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Copyright Melway Publishing 2003.
Reproduced from Sydway Edition 9 with permission.
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Sports pub, local-oriented, TAB and pokies. Scruffy decor, corner location, open bar area, no prentensions. The phoenix is still the same as it's been for years, but we've noticed recently that the punters, especially at weekends, are a polarised mixture of 45+ locals and 18-25s dressed for a night out. Kind of odd, but a similar phenomenon to the Four In Hand, also in Woollahra - which seems to attract punters you wouldn't quite expect if you saw the pub filling up from empty.
$2 Champagne on Fridays could be a factor in pulling in the ladies, as well as the location and the reputation as less of a yuppie meat market than, say, the Front bar at the Woollahra. Strange mix, but an enjoyable and friendly one. It was certainly lively this Friday, and everyone's friendly enough to at least give you a nod as you wait with them at the bar.
I have to say the bar service was a little sporadic, but really that's what you tend to see at a local like this - where staff should be chosen not for their ability to churn out beers at a rate of knots (as with many inner-city pubs) but for their ability to keep up a rapport with the customers - as we've said for some time, the choice of staff can make or break a pub. Recomended for locals, or as a change from the slightly more intense Woollahra Hotel.
review by: Jason
We live just round the corner, so we know of what we speak. The Phoenix feels out of place. It's really a TAB/Pokies/VB kind of bar, in an area that's far more Chardonnay and Cocktails. Still, it seems to do OK, despite restrictions imposed on noise due to snotty residents in the surrounding area.
The boards outside advertising the latest Shiraz and Chardonnay available sit uneasily with the TAB slips and flashing lights inside.
We at SydneyPubGuide.net think that it's a real shame that the Phoenix has had trouble with residents of the surrounding area. It does bring to mind Harry Siedler - an architect who moved into a house near Luna Park, then campaigned to have it shut down because of the noise. If you want somewhere quiet, here's a tip - Don't move in next to a pub. Move somewhere nearer a park, and stop bloody complaining.
Well, rant over, we'll be dropping in at the Phoenix regularly, so expect updates!
review by: pubguide staff