The Sando is no more, which is a shame and also a sign of the march marching beat of gentrification as it sweeps through Newtown. Industrie. Check. Gorman. Check. Telstra. Check. Froyo? Check check check check check. So, the Newtown Social Club has taken over the Sando. And with a new lick of paint, some sledgehammering and lots of plywood, you have the Newtown Social Club with its Matt Woods fitout (see also Devon)
We walked in after going to the packed and rather lively Earl’s Juke Joint and this place was sort of empty. 8.20 pm ish – you’d expect it to be busy. I’ve been to the Courthouse at this time and it is heaving with the sweaty enthusiam of Newtown’s hipster crowd. We were also at Union down at south king street and that venue was busy as well. So what happened? Why is it so dead on a saturday? Does it get busier? My local, Newtown Hotel is always busy. Real head scratcher. I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt – diners are still eating dinner as evidenced by the numerous full restos on our way back to king st north.
Entry area. This bit is probably the least appealing part of the NSC. Its got daggy old carpet and does not make a strong impression.
The design of the bar area is with 2 frontages, one facing the dining hall, the other the entry is kind of odd. That column does break the bar in half and makes it feel tiny – as the real ordering area on this side is from the tap section to the column area more or less.
The rather nice green wall, lots of pine, and school like seating. It feels less like a pub and more like a diner/restaurant. I quite like the wall finishes with a simple coat of white paint and brick infills.
long wall bench. Industrial cool finish/design by matt woods. Its a nice looking fitout. They’ve kept some of the existing tiles in a nice nod to what had come before.
Only a small table of 4 here eating pizzas. Mon – Wed. they sell pizzas (9″ at $5). More pine, and fancy lights.
Outdoor area – quite nice looking but small crowd seems subdued.
I’ll just leave this here. The circular motif runs through the venue too.
Chilli Dog w Fries ($8). By itself the Chilli Dog is $6.
Thought I should try something when we came in despite not being too hungry so I ordered this to eat. The funny thing about this hotdog is that the bun was nice – its just that the sausage they used was some sort deli generic kransky hotdog that tasted a bit like mysterious meat (you can see what they used in the pic).The chilli beef mince on top was under seasoned so it was like plain boiled beef with some heat. The cheese had no taste (was it mozzarella??) and the parsley … well. If they seasoned/tasted their beef component, this would easily be a lot better eating. Only thing I ate so YMMV – I can see it being better on a different day. Chips were decent enough. Pub food here was cheap and under $10 for the most parts.
Beers were suitably priced – beers on tap was $6 each.
Maybe its the time, maybe its … I’m not sure. I’m not sure why it was emptyish – no live music – even when they said that this would be a live music venue. Its a real surprise coming in today and seeing it so empty after the launch period when I came. If it gets busier, write in the comments and let me know. We were here about 40-50 minutes and left. People seem to drift in, have a drink and then leave. Table of 4 who came after us, did just that. The big LCD tv playing sports near the front seems to be rather at odds with everything they are doing here. But after, spending time at 4 different venues today, this was the one that felt the most lacklustre. And I didnt expect it to be.