Almanac Life: Mystery Pub – The Beer Smells Like a Microphone in John Doe’s Local Bar

 

 

The bookshelf’s stocked with crime novels and old Lonely Planets. I’m an incurable bibliophile so have a quick squizz. There’s also a stack of board games including, to my surprise, Twister. This is a tiny bar and I reckon if the plastic, colour-dotted mat is rolled out the writhing tangle of arms and legs might give some sizzle to the meaning of Happy Hour.

 

It’s my turn to organise our monthly Mystery Pub, and here we are at John Doe’s Local Bar; a welcome addition to the grog-scape in this southwestern nook of the CBD. It’s home to some great pubs such as The Duke of Brunswick and the Gilbert Street Hotel but provides an appealing contrast for passers-by and residents. I continue to struggle however with the notion of “local.” Can a bar or pub be anything but local? With all that tiresome travel a remote or distant bar might really squeeze on the drinking handbrake.

 

On the surrounding footpaths are wine barrels converted to tables with some brave punters bunched about. It’s a frigid spring afternoon so Claire and I sprint inside and secure a spot. Like the Star Gate sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey when the astronaut Dave Bowman hurtles through a psychedelic rush of things galactic and trippy, there’s much visual stimuli in this cosy boozer.

 

A quick scan reveals walls of beer coasters; a footy tipping chart; an old technicolour juke box; posters advertising the meat tray raffle on Fridays, live music, comedy nights and above the bar a small TV is set to Sky Racing with the gallopers in the dusk at Scone and Coleraine. My vista could also be a deleted dream scene from the Big Lebowski or an exhibit in the Tate Modern or Hobart’s MONA.

 

Approaching the bar there’s a man leaning dangerously into his drink and I wonder if he’s, “Makin’ love to his tonic and gin.” He might be making unwise preparations for Twister Night and mumbles something about buying shots to which I can minister no helpful advice other than, “Good luck with that.”

 

I order a Prancing Pony Session Ale for me and a white for Claire and then spy a large wine rack under the big TV. All upright, there’s dozens of bottles shoulder-to-shoulder as if they’re ready for some grim but vague battle. It’s a phalanx of Cabernet Franc. At the end of one shelf is that most celebrated vintage: Coopers Sparkling Ale (750ml). Close inspection reveals these are the highly drinkable 2021.

 

Claire’s most smitten because dotted throughout and in the centre of our table are lit candles. These contribute significantly to the bonhomie. The atmosphere is welcoming lounge room and surely, this must be the aspiration of every small bar. Pubs in Melbourne’s Fitzroy do this well but it’s rare in Adelaide.

 

On the TV screen next to the orangey, dancing fireplace a cricket match flickers green and gold. It’s Australia v India from Mackay and bowling with O’Reilly briskness is Kapunda’s own Darcie Brown. A couple of days’ ago she took 4/33 and became the youngest Australian – female or male – to grab four wickets in an ODI. Claire and I comment that Darcie looks like her Uncle Paul and grandfather, Bernie.

 

Three portly chaps have dropped anchor at the bar and appear as if they might be moored in the marina against an approaching storm. The bar does seem to attract folks from neighbouring homes. They could be here for the BBQ that’s soon to spit and hiss on the footpath or maybe there’ll be karaoke later. It’s a busy, ambitious place. I wonder if they have Macrame Mondays or if I’ve missed Sonnet-Writing September. Minimalism isn’t part of the strategic plan here.

 

Glancing again at these chaps I’m sure one is Paul and a real estate novelist. And his friend is Davy, who’s still in the navy. He probably will be for life.

 

Or maybe they’re all professional Twister players.

 

 

 

To return to the www.footyalmanac.com.au home page click HERE.

 

Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.

 

Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

 

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE
One-off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE

 

About Mickey Randall

Favourite film: The Shawshank Redemption Favourite song: Khe Sahn Favourite holiday destination: Gold Coast Favourite food: steak Favourite beer: VB Best player seen: Dogga Worst player seen: Frogga Last score on beep test: 3.14159 Favourite minor character in Joyce’s Ulysses: Punch Costello

Comments

  1. Daryl Schramm says

    Never heard of it Mickey. Did it have a previous life? Nicely pulled together as per usual.

  2. Daryl- the bar is just a year old and being in a prominent corner location it probably hosted a range of operations over the decades however the architecture suggests not a pub.. But a bar is a worthy concept in that part of town where the options are few outside of the big hotels. It’s worth a look although I have no idea what it’s like at night!

  3. Roger Lowrey says

    Nothing here about their sausage rolls Mickey.

    No good?

    RDL

  4. RDL- yes, a glaring omission by mine host. They do, however, have a toasted sandwich maker. I will re-visit in 2022 and see if the sausage roll situation has been rectified.

Leave a Comment

*