There’s nothing now to suggest that this was one of Sydney’s most beloved gay venues – through the ‘90s and well into the noughties. The blacked-out windows, sticky carpet and mirror ball have been replaced by your standard pub renno: wood floors, tiled bar, pleather booths, beer garden. The upstairs balcony is one of the best spots in Newtown to people-watch, so go on Saturday afternoon to secure a spot, and hunker down with a beer or a glass of wine from one of their rack of taps (yes, wine on tap – it works). A cheerful bartender warns us that a schooner of Asahi or Peroni will set us back $9.50 and $9 respectively – and it’s $6.20 for Pure Blonde. Given those prices it’s disappointing they don’t have a single craft beer on tap. Instead they put a lot of energy into keeping people entertained. There’s comedy on Mondays, cult cinema screenings on Tuesdays, a women’s hip-hop night on Wednesdays (renovate all you like but Wednesdays will always be ladies-who-like-ladies night in Newtown). Upstairs the space is huge, with large booths and tables to accommodate diners, and a menu that reflects the restaurant name: The Animal. A rack of beef short ribs is $29 or coal-roasted meat portions (free-range chicken, lemon and thyme; pork shoulder, garlic and parsley; suckling lamb, lemon and aioli) come in 300 or 600 gram serves that start at $16 for the smaller chicken serve and go up to $45 for the larger lamb.

Who won the Sydney pub awards?

First published on . Updated on .

By Dee Jefferson   |  

Newtown Hotel details

174 King St

Newtown 2042

Telephone 02 9557 6399

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