Forget the frocks and cocktails: this baby’s about cold beer and tall tales, colourful characters and country charm
First published on . Updated on .
The Shakey might be the last old man pub standing in Surry Hills – or at least the last of a shrinking few. With its tatty carpets, scattered Keno forms, ringing pokies, azure-tiled island bar and the old men leaning against it, this revered drinkery and winner of our Best Pub award last year is a true holdout. As peers like the Carrington and Forresters fall prey to the fish tacos and fancy fitouts of storming hipsterdom, the good ol’ Shakey remains awesomely old-fashioned. Which means it’s mostly about beer. And not your crafts. From the beautifully carved wood-topped bar sprouts a frosted tap offering VB, Carlton Draft, Fat Yak Pale Ale and Monteith’s Golden – maybe the least old-man-pub thing on the taps, and our choice for a Sunday arvo sesh. The honey-tasting NZ brew is dangerously easy drinking. We drink ours up as the Sea Eagles roll over the Roosters on a corner flat screen. (Yep, you read that right: we liked the flatscreen!) Of course, anyone who’s been to the Shakey – and if you’re a living, drinking human being in Sydney, you probably have – knows that while it ticks the basic pub boxes, it does more than that, too. There’s that famous, nothing-over-$12.50 menu that makes for an excellent pre-Belvoir fuel-up (think steaks, salt’n’pepper squid and the like) and it has charm up the yingyang. The slight glow from the old-fashion pendant lights give you the warm-and-cosies and the vintage mirrored Cooper’s adverts above the bar scream back of Broken Hill. But this is Surry Hills. New Surry Hills. And we’re raising a cold one to the fact you can still find a place like the Shakey here.