Help needed!: New pubs for Mickey to explore


And there sits uncle Chubb or Tomkin, as the case might be, the publican of the Crown and Anchor, in shirtsleeves, eating rumpsteak and onions. James Joyce, Ulysses (p. 510)


I love tradition, but it can extract a cost.


Every year I come to Melbourne with an ensemble and through happy habit we visit the North Fitzroy Arms for the Footy Almanac lunch and the All Nations Hotel before Saturday’s MCG fixture.


However, I know there’s much I’m missing in the suburbs like Collingwood, Richmond, and Fitzroy.


I’m in town next week for a conference and would like to explore some new pubs on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.


My interests include (I don’t think using KPI and pub in the same sentence is dignified): compelling interior, bespoke beer lists, narrative richness and other points of difference.


Father Conmee went by Daniel Bergin’s publichouse against the window of which two unlabouring men lounged. They saluted him and were saluted. James Joyce, Ulysses (p. 182)


Claire and I will also be swinging by the North Fitzroy Arms on Friday July 12 around five bells. Pop by if you can.


He entered Davy Byrne’s. Moral pub. He doesn’t chat. Stands a drink now and then. But in leapyear once in four. Cashed a cheque for me once.
    What will I take now? He drew his watch. Let me see now. Shandygaff?
—Hello, Bloom, Nosey Flynn said from his nook.
—Hello, Flynn.
—How’s things?
—Tiptop … Let me see. I’ll take a glass of burgundy and … let me see.
    Sardines on the shelves. Almost taste them by looking. Sandwich? Ham and his descendants musterred and bred there. Potted meats. What is home without Plumtree’s potted meat? Incomplete. James Joyce, Ulysses (p. 140)


Please include any suggestions you have in the comments below. Thanks!



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About Mickey Randall

Now whip it into shape/ Shape it up, get straight/ Go forward, move ahead/ Try to detect it, it's not too late/ To whip it, whip it good


  1. The Napier Hotel (aka The Prince of Prussia in Jack Irish), Napier St, Fitzroy across from the Fitzroy Town Hall. Would tick all the boxes I would think, and lots of Roys memorabilia to view.

  2. Rick Kane says

    The Standard, Fitzroy

  3. Mark Giuliano says

    Lots to choose from in back streets of Fitzroy- especially the block bound by Gertrude Street, Brunswick St, Johnston St and Smith street

    My favourite ??? The Union Club

  4. Stuart Hunter says

    definitely Sherlock Holmes, 415 Collins Street

  5. Joe De Petro says

    The All-nations is a great pre-footy hangout. The Publican will even run your over to the G for the game in his mini bus if you ask. Nice food too.

    Try the London Tavern It is not far down the road in Lennox St. in the Public Bar is the most amazing photo of a very elderly Jack Dyer, kitted out in his footy gear. It is a wonderfully-evocative piece of photography, and captures the essence of a club which, at the time, was a fallen giant struggling in hard times. The club’s plight is there for everyone to see, in the face and body of a man in his eighties, now a shadow of his former self, trying to recapture the days of his youth, the days when nothing beat him on the field.

    Every footy fan should reflect on that photo at least once.

  6. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. With the help of a digital map (you know the one!) I’ll start to assemble an itinerary. Much appreciated.

  7. Freddy Negro’s band Shonky Tonk had a song in the 90’s called, “Where have all the old pubs gone?”.

    It’s a bit like that in the inner city of Melbourne as pubs have closed, or become yuppified/hipster cool. In my advanced years the choice is usually the bowling club or the RSL. However if you want a pub, the Lomond in E Brunswick is very good, with of course the North Fitzroy Arms.

    Beer o’clock is always just around the corner.


  8. Hotel Tivago

  9. Fisho- is Hotel Tivago a typo for Hotel Trivago? Is the Trivago accommodation aggregator advertisement talent the new Karen Pini? Asking for a friend.

    Thanks Glen! for the tip. The Lomond comes highly regarded.

  10. Karen Pini? That’s a blast from the past, first cover girl for Oz Playboy?

  11. Yes Mickey, another one of my typos – there’s too many of them lately. I don’t know who that most attractive lady in the adds is.

  12. Roger Lowrey says

    At the risk of information overload Mickey, you could do worse than check out the Royal Standard Hotel at 333 William St West Melbourne. A nine iron shot (if that) west of the Victoria Market on tram route 55.

    When I used to work around there last year many of my colleagues used to frequent it on your unworthy author’s recommendation. The website tells you everything you need to know. The Spaghetti Pescatore in olive oil garlic and chilli is “oost yum”. It even comes with a device to crack the crayfish. All other food and grog is plentiful and affordable too.

    Ah well, so Kapunda comes to Melbourne huh? The Phantom becomes Mr Walker. I see Diana is with you but I hope you have Hero and Devil safely stabled. I’ll look out for you mate!


  13. E.regnans says

    Great call Mickey.
    A productive walking tour of Fitzroy might read like this:
    Starting from the Brunswick St Oval/ Fitzroy baths end.
    1. The Rose – watched footy finals there in the past. On Napier Street.
    Cross Brunswick St & head south to
    2. The Standard – a favourite as twenty-something for trivia nights
    Cut back to the east side of Brunswick St for
    3. The Rainbow – live music venue. famously long bar.
    4. The Napier – full of Fitzroy FC trinkets. Had my buck’s (quiet) drinks there
    which is diagonally opposite the Fitzroy Town Hall (venue for the 2016 Grand Final Eve Almanac lunch – where
    memorably among the guest speakers were the parents of Bob Murphy).
    All of a similar style, probably, but with local quirks/ highlights.
    It would be well worth a late night night cap then – walking up Napier St to Gertrude, where on the corner is that cracker of a wine bar called The Everleigh. Enter a nondescript door on Napier, south side of Gertrude, up some stairs, and into a world of prohibition America. The gig at the Everleigh seems to be that you tell the waiter how you’re feeling and they will bring a drink to satisfy you. That’s what I was told by a mate I was with. She went first (“I feel like something creamy on a winter’s day”). I was very relaxed in the booth seating. I said I felt like a David Gower cover drive at Lord’s. The drink given to me soon afterwards was a hit.

    The Lomond is a different proposition.
    More genuine, more scope for your own imagination (rather than someone else’s).
    Irish sessions on a Tuesday in the front bar. Locals, regulars.
    Acoustic night on a Wednesday.

  14. Not sure where your lodgings are, Mickey, but you probably won’t have time for a journey over to Williamstown.
    But if you are venturing to South and/or Port Melbourne, you could do worse than try the following:
    # Emerald Hotel (a family-run “racing” pub, which is now a firm favourite of mine) – Clarendon St Sth Melb,
    # Railway Club Hotel (very nice steaks) – Port,
    # Cricketers Arms (tucked away in a back street) – Port,
    # Montague Hotel – South,
    # Railway Hotel – South,
    # George Hotel (right opposite the South Melbourne Market).
    # Limerick Arms Hotel – South.
    That should keep you interested.

  15. Adam Fox says

    Don’t think this one’s been mentioned yet along with the aforementioned, and all highly recommended pubs, but the Labour In Vain is also a winner. Part of the holy trinity of pubs when I used to come over regularly from Perth (other two being the Napier and Union Club).

    Heading over meself in a couple weeks time having not been back in three years so good to see a few others I haven’t been to. Staying in Richmond this time so definitely gonna drop by the London on Lennox.

    RIP Percy’s Bar in Carlton.

  16. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. Sadly, I’ve only two nights for this intensive research! Putting together a plan of attack will be an absolute treat.

  17. John Butler says

    Mickey, better come with hollow legs.

  18. For those following along at home here’s my Fitzroy walking tour itinerary-

    Royal Oak
    Lord Newry
    Royal Derby
    The Rose

    Labour in Vain
    Union Club.

    Thanks again for your suggestions. I’ve decided to focus solely upon Fitzroy although, as I’ve learnt, this means I’m barely leaving the goal square, as it were!

  19. Sadly only two nights, Mickey? Pick your favourite and we will re-visit. I also think there are some other pretty good itineraries to be had.

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