The 'Barley’s charm is the diversity of its clientele
Sometimes a little nip and tuck can be good for business. We’re not talking a terrifying facelift, more a renovated bistro and a few craft beer taps to spice things up for the regulars. The public bar at the Golden Barley they’ve left well enough alone. Behind the beautiful old Art Deco façade there is still dark green carpet, comfy vinyl chairs, a Keno corner, four big TVs, pinball machines and pool tables. But now the awkward corridor space behind the main bar boasts a little window bar where Tooheys New is the odd man out among craft brews like Stone and Wood and Feral Brewing Co taps. Drinking on a budget? For five bucks you can get a semillion sauvignon blanc from Kissing Ridge that goes down easy. The spacious, low-lit bistro is where the Golden has had the most work done and she looks much better decked out in raw wood and exposed brick than she ever did in cold, cream tiles. It’s a seriously family-friendly joint with $8 kids meals and activity packs for $1.50. For fully grown appetites the thick and juicy lemon herb schnitzel comes with a warm creamy potato salad instead of fries and Thursdays means tender short ribs with 'slaw and chips for $15 a pop. The beer garden is chock full of old wooden picnic tables tucked in among the foliage, andinside is where the TV jukebox is playing early Foo Fighters, Hanson and Blink 182 clips for a big dose of '90s nostalgia.