The Tonsley Hotel on Main South Rd in Clovelly Park is always busy on Friday and Saturday nights. It has a good, old-fashioned family-pub style bistro that reminds me of being a kid and going to the local with my family (and always ordering the chicken nuggets and chips, for what could be a better dining option to a kid?)
They have more than one area that can be hired for private functions and most times when I go (not that I go all that often) all of these private venues are in use.
There's nothing particularly fancy about the food on offer and I sometimes think it's probably a little over-priced for what you get but they can obviously charge the prices and still get the people in. For an example they have a vegetable stack on the menu (it goes by the name Vegetable Mille Feuille) that's $17 and isn't a lot of food for the money. The burger that my partner ordered on our most recent trip is good value being quite large and going for $15 (the patty is 200g), and the pizza I got was surprisingly good.
It was $16 for the gourmet veg pizza and it was piping hot when it came out - it was a few minutes after my partner got his meal and as there were only two of us he felt bad eating before I got anything. I didn't mind though and the waitress was very apologetic about the wait. The crust on the pizza was nice and thin and had a pleasant cheesy taste and the toppings were generous and the flavours combined well. It didn't look that large but it was filling and I was happy with my order over all.
My partner's burger was big and typically pub-style. It didn't raise itself above regular pub fare in my opinion whereas my pizza was really very good. These days some pubs have incredibly good burgers with flavoursome meat and other ingredients that really pop. This one isn't quite as good as others but I do like that it comes with a fried egg in it.
On Friday and Saturday nights they often have live music. Some nights the dance floor fills with people having a bit of a waltz or a general boogie. It's a fear of mine that an elderly man will ask me to dance, and I won't be able to say no, but this hasn't eventuated yet.
They also have a pretty good special on Tuesdays when kids under 12 eat free from the kids menu, although it does say that conditions apply so if you're keen on that one you'd better read the fine print. Schnitty's are $12 weekdays between 12noon and 3pm in the Chrysler Bar and they also have a free BBQ in the Chrysler Bar on Fridays.
They also do special events like Melbourne Cup and Christmas Day and also Christmas Dinner functions - you can always check out the website for more info. Like most pubs the Tonsley does a quiz night too.
Even with all the specials and whatnot, the Tonsley still isn't an amazing local pub for me - it's pretty stock standard. I probably wouldn't go there if it wasn't so convenient, and I'll go to other places that aren't as convenient if I have the time. However, the gourmet veg pizza was pretty good, and I'd definitely have it again. Also once I saw Shaun Micallef at the Bottle-O there, and that makes me like it a little more.