Crio’s Question: Best Foxtel pubs

More than ever, we get our sports fix on TV.
There’s no one at the races, half the footy games are interstate and the cable options are thorough for other codes.
A good “FOX” pub is, therefore, a huge plus.
Plenty of screens. High tables for stools and good viewing lines. Cold beer at reasonable cost. Good “counteries” help as does access to a tram or train.
I had some mates over from Interstate on the weekend and, naturally, we met for a beer on Sunday.

We met at the Laurel – my local. Walk there and the others could tram back to the city. One great TV and several OK others. Staff happy to switch screens for those wanting AFL, A-League and the omnipresent races. Good beer. Pub prices. Average meals (good chips!). Passable and convenient.
It is far from perfect but I’m lucky to have it (and others) nearby.
Other nominations please.


  1. Stephen Cooke says

    Crio, The Laurel? Is that in Ascot Vale/Moonee Ponds on Mt Alexander Road? Had a few good sessions there – it used to be around the corner from my share house and had air conditioning.

    I love the Peacock on High St, Northcote. Average service behind the bar (how hard is it for management to get this right?), but good meals, and two massive screens on opposing walls of the main area out the back. On a Saturday night or Sunday arvo, they’ll play two different games at the same time so four groups of fans are often barracking at once. This can lead to a great atmosphere.

  2. Peter Flynn says

    Colourful characters used to frequent the Laurel.

    Still do by the sounds of it.

  3. Rick Kane says

    The Laurel used to be my work local in the late 90s. Friday arvos, staff birthdays, staff supervision meetings, debriefs, parties, anything. Fond memories.

    Having never had Foxtel at home a Foxtel pub is an essential. Like Cookie, i reckon the Peacock is a beauty. I believe I’ve expressed my fondness for the Peacock in an Almanac report or two. I actually prefer the small room to the boisterous bar with big screens.

    Another couple of pubs I like are even closer to home. The Junction in Thornbury is pretty good and not just because its been around for 100 plus years. Great comfy lounge and not crowded. Suits me.

    The other is on the corner of Bell and Plenty in Preston. It’s changed it’s name a few time and I can’t keep up. I go watch a Hawks game there because its close to Preston’s one and only inner city bar, The Racoon Club, where we head straight after the game.


  4. Andrew Fithall says

    Not a pub, but last Saturday afternoon I went to Williamstown’s home ground to watch some VFL. At half time, we adjourned across the road to a friend’s house. As well as still being able to watch the live footy from the balcony, we had the Foxtel TV, located on the balcony, flicking between the AFL, the races, and even the VFL on the ABC, which was on a 10-second delay behind the live action happening just metres away). Beers supplied by another friend.

  5. So, what are the opening hours at your friend’s house, AF?

    The Rose in Fitzroy is under new ownership (former fearsome Northern Irish bar manager Juanita now runs the show), but has kept footy as its mainstay. They’ve even added new screens out the back (and like The Peacock, will have two games running at once in adjoining bars).

    Those who have watched games there can attest that the atmosphere can be awesome. Only down side is that it can get very crowded. Tip is to get there about an hour before the game and grab a seat at the bar. Food is cheap and good enough for the Almanac rabble.

    Our sponsor the All Nations has a good set up in the beer garden, as most of us know.

    Out of town, one of the best Foxtel bar/TABs is at the Hotel Sorrento, highlighted by magnificent views across the bay.

  6. Stephen Cooke says

    Oh yes, the All Nations. very good footy pub. Very good Foxtel pub. I recommend all Knackers get down there and have a beer.

  7. My local, the Stag’s Head in Williamstown, has just recently turfed
    out the under-utilised pool table from a small lounge room and
    replaced it with couches and a big-screen. Just waiting for a
    screen in the beer garden like at the All Nations.

    “…good enough for the Almanac rabble”
    Not sure whether or not I should be offended by that, MOC.

