Finally, a pub review: The Broadway, Glenelg South

I write today with shame in my heart.


As my participation in this community heads into its sixth year I apologise for I’m yet to pen a pub review.


In the heart of Singapore is a historic convent called CHIJMES, largely because it began its impressive architectural life as Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus Middle Education School. It’s now a maze of restaurants and grog-shops, and the wife and I liked going there occasionally. It had a Hog’s Breath Café. We celebrated our anniversary there once; CHIJMES, not Hoggy’s.


Among CHIJMES’ attractions was a bar in a sunken courtyard that has a name rhyming with Harry’s.


One night this happened.


“Sir, the beer is now cheaper because it’s happy hour.”


“Great. How much is it?”


“Thirteen dollars.”


“But aren’t these normally fourteen?”




You’d have more fun chasing John Howard and his track-suited self about Kirribilli through some July sleet whilst personally enduring a particularly vigorous bout of diarrhoea. I’d hate to be there for sad hour.


No such problems at The Broadway in Glenelg South. Despite being a resident of the area on and off over the last couple decades I’m a recent convert to the collected charms of The Broadway enclave.


It’s parallel to the more celebrated Jetty Road, but superior in myriad ways. Named for the small Cotswolds town in Worcestershire, we ate lunch in one of its pubs one autumn Sunday, it may surprise you to read – it presents and functions as an English village, but with generally better weather.


It has Glenelg’s best butchers, fish ‘n’ chips, book shop/café, dental surgery, pizza – Pizza on Broadway although it’s actually on Partridge Street; I guess Pizza on Partridge may have led the munchers to think they were getting roasted spoggy on their Italian takeaway, and I’ll admit this is a niche category, the best restaurant/dry cleaners in a former petrol station/garage.


The Broadway pub is great. Most Fridays I wheel in there around 4.27, depending on traffic, and invest an energetic hour. I get there then because I have a medical condition which renders me physically (psychologically, spiritually, mentally etc) unable to remain at work beyond 4pm at week’s end. After this time it’s also not possible for me to guarantee the safety of my colleagues, and I’d rather not end up on A Current Affair.


For a brief, deluded period I frequented a boozer much closer to home, near the Buffalo, but it was also frequented by clots (I employ this metaphor advisedly) of high-vis coves, who seemed to have been in the pub since mid-morning, as they were bleary-eyed and looking like they might thump some strangers. This idea has decreasing appeal for me so I decamped to the Broady.


The bar staff, led by Gavin, is sleek and anticipatory. There’s a flock of TV screens showing lots of sport, but these are turned down low and a Triple J- type playlist drifts across the pub-o-sphere. Last night I heard The Smiths and Queens of the Stoneage. I’ve never heard P!nk. On Saturdays there’s a warmer bursting with snags, and a loaf of bread nearby to keep the punters happy.


The house next door was recently bought and its front yard; turned into a beer garden (how good would this really be? A garden that grew beer!) from which you can watch folks exiting the neighbouring dentists; one hand nursing their numb jaw, the other nursing their bruised wallet.


A while back I made a solemn promise to my old mate Bazz. I said I’d ring him every time I went to the pub. Not out of any deep human concern; I just thought it would be funny. And now, about a year in, when I ring on a Friday at 4.45pm I seem to go through to Bazz’s voicemail. It’s a mystery.


Yesterday old mucker Trev* joined me and we had a terrific hour. As old school mates we moved between the sunny nostalgia of old friends and old music and old times. We laughed, as the saying goes, like drains. We dissected and discussed and were merrily diverted.


And, courtesy of The Broadway’s excellent happy hours, we did it over six-dollar beers which, of course, starts the weekend in an appropriately brisk and lively style. If a pub’s optimal function is to replicate your lounge room then this pub succeeds, easily.


Next time you’re in Glenelg South, give me a shout, and I’ll sneak in there with you, and let you buy me a beer.




*his real name


About Mickey Randall

Late afternoon beer, Exile on Main St playing. Sport like cricket, most types of football, golf, squash, horse racing. Travel, with Vancouver my favourite city, but there’s nowhere I’ve not happily been. Except Luton. Reading. Writing about family, sport, music, the stuff that amuses me. Conversation. Wit. Irony. McLaren Vale cabernet sauvignon, Barossa shiraz, Coopers Sparkling Ale. Jazz and especially Miles Davis. Lots and lots of music. I live in Adelaide with my wife Kerry-ann and our boys Alex and Max.


