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Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's not about food, it's about booze, damn it.

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.

(03) 6234 6954.


Stephen Estcourt said...

Evocative post Nola. Takes me back!

Maggie said...

To when you were a young booze hound with nothing better to do that read her weekends away? It's not too late to recapture that.

Christina said...

This is my favourite haunt too Maggie.
I also agree about the floors
My favourite is also the venison... and the herb crusted chicken...and the steak.
Phil and often go and just share foccacia with the wonderful garlic aioli and a bowl of mushrooms.
Maybe we've seen you there.
Agree totally about the prices, but must disagree on the chips.
They don't hand cut there own.
Just pointing it out as I'd hate someone to go there expecting that and being disappointed.
Now if it's hand cut chips you want, head down to the old Dr. Syntax, The Bay Hotel. Best chips in Hobart.
And yes I do go out of my way for a good chip!

Maggie said...

Thanks for the tip Christina, perhaps (my not being big on chips) I have been misled, as I never order them myself.

I formally retract prior statement about the chips.

Must head down to the Bay Hotel, but Sandy Bay is just so FAR, you know?

Rita said...

Not as far as Red Velvet Lounge where mate Steve takes great pride in doing his own chips!

Maggie said...

I'm learning to drive and buying a car just so I can go to RVL.

Christina said...

Hey Maggie,
Just wanted to let you know that I stand corrected.
We went to the Republic today for lunch, and lo and behold we are served handcut chips!!
In my defence we have been going for nine years on a regular basis, and this was a first!
The menu has been revamped so I'd say this is a recent addition.
Our last visit was Fathers Day so a few changes have taken place since then.
Looks all good though
I had the venison as usual, and I swear it gets better every time.
It is served on a risotto cake with a cherry sauce, Yummo!
Phil as usual had the Jack Daniels marinated steak, even though the whole steak menu has been revamped, and it was wonderful. But the chips, oh they were LUSH!
So I'm glad I was wrong.
No need to go all the way to Sandy Bay.

Christina said...

I need to tell you with much sorrow that after only a brief stint on the menu. They're no longer doing their own chips.
Apparently, when I enquired as to why, people didn't like them.
Phil and I rocked up with much anticipation last night, and left really disappointed.