Back in the day, patrons of the former Nelson Hotel didn't have far to stumble for their next ale. Heading 200m North they'd find the (Golden) Fleece, 200m West Meagher's (much renamed) hotel or 200m East the Wayside Inn. However what's not obvious, as you stand at the intersection of Montague Street and City Road, is that the closest hostelry lies in wait to the South.
O'Connell's Centenary Hotel would be an even better secret. News of refurbishment of the traditional-yet-classy pub had many worried that the sleepy residential side-street pub's comforting charm would be lost in the process. However whilst black has replaced the vintage green palette, this is still unmistakably O'Connells. And whilst the up-market restaurant is now more clearly separated from the bar, the layout is basically unchanged.
Pub of the Year, it's hard not to conclude that O'Connell's now has everything it's got ... and then some. The food is damn fine and the drinks selection adventurous, but then there's the peaceful outdoor seating and the warm inviting local's feel inside too.
Beers on tap: Carlton, Cascade Light, Asahi, Stella Artois, Guinness, Hawthorn Pale Ale, 4 Pines Kolsch, Moo Brew Pilsner, Hargreaves Hill ESB, 2 Brothers Grizz
Wine range: $8 - $14
Parma: $24 (although not described as such)
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