  1. Earl O'Neill says:

    Neat stuff, Mickey. You may have created an Almanac genre, tho most contributions I could make would be suffused in nostalgia.

  2. Mrs B Mk1 (its a work in progress) and I were married around the corner at Partridge House in 1978 (the date is burned into her memory – but has been flushed from mine). I recall “having a few at the Broady” down the years. Broadway and Broadview.
    Lived around the corner from the Broadview Hotel in the NE suburbs in the 70’s, near the ABC’s Collinswood Studios. Alf Gard would pop in for a couple between the last race and the 7.15 sports/racing report on the Saturday night news. Made for some Willessee-esque television.
    Happy to extend the same generous offer to you and yours when you are next in Perth.

  3. Ahh, nostalgia, Earl. I’m treating myself to a re-reading of Richard Ford’s fantastic Sportswriter series, and am nearing the end of Independence Day. Among many great observations our author seems to be cautioning against too much nostalgia. I get his point, and aim to live in the present, but, gee, nostalgia is fun. Surely it has a place in a balanced diet.

    Peter- my sister got married at Partridge House and had her reception at Ayers House. I reckon more than a few couples could claim this as an Adelaide double. Every Good Friday my wife’s mums’ group has an Easter egg hunt there for the kids, and it’s a great tradition now. An old mate taught up the road at Glenelg primary and used to take his class down to Partridge House every so often for a gallop. Not the worst idea I’ve heard.

    Thanks for the comments.

  4. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    I’m sure I paid $15 for a stubby of Fosters in Singapore in 1987 Mickey.

    The first words I contributed to this site referred to Alf Gard, who turned out to be the editor of the half a dozen 1967 Footy Worlds I bought last week.

    My life has a permanent rear view mirror.

  5. Swish- I hear you on that mirror. I’m a bit young to remember Alf Gard, but it is surely the most sport-casterly name for a sport-caster.

    The nadir of Singporean footy watching was on a Sunday at the Boomarang (sic) Bar along Robinson Quay when my modest beer, with the always surprising add-ons of the service fee and GST came to $16.01. The sixteen was grim, but I’ll never recover from the outrage of that single cent!


  6. Dave Brown says:

    Love it, Mickey. It has been many moons since I set foot in the Broady. Glad to hear it is still humming along. And as for Lennies, last time I set foot in there it was also a dive, but at least then it was a dive that played live music (incidentally, while I’m on my hobby horse, I love the AHA running ads saying Xenophon will kill live music in pubs. A strong sense of irony in that mob).

  7. Peter Crossing says:

    We have adopted the Broadway as it qualifies as a decent local. Good hubbub and ambiance – although GWS copped a hammering from the Tigers when I was there a while back. Not sure about the music. A squawker on geetar all but cleared the bar a few weeks ago.
    I’m happy to link up with you for a beer and an Almanac debrief but it will have to be after mad March due to Fringe plus Easter. I have a mate who drinks at the BMH over the road who generally won’t darken the doors of the Broadway. He may join us.

  8. Thanks Dave.

    On the rare occasion that I’m released for an afternoon or, heaven forbid, a nocturnal excursion, I see some live music about the place, but it’s generally a guitarist singing covers. Couldn’t tell you the last time I saw a real band down here. I heard the lead singer from Gang of Youths recently say that prior to his band playing a massive Adelaide Hills winery show their previous gig here was to a handful of punters at the Exeter!

    Peter C- schools, footy clubs, work sites, pubs all have a tone generated by culture, and that’s pretty important in choosing to be ultimately in, or out. Big tick to the Broadway. I’ll give you a shout down the track, after Easter. It’s been a while since I fell through the doors at the BMH. Might still be a while off!


  9. Yes, great work, Mickey.
    There is something about having an enjoyable, comfortable local boozer.

  10. Luke Reynolds says:

    A clot of hi-vis coves. Brilliant!

    I”ve never been to Glenelg let alone Glenelg South. A beer with you at The Broadway is now on my bucket list.

    Look forward to Mickey’s weekly hotel review?!

  11. mickey randall says:

    I agree Smokie. It’s about place, ritual, community, identity, well-being. And six dollar beers!

    Thanks Luke. Just give me the word! Pub reviews? If I worked retrospectively it’d be my Ulysses.


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