Tuesday, August 08, 2006
MEBCAM is the new black
Canberra can be quite dark at night
Ah... Canberra in August. Is there a better place in the world to be? Probably.
The world is full of great places that are great because people tell us that they're great. New York, London (which actually is pretty good, probably because it's full of Aussies) and Glenrowan come to mind. Why are these places so damn good? Is it because there's a lot to do, interesting people, or is it the "je ne sais pas" of a place?
Je ne sais pas is actually just a fancy way of saying, "Let's go out and sink some piss."
So without any further ado, here is the Mister Evil Breakfast Random Places to Drink Beer and Fall Down Stairs List (MEBRPtDBaFDSL for short, and when pronounced correctly is a good pick up line).
King O'Malleys: The old faithful Irish pub, set up by a Scotsman who may or may not have had some political power back in 120BC or some such time in Australia. Made some good predictions for Canberra (the size of London, the beauty of Rome and the art of Paris), which may sound a bit far off now, but he never gave himself a time frame in which to achieve these goals. Nice one, Kingo.
Best bits: No schooners, just pints. Tidy bartenders. Located next to Canberra's best restaurant, Chicken Gourmet. Sports pages located on the toilet wall.
Worst bits: Toilets have never been cleaned (but sports pages constantly updated). Stairs can be tricky when either carrying 4 pints or when completely smashed. Full of knobs you went to school with who are all earning a million in the Public Service.
Mooseheads: The Moose is great until 2am when drink prices go up expedentially. But by that time, you're shitfaced and don't care that you're now paying $70 for a round of beers that previously cost you $12. You also don't care that you're dancing to a remix of Smells Like Teen Spirit with backing vocals from that chick that did Murder on the Dance Floor.
Best Bits: Cheap drinks till 2am. Low cover charge. Located next to a pizza stall. Has many good places to watch people get into a fight and not get involved.
Worst Bits: The girls in there are young enough to be your little sister's younger friend, who skipped a year at school. Ordering drinks after 2am and realising that your kidneys are no longer tangible bartering tools. Is full of knobs that you went to school with who are earning millions in the Public Service.
North Bar: A nice place to go if you're tuning a bird, don't mind drinking girl's drinks (or paying $6 for an Extra Dry) and fighting rich yuppies for an uncomfortable square cushion to sit on.
Best Bits: Interesting drink choices. Music quiet enough so you don't have to yell.
Worst Bits: Limited seating. Long lines at the bar. Drinks way too pricey, but you have to do it if you're trying to pick up, and let's face it, if you're at North, you're not there because you want to be. Full of tossers who don't remember you from school because they're fuckwits. You'll see them later on at the Moose though, so hit them up for drinks when they're really pissed.
Academy: I've only been to Academy twice and don't remember much of either of those visits. The few hazy moments that I can still recall are: the guy on the door who told me that I was only allowed to drink Milo if he let me in; the price that drinks cost (and it wasn't Milo, but don't tell the bouncer), and not being able to find the toilets for about 3 hours.
Best Bits: Absolutely nothing comes to mind.
Worst Bits: The most expensive night you'll ever have. $15 cover charge. For a nightclub. In Canberra. Fuck off. That said, it was once a cinema complex, so $15 to get into a dark room with a sticky floor is pretty standard. Is possibly filled with the knobs you went to school with, but who the fuck cares?
Shooters: $2 drinks. Nuff said.
Best Bits: $2 drinks.
Worst Bits: A sore head the next day. The fact that you might have to tell someone you actually went to Shooters. The stamp they put on you has superhuman strength, and scientific research has proven that the harder you try to wash it off, the longer it will stay. Could be filled with fucktards from your school, but you don't really know, as your head is down at all times.
PJ O'Reilleys: PJ's is great - there are shamrocks and Guinness signs all over the place, so you just know it's Irish. The only times I've been there are when I've been hell smashed, so I can't really remember much, except that the bouncer guy on the door was nice enough to let me in even though it was clear I'd had too many already and was talking like a pirate. And there's an Ali Baba on the way into the city, so that's a good thing.
Best Bits: Pints are reasonably priced. Bouncer was nice to me on at least one occasion.
Worst Bits: Avoid the Tuggeranong PJ's at any cost, you may go blind. You will see a few knobs you went to school with, but the place is that big that you can lose them again in an instant.
Wig and Pen: A nice, quiet place to have a pint or twelve. The Wig has some outstanding lagers, ales and stouts from far and beyond, but get there early-ish and don't ever leave your seat, or some bastard will steal it. If you do need to go to the toilet, take your chair with you.
Best Bits: You can drink beer and feel like you're in an Olde English Pub. Quiet and sophisticated, and you won't look out of place if you're a bloke wearing a cardigan and a scarf.
Worst Bits: For some reason, I can never find it when I need to, which is strange, cause it's right there. Some of the brews can make you a bit bloaty, when all you really want is a VB. You may run into some of the art/drama knobs that you went to school with, but you can impress them with the fact that you actually have a job.
