are looking for me on a weekend afternoon I'm probably out the back at the Republic with a good book and a schooner, enjoying the peace and quiet.
The Republic Bar
299 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart.