Brunswick Street may be ground zero for cocktails in Fitzroy, but lurking in the back streets is one of Melbourne’s finest establishments for getting in your cups on sunny days, freezing nights and boring Mondays. Head here early in the week for a counter meal, a pint or two, a cosy seat by the wood stove and trivia on Tuesday nights.
Pretension is an anathema to the Standard, so much so that they even went through a period in the early ’90s when they refused to serve anyone in a suit – score one for the underdogs! Outside, the white-and-green paintwork is chipped and faded, while inside bare bricks peek out from between the movie posters, sports memorabilia and novelty-sized records that are crammed onto the walls. The taps boast more craft beers than mega-brews and the wines are from the school of easy drinking.
As a bonus, the undercover part of the beer garden is equipped with overhead heaters, making al fresco boozing a distinct possibility. There are Standard fans who would wager a limb that the chicken parma is the best crumbed bird you can get in this town, which says as much about the loyalty that this joint engenders as it does about its culinary prowess. Just make sure you get started early because this old boozer likes its beauty sleep – expect to be moving on or heading home by 11pm.