The Riverview Hotel in Balmain is one of the oldest and most popular watering holes first established in the 1880s. Situated off the main drag amongst quaint terrace houses in the tree lined street of Birchgrove road, it is a prominent fixture and a much loved local.
A colourful history right from the start from founding licensee, Thomas Morton (whom had attempted to establish the premises no less than five times) through to Olympic gold medal swimmer, Dawn Fraser (who was licensee from 1978 to 1983), this hotel had stood the test of time. I happened to come across it at Christmas time. With its festive decorations and $5 pint sign I just couldn't resist entering.
I love the pubs in Balmain; so much character and warmth that you immediately feel at home. This one is no different, historically old from the outside but the decor inside has recently been renovated giving it a wealth of decorative features and exuberant details. Though they have some elements common in pubs elsewhere there is a slight art nouveau touch to the interior design making it quite unique. The first you will notice is the red tiled horseshoe shaped Bar with an eye catching Mule Deer candelabra. Rest assured that no animals were mistreated or harmed in any way in the making of this stunning candelabra. The Deer antler re-grows and falls off the deer's head naturally every year and has been used for centuries to make kitchen utensils, weapons and unusual artefacts.
I could understand how many call this there local with a combination of bustling busy bar areas and quite cosy corners. A roaring fireplace in winter, deep leather armchairs you can sink into and dark walnut timber finishes add to its charm and encourage you to stop a while and reflect on life while downing a schooner of crisp Little Creatures Pale Ale or a White Rabbit Pale Ale - $8.50.
Fireplace - image courtesy of The Riverview Hotel website
You can choose to eat casually on the lower level from the Bar menu and if you happen to visit on a weekday, you can enjoy their trademark Wagyu Beef Burger for just $12.00. Or their latest popular special of two for one Pizzas on Tuesdays $20.00.
This main space overlooks the terrace houses. Elegant table settings for couples to large groups. They even offer High Tea on Saturday afternoons very popular for bridal parties or just a girl's day out.