If there's anything on the planet that can get me more excited than a new pub opening up in my area, I don't want to know about it. The Bored Mothers' Society made licensing as difficult as possible for this place, with their incessant rabble-rousing about the "apocalyptic evils" of drinking and betting. Finally, however, the inebriated and the degenerate emerged triumphant, and the newest watering hole in Sydney's beloved "Suburb of the Orient" opened with great fanfare one fateful Thursday, not long ago. We established our own "landmark" presence the following Tuesday.
As we wandered in and sat down in the impressive TAB area, I felt a rather pleasant, warm feeling spread throughout my chest. I'm not sure whether this was the scotch, or whether it was the bitter-sweet epiphany that struck me - this quaint little dive will surely take my fortnightly dole cheque and send it happily down the gurgler, on a bunch of greyhounds with dubious credentials, on frothy schooners, or both. Easy come, easy go.
Some further exploring revealed a smokie-pokie area that completely takes the piss out of government "outdoor" regulations. Somewhere out there, loophole lawyers and arsehole architects are laughing in the face of the asinine anti-smoking crusaders. Whoever they are, I applaud their cunning and tenacity. Pressing on, we discovered a completely inexplicable area behind a line of machines, a place that could only be described as "the naughty corner" – empty and poorly-lit, looking suspiciously like a former, ahem, "Gentleman's Club". Or at least what I'd imagine one would like, if I had ever visited one... Regardless of its origins, it proved to be the perfect spot to introduce some ad hoc breakdancing sessions, much to the pleasure of the staff and patrons. Having owned that shit, we were rewarded in kind with the best spring rolls this side of the Hawkesbury, their immense size and flavour reflecting our unrivalled dancing expertise. Ultimately, this was a gratifying debut for the newest addition to Sydney's "City of the Orient".
We returned a week later for the most disappointing NRL grand final in living memory, with an equally disappointing effort on behalf of the pub to match. Minimal sound, insufficient seating, and no Pure Blonde on tap, for the whole damn day. Pitiful indeed. Yet, in the spirit of the finals, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and put it down to "teething problems". In spite of this, the night was salvaged in some small measure, as the author was granted a trophy that neither football code is likely to endorse anytime soon - the official "OUT" award, bestowed in recognition of being the first person, ever, to be given the boot from this fine new establishment for allegedly engaging in drunken antics. Allegedly.
Overall, this new joint has great potential, owing to their quiet bistro, their Flintstones building design, and the staff and security who are (for the most part) more eager to please than to dictate fascist conditions of service and entry. To quote the great General Douglas MacArthur, "I Shall Return"...