Time Out Sydney

Hefeweizen makes us happy, and Sydney goes potty for a pale ale, but there are certain thirsts, and quite a few hungers, that can only be addressed by Guinness. You may call it steak in a can, but we’re with the Irish on this one – when you’ve had a hard day a pint of mother’s milk will sort you right out. And that is a big part of the appeal of this sunken Irish pub under the towering neo-gothic façade of the Grace Hotel. Like moths to the flame the place gets rammed to the gills at knock-off but the post-work crowds abate after 7pm – you want to get in early or hold off for a bit if you want a seat. If you’re a dedicated trivia fan they’ll even reserve a table for regular teams on Tuesday nights, and on Thursdays and Fridays they have live music, with traditional folk sessions on Sundays. They’ve painted the walls deep crimson and there are bodhrans (Irish drums) and ceramic whisky flagons giving the place an calculated cosy feel. Upstairs there’s a dining room for Irish stew and beef-and-Guinness pies, but if you’re not too fussy they’ll whip up a toasted ham, cheese, tomato, and red onion sambo with a side of fries for $9 down on the bar. If stouts and porters aren’t to your taste they also have Coopers, Fat Yak, Matilda Bay’s pilsner, Magners and Carlton on tap. They love their sports as much as their tunes here so you’re as likely to find baseball and ice hocket on the tellys as soccer or football. Rest assured that during any World Cup this place goes bananas.

Who won the Sydney bar awards?

Updated on 26 May 2014.

By Emily Lloyd-Tait   |  

PJ O'Brien's details

57 King Street, Sydney 2000

Telephone 02 9290 1811

Open Mon-Wed noon-midnight; Thu noon-1am; Fri noon-2am; Sat 1pm-2am; Sun 1pm-midnight

PJ O'Brien's website

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