Monday, March 19, 2007

The Death of the Local Pub?

Kin rang me on Sunday and asked if there was anything to do. I dropped by his house and we browsed the Internet looking for activities to do. Some of them looked good but were so far and we couldn't be bothered. After much ummming and ahhhing, we decided to go to the nearest pub and watch the formula one race.

And what "pub" did we settle on, well, we settled on the Glen Waverley TAB, because it was close, it was clean, it had restaurants all around it so we could eat after, it had heaps of huge screens so we could watch every sport and it served lots of cheap alcohol.

This led me to think about what will happen to local pubs in the future. Just as large supermarkets opening till all hours has killed off the local milk bar, I think TABs opening all hours will kill off the local small pub. They are becoming fewer and fewer in the suburbs now. It's all being taken over by TABs, where you can gamble on the pokies, grab something to eat and drink, watch many huge TV screens, all in the comfort of a safe environment.

I know that I would rather go to a TAB than some pub I didn't know, especially if the clientele there were of a slightly unsavoury nature. In a TAB, its a much more controlled environment where there tends to be less drunk people and you can just enjoy yourself.

The multi-national TABs can undercut local pubs in terms of alcohol prices since they buy in bulk, so the only reason for people to go to a local pub is if they like to meet the other regular people there. Pubs also don't generally have the budget to have huge 2 metre TV screens and 10 other plasma screens all over the place to show every sport imagineable. Hence, if you want to watch some obscure sport, a TAB is the best bet (boom boom, get it, bet, TAB....ok for a comedian I make a good engineer). Would the local pub serve you a Pret a Porter (cranberry, lime and vodka) cocktail. I doubt it very much, even if they did, you would probably cop flak from everyone there hahaha. Anyway, Kin wanted to drink a cocktail, so we did. I asked him jokingly "Are we desperate housewives now, drinking cocktails on a Sunday afternoon." The cocktail was actually quite good. We followed it up with a jug of beer which we slowly consumed whilst watching the formula one on one screen and the cricket world cup on another.

So are there any local pubs, and I mean local pubs, not pubs in the city because those are usually quite large, that you visit each week for a beer. Or do you go to TABs like me?


  1. First of all, a TAB is not a pub!!!

    The TAB's of Melbourne are destroying an industry that is steeped in Australian culture. And, combined with Australia's multiculturalism pub's are in a lot of ways the birthplace of what is Australian Cuisine today!!!

    Did you know that Fitzroy's pub's comprise more live music venues than Manhattan.

    People don't go to a pub to watch television on plasma screen TV's.
    They go to the pub to socialize with friends over a few pots, have a game of pool and generally enjoy a piece of Australian culture that the TAB's are destroying.

  2. If you ordered a Pret a Porter at my local you would get bashed!!!

  3. Anonymous, I never said TABs were pubs. Hence I put TAB in quotation marks, which means that is not the case.

    I didn't know that Fitzroy pubs had more live music than Manhattan. Thank you for that.

    I would agree that people go to pubs to socialize. But your second comment then said that if we ordered a Pret a Porter, we would get bashed? So how does that work. The fact that we just want to try a drink is worthy of being beaten up for? Do you see why I said some people may prefer the more generic, but safer, environment of the TAB.

  4. Mr Thanh,

    Anon. number two wasn't me!!!

    You'd be surprised how many pubs these days have cranberry juice, (you are, however, probably better off ordering a cranberry, lime and vodka to avoid confused stares) excellent wine lists and great food as well.

  5. Anonymous, then I apologise. It's hard to tell who you are as you have been throwing insults at me too.

    I shall take your advice and try out a cranberry, lime and vodka. Thanks.