My first love was with pubs (women and cats came later) – and so even though Bar Zine usually focuses on small bars and cocktails, there are times when all I want is to be in a pub drinking beer – and the less schmick the pub, the happier I usually am. I like pubs where there is no kitsch, no animal heads on the wall and no frou frou – a place where there are still old Tooths advertisements on the wall, the pool tables are plentiful, the hipsters are somewhere else and the beer is great. And on all those counts, the humble Union in Newtown does the job nicely.
For starters, they have a great selection of craft beer on tap, from the Pinchgut pilsener to the 4 Pines Breakfast Oatmeal that I order (and love – it’s a rich, dark beer that, as the name suggests, feels substantial enough to double as a meal). The décor here is so spartan you’d think they’d just have Carlton and VB on tap, but this is actually a beer lover’s haven.
The bistro is equally surprising. Yet again, the eating area won’t win any design awards – but my fish (dory) and chips for $16 is great – light, tender and with a beautiful beer batter. And besides, why sit down like adults when you can instead gobble your food in between taking shots at the pool table?
There is a touch of frou frou in terms of the bathrooms, which smell like apples – they’re by the far the best smelling pub toilets I’ve ever come across – but that’s about it.
And so, just as the Union doesn’t overdo things, neither will I: meaning the review will end here.
The Union Hotel, 576 King Street, Newtown. See the Union Hotel website
Now it’s your turn – how do you rate The Union Hotel?