The Church Bar: Honestly, this place changes its name more often than Rove says, "What the?" You may know it as the Aree Bar, I know it as the Church Bar, but rumour has it that it's changed its name again. In any case, it's the bar located underneath the backpacker's joint, which is, almost ironically, located across from one of Canberra's finest hotels, The Waldorf.
Best Bits: Cheap drinks after work on Fridays - $2 for a schooner. Show me cheaper and I'll love you always. They also have live music, which is getting quite rare for Canberra these days. And karaoke. And there's an NBA Jam arcade game in the corner.
Worst Bits: Is home to a lot of dodgy blokes and their missuses. You may see a few dickheads you went to school with, but since you probably invited them there, it's ok.
ICBM: Possibly the worst nightclub in existence. But it has some kind of magnetism to it that at 4am, it sounds like the best place in the world to go. Probably because they'll still let you in, and more importantly, still serve you drinks. I got hit in the head by a rubber chicken there one night, so it wasn't a complete waste of time.
Best Bits: You may score yourself a rubber chicken. They have a mechanical bull in there these days. Never a line up at the bar, toilet, to get in or anyone to talk to.
Worst Bits: Is just a general crap hole. I can't put my grubby little finger on it, as this place is like every other nightclub in Canberra; just a whole lot worse. It has a lot of stairs in it too, and they hurt my knees. You're unlikely to see anyone you went to school with in ICBM, but if you do, count yourself lucky that you're not there alone.
The Lighthouse: Formerly Sails (the waterfront pub), The Lighty is still on the waterfront. I don't think that will be changing anytime soon. So sit back, grab a jug and relax on the shores of Lake Ginninderra. A lot of joggers go past The Lighthouse, so you can watch them and at least pretend that you're doing exercise. They're watching you and pretending they're having fun, so it all works out in the end. Pool tables, beer, uni students and a soundtrack with at least 6 songs on it all add up to a good time. Even though I am rubbish at pool. If you ever see me at The Lighty, challenge me to a game (your shout). You'll know it's me cause I'll be the one already doing laps of the table with my pants down.
Best Bits: Is really close to my house. Sure, that may not be good for you, but that's not my issue. You should move house. Tidy bar tenders. Surrounded by fast food outlets and video stores. Always someone drunker than you there, and willing to dance to prove it.
Worst Bits: You need to wear gumboots to get in and out of the toilets. The outdoor DJ successfully ruined Sunday Sippers for everyone. Occasionally the surfacing of a body in the lake puts people off their wedges. I am yet to see anyone I went to school with at The Lighty. This probably speaks volumes about both of us.
The Irish Club: Hidden far away in the vicinity of Cooleman Court lies the Irish Club. The Iro. The Ire. The I-Club. Fiddle de dee potatoes. Finally, a club where you actually get some sort of reward for joining - cheap drinks. Cheap drinks make happiness so much more affordable. This place is unlike most of the other Irish pubs in Canberra though, it actually has a tradition of Ireland. Yes, they have shamrocks and Guinness, but they also have the 'diddly diddly diddly' Irish music played by a live band. You'd almost swear that you were in that scene from Titanic where Kate Winslet slams a pint and stands on her tip toes. Except on Fridays, which is karaoke night. Maybe that scene is in the director's cut. I don't know anyone who wants to see Leonardo di Caprio singing 'Mustang Sally' while leaning on the microphone stand for support as he gets that Italian bloke to buy him another rum and Coke cause the bar staff have cut him off. Actually, I think I know a lot of people who would like to see that.
Best Bits: Cheap membership that pays for itself over the bar. Karaoke Fridays. Diddly diddly diddly music every other night. You can pretend you're Irish and talk like Jimeoin.
Worst Bits: A weird membership scheme that saw me sign up for the grand total of a week before it ran out. Karaoke Fridays. Diddly diddly diddly music every other night. People attempting bad Irish accents and telling poor Jimeoin jokes. If you see someone you went to school with there, it won't matter because neither of you will remember it in the morning.
Kingston Pub: The Kingo is the best place in the world to go to on a nice Summer's day. Just sitting out in the beer garden, knocking back a few coldies and watching the world (aka Canberra) go by is without peer. Its location also means that you get to see all the hicks, sluts, yobbos and rollers go about their business, and you can cast aspersions on them.
Best Bits: Cheap steak (that you cook yourself, so you can feel more manly). Beer garden. Beer. Bottle shop next door. Free parking. Cheap Cruiser nights (if Cruisers are your thing, but for $3, they can be my thing until midnight too).
Worst Bits: It's a fair cab charge to get home (if you live in my house; if you live in Kingston, it's probably not that much. But if you live in Kingston, you should walk home, you fucking lazy bastard). Is home to another shitty nightclub, but if you can avoid this, a good night will be had by all. You'll probably see some guys you went to school with and wonder why you never kept in touch.
There's a thousand more bars, pubs and clubs in this wonderous patch of land called Canberra, but all this talk of beer and shenanigans is making me thirsty. Bottoms up, and it's your shout.