  8. Good pub.
    Not a fan of couches… much prefer a stool.
    CUB essential.

    Union on cnr Marby Rd and Union Rd (Union entrance) has made a good push in a needy region.

  9. Meant in the nicest possible way, Smoke.

    I’ve got a mate who lives down the road from the Stag’s Head and is a big wrap for it.

  10. If he’s a local, I would probably know him!

  11. Crio – what do you think about the Arab Steed Hotel in Hutt Street, Adelaide near the old Victoria Park racecourse. Surely the Arab Steed would have both Al Jazeera and Sky Racing covered?

  12. HA Ha Peter, good get!
    I came from Glenelg. Wouldn’t know the suburbs across town.
    The Highway Inn outside area jumps with the footy but it is a young, loud crowd and not quite my caper.
    To be honest, if I was in Adelaide I’d be going to the SANFL – preferably a day game at the Bay or Richmond. They could jam the AFL.

  13. Good Lord, do my eyes deceive me ??? No mention of the Royal Oak in North Fitzroy, the Lomond in East Brunswick, or those good folks bit further out, The Eltham !!!

    Top them !!!


  14. Arab Steed..a good pub. No pokies great food but don’t think they have a pub tab.
    Used to frequent it quite a bit post Vic Park races when I stopped working at Globe Derby trots, very popular with bookies and their staff late on a saturday arvo.

  15. mickey randall says

    The Broadway in Glenelg South always attracted a boisterous and catholic crowd- punting and roaring. Ideal really.

  16. Mickey, I have never actually been to the Broady to watch “live” footy – I imagine it to be a rabid Crows stronghold – but prefer it for post Bay games and have enjoyed many happy beers there over time. In fact it was the first pub I worked and,if my memory holds, Robbie Muir was one of the first to breast the bar! Another story for another time.

  17. cowshedend says

    Crio,nice topic,heap of the ripper boozers in Footscray have closed (result of footy club moving) loved the Pioneer,Buckingham and Albert,now find myself going across the border to Seddon! the Mona Castle is a ripper, was an old haunt for wharfies.
    One terminal angora goat,great beer (CUB,never trust a place that proudly advertise the word Boutique before the word Beer),fantastic service and cheap counteries.

  18. Yes cowshedend, there’s been 8 pubs close in Footscray since the Bayview went in 1985. I remember the Pioneer well from my undergraduate days @ FIT/VUT, of course the Albert with Charlie Suttons dreadful, watery beer is in my memory. The poor old “Buck’, the last of the old style Footscray pubs closed back in August 2011. Went past there on my way to work today. Yep cowshedend, the Mona Castle is still a decent place, just about the last decent watering hole in the area, though the Powell has a TAB, to recommend it.


  19. The All Nations in Richmond has always been a great pub and is now an Almanac supporter. Good beer, excellent food, friendly staff and a shuttle bus to the MCG. Has it got Fox?

    I had to meet a mate at Young & Jacksons on Friday – I don’t mind it – such a fabulous location.
    Afterwards, as an indefatigable Knacker/researcher, I went down Flinders St to check out the Duke of Wellington, which I’d heard had reopened.
    Loved the old Duke. For us on the westside it was an obvious route to the MCG. The new version is awful. Suits and brass fittings. Lament and avoid.
    As I wove my way northwest I stopped at the Niagara in Lonsdale St… seems a little city gem. Public bar with footy and a great roorftop ( though they seem to like funky DJs!).

  20. Mike Pearce says

    Was there ever a pub in High St Northcote closer to the Town Hall than the Peacock?
    Two best pubs in Melb. by a street -All Nations Richmond ,Rose Fitzroy

  21. A couple of Almanac favs there Mike.
    Used to love the Railway next to the North Melbourne Railwayn station/yards – never Fox, in fact the TV was for a time dodgy! But a great time warp with good beer and no bullshit…. felt as though you needed a kit bag and a gaberdine overcoat to suit the decor.
    Another non-Fox I like is the Union in Brunswick.

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