If there’s one thing Brunswick is good at, it’s making you feel at home. And even if I didn’t live there, I would totes love the place and why not? Between cheap food, Asian bargain stores and op shops, there rests bars and pubs, big and small, all with that same Brunny charm.
The aforementioned charm usually comes in the form of second-hand shop couches, affectionately mismatched furniture, inexpensive brews and a red brick interior with homey wallpaper with various works of art, old and new, on the walls. Plus, a pool table (every pub should have one). Though the pub is one of the lesser-known Brunswick music venues, it has a sizeable stage for bands of all types, though folk-pop and indie rock are particular clientele favourites.
The huge beer garden is a stand-out; heaps of chairs and benches (sounds dull but this is important come Friday and Saturday nights). Decorated with verandah furniture, leafy trees, fairy lights and comfy booths…it’s like an awesome log cabin!
Although Sydney Road pub crawls can often invite unseemly characters into an otherwise nice establishment, this is hardly the Black’s fault; it is easy enough to enjoy a Pimm’s jug in a place like this (eighteen bucks, not too shabby) even when Flannoface is leering at you with as much subtlety as a brick in the neck.
The Penny Black also has a dynamite food menu, like any pub worth its salt. Daily specials abound (twelve buck Parma Mondays and six buck pizza Tuesdays are especially bad for my dress size) and they maintain the usual pub menu staples: chips, olives, salads, munchies, burgers, steaks and yummy desserts.
With local beers on tap and all your favourite brews and spirits to behold, you’ll have no problem settling down into a cushy brown couch with a pot and a pizza and never leave. Well, that’s my plan, anyway.
Words: Lisa Dib