Sunday, December 13, 2009

Santa Pub Crawl

I arrived at Naughton's yesterday, barely recognising the old uni haunt, and broke my personal rule of not drinking on my own, as I waited for my fellow pub crawl participants to arrive. Mary soon joined me, and when Melissa, Greg and Nick arrived, we ordered a pub lunch and pints to start the day.

Revisiting the pubs of my uni days was a bit of a let down, with Naughton's almost unrecognisable from those days, and The Clyde not open in time for us, the next on the Carlton North route was Percy's. We walked in, Santa hats adorned to the old man pub interior and some strange looks. Nick proposed that we were in Mafia territory as we were surrounded by old Carlton gang (and footy) photos on the walls.

Next was the Irish themed Pugg Mahones, after Greg and Nick finally submitting to the pressure of wearing santa hats for the day. A pot was had at one of the little tables in the back area, after having the front bar watch us walk through with stares.

Around the corner onto Nicholson Street was another old haunt of mine when I lived around here, the Clare Castle. Coming a long way since it's dingy interior provided cheap pub meals at poor student prices, this modernised pub has a coffee machine and cake counter! No! As we settled in for our pot, we decided we may have to double up here, so that we could get a listen to the band warming up. The hippy look, strange tuning sounds, and our giggly anticipation were met by Amy and Tammany, and foam snow covered Meggsy. As the band started all our predictions came true, and we downed our pot and fled...much to the horror of the apparently diehard fans of the Songwriters Guild. Oops!

Getting to the Rathdowne Tavern we were joined by elves, a candy-cane wielding Robbie, and a Santa-suited Springer. Greg and I discovered the strange bathroom water feature, before we moved on to the Dan O'Connell, and were joined by more festive people for the festive rounds.

Drinking in the front bar of The Brandon, James joined us, who I haven't seen since his big overseas adventures. We negotiated a quick stop at The Kent, who were wary of a big, rowdy group, assuring them we were just there for one, amid their Xmas lunching crowd.

Our first bonus stop on route was Gerald's Bar, a much recommended spot, just around the corner from home, and never visited. With the sun shining through the lace curtains at the front window, our round was a brew out of a very tall beer bottle....of which I have no recollection of the name!

The Rising Sun, which is actually a wine bar called Enoteca now, would not have a bar of us, and as I dared to wander in to use the facilities, I was chased in and out by the staff. Hmmm.

Decking out a long outside table in the barmy dusk Melbourne night at The Great Northern, our group paused here for our pot and a much needed feed. Great food at one of my favorite pubs, and one of my locals for the last 2 years. This is actually the end of the route, but there were a few more stops begging for our attention, and our thirst, in the area!

Walking along Pigdon Street our large group accosted a passer by to take a funny, large group photo, before we visited Bar Nothing. Here, with their 6 cocktails for $20 special, we had a round of sweet pink Sandra Sully's, and were then transported back to the late 90s with a Fruit Tingle. This bar is very cute, rustic, and again, another great bar so close to my house, and yet not visited until now.

Rounding out our Santa pub crawl at The Empress for one last, tired beer, this is the end of my crazy drinking year! Such fun! So many great drinking places found around Melbourne, through the Project 2009 and the many pub crawls of the year. I have certainly made up for last year's forced sobriety!

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