Here’s a modern dilemma: you want to watch the cricket World Cup final in a establishment with your mates where there’s atmosphere, beer and barbecued food, but want to be able to take your cricket-loathing partner without getting the cold shoulder over the poor choice of venue.
Important things to consider in this transaction are:
- An abundance of screens in multiple rooms
- Easy access to the bar without grinding against sweaty men (let’s face it, that’s never nice for any man)
- Decent, quality food just a shade above the $10 minute steak and pint deals served elsewhere.
- A semi-quiet location for the girls if it gets too rowdy
- Decent people; not a location notorious for stabbings, glassings and other naughty things like ice etc.
The New Daily, henceforth, would like to offer the following for your World Cup pleasure.
The Normanby, Brisbane
Ever heard the words ‘Queenslander?’ Rumour has it they were uttered for the first time ever at the Normanby Hotel, perhaps the most iconic pub in Brisbane, and certainly its most loved.
Famous for its steaks, its simple location not far from Suncorp Stadium, it’s a pub where Queenslanders meet and where sport is considered staple fare. The Sunday sesh is considered one of the best in the country for its heaving crowds.
Downside: ”One of the oldest hotels in Brisbane. The food is excellent and the atmosphere good. My only complaint is that its pricey, but you get what you pay for. Especially clean and the staff are great,” wrote one reviewer on TripAdvisor. No arguments here either, most of Brisbane’s steak restaurants charge as though they marinate the meat in truffle.
Upside: Everything else.
Notable others: The Breakfast Creek Hotel, anything on Caxton St, Deery’s Restaurant and Smokehouse.
Crown Casino, Melbourne
I know, surely there are dozens of better places to watch sport than next to the depressing energy of people throwing their families futures down the throat of a poker machine?
And you’d be right, of course. But for mine, the sports lounges at Crown are the biggest and best in Melbourne, with cheap beers and screaming, maddening crowds who’ll gather for a big event. The food is cheap, the parking is cheap, everything is actually pretty cheap. And you can take your loved one out for dinner at one of the finer bars or restaurants and finish your evening in front of the Crown sports screens.
Upside: Price. Gets me every time
Downside: Price. It draws in a few nutbags.
Notable others: The Cricketer’s Arms, Turf Sports Bar, Imperial Hotel, Transport Hotel.
The Subiaco Hotel, Western Australia
Not a day goes by that you won’t bump into a famous West Australian at the Subi: Adam Gilchrist, Justin Langer, Eagles players, fashion designers, business leaders and politicians. It’s a classic by day for business lunch, and gathers arguably the best DNA in the country on a Thursday night. Quiet lounges, beer garden, a heaving front bar for the sports lover and plenty of late-night options nearby.
Upside: good quality, classy establishment, great food, excellent range of beers and wine list.
Downside: The price. You’ll pay more for everything here. And if you complain, no-one will listen, and nor should they. It gets tight in there, so get in early.
Notable others: The Windsor Hotel, The Wembley, The Cambridge, The Inglewood, The Botanica.
24/7 Sports Bar, Sydney
You know you’re in a decent sports bar when half the city’s journalists are with you, and trust me, this is where you will find them.
There’s 50 screens. Yep, 50. And pool tables, and cold beer and pub food, and the lighting is dim enough to make even a 40-year-old sports hack appear remotely attractive. All the goodness kicks off at 24/7 bar from 2.30pm today and today’s feature menu item is Bangers and Mash. Does it actually get any more Australian than that?
Happy hour(s) is 5pm to 7pm Monday where you can buy a Crownie for $4, or a pint of cider for $5.
Upside: Utopia for the sports-lover. Did we mention the 50 screens?
Downside: None, apart from the fact that ankle clamps would be helpful to keep the tired and emotional from heading upstairs to the casino.
Notable others: The Lagoon, Pyrmont Hotel, the Coogee Bay Hotel, The North Wollongong Hotel.