Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Graham

What actually is the difference between a bar and a wine bar? The small drinking den tacked on the side of The Graham describes itself as the latter, yet has a by-the-glass wine list not dramatically larger than many a food-oriented pub. I suspect that it's more about who the owners are trying to attract. With the majority of the establishment taken over by a well-rated high class restaurant, it figures that they're not really interested in the beer-swilling, sport-watching hordes (although their range of bottled beers is actually very respectable).
Despite the pretensions of grandeur, this cosy bar with courtyard is actually a pleasant place to have a drink (if you can face the prices), and the tapas is of predictably high quality. It helps that it's location is tucked away, and therefore not mobbed to the same degree as your typical Bay Street bar. The bar staff provide table service when they're not busy.
Built around 1870, the Graham (Family) Hotel has not always been a spotless white-linen dining establishment. The newspaper archives show that in times gone by landlords were repeatedly suspected of flouting their license, and there was an even a case of a supposed suicide by poisoning.

Beers on tap: Peroni
Wine range: $9-13 a glass
Parma: Not that sort of place
Tradie vs Yuppy: Screams yuppy, but is not actually too snobby

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