07 Aug 2017
That place where everybody knows your name
This pub is everything it says it is and nothing that it doesn’t. It’s a pub. And it has remained just that after a recent facelift and new ownership takeover by Paddy Coughlan (Lord Gladstone, Chippendale / Lady Hampshire, Camperdown). Gone are the pokies that used to take up a large area on the ground floor and instead there’s a cozy dining area with street art adorned walls. You’re in Newtown after all. The kitchen is run by the people behind Darley Street Bistro and whilst the portions are generous and the fare is elevated pub grub, the prices are at the upper end of the scale.
But this is the southern end of King Street near St Peters and Sydney Park, away from the main drag that attracts those looking for a trendy hot spot. And yet, this place is cool in its very own way. It has heart and most of the people that come here have been doing so for a long time. You feel an instant warmth on walking in, as the bar staff seems to know most of the punters by name, as does everyone in the kitchen. Even in the dining room a ‘mature’ couple, who have clearly been regulars for many years, comment on the new styling before hugging the hostess, who is a new face since the re-vamp, “it’s so lovely to meet you”. <Insert feels here>
Whilst there’s new fluffy carpet, a fresh lick of paint and street & graffiti art throughout, there’s some old touches that have remained to appease the faithfuls that have called this their local for many years. They haven’t got rid of the screens to watch the footy in the large front room, because what’s beer without the footy? The pub isn’t sponsoring any clubs these days, but there are still black and white photographs of games and players on the walls further adding to the community atmosphere of this spirited pub. But the screens aren’t always showing the footy or are even turned on. The night we walk in is Trivia night and the room is full of merry groups competing for the $200 grand prize.
Fridays and Saturday nights, however, the area transforms into venue space for the bands it has always and still hosts. And we’re not just talking cover bands and travelers with a guitar. Oh no! Opening weekend saw acts like DMA’s and Japandroids take to the stage and the likes of Polish Club are regular appearances thanks to Matt Rule (of the Annandale and The Music and The Booze) taking the reign for band bookings. There’s hope for Sydney’s music scene yet!
Every good pub needs an outside space and so the upstairs space now has a 2nd bar with an enclosed beer garden attached. As we’re outside the lockout zone, you may enjoy fresh air and beer simultaneously – until 2 am. Can you even cope?
Max, the face of the Botany View logo, is a former 4 legged regular of the pub. He’s up in doggy heaven now, but he’ll forever be the pub’s mascot – another endearing factor making this a strong contender to spend many weekend – and weekdays at.
Thanks, Botany View Hotel, for restoring our faith that good pubs still exist in Sydney. Hopefully, with people like Paddy Coughlan at the helm, they may even make a comeback. In the meantime, go to the live music nights, grab some friends and go to Trivia nights, drink beer and support your local!
I was a guest of the Botany View Hotel. All views remain my own.