CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | Contact
The Castle Hotel has stood in the same spot since 1880. It’s inner-city location serves a diverse group of patrons in a district that has seen many different waves of economic classes and demographics.
One of the pubs occasional patrons, a 29-year-old Betoota artist by the name of Urshela, says that he and his friends are so lucky no one has discovered their favourite heritage-listed hotel in Roma Hills. Yet.
“It’s a real secret, you know,”
“We come here all the time. It’s great because none of the yuppies are here… It’s our pub,”
“I mean, I was one of the first people to start coming here… So I’m really glad that it has remained the same… It kind of serves as a clubhouse for creative minds. A place we can come to talk about politics, poetry, art and war,”
Urshela points out that while the relaxed Victorian-style hotel is a great place to discuss what is wrong with the world, it also worries him that “regular” people might also discover the pub and ruin it’s “special vibe”.
“It’s happened with the ‘Flyee’ in the Flight Path District and the ‘Frenchy’ in The French Quarter. I just hate it when the suits discover a place like this,”
“All they do is sit around drink beer, talk about sport and politics… It’s so shallow,”
However, the hipster appraisal seems to be at odds with that of the 70-year-old publican John Munro.
“Once upon a time this area was a slum. It’s always been pretty industrial around here too, so it’s always had a lot of local workers coming here,”
Mr Munro says he can’t understand why Urshela and his friends are worried that someone might “discover” the place. He points out that the Castle Hotel has a very large community of regular patrons that extends far beyond the rapidly gentrifying suburb’s cultural elite.
“What on fuck is he on about? This place has been operational since before Australia was even federated!”
“We serve anyone. Steelcaps, suits, walking sticks or prams. If that makes us hip… Then there must be a few hip fucking pubs in the bush,”
“Heaven forbid someone discovers a pub that sits on a busy inner-city intersection for a 135 years,”
Mr Munro also says that while hipsters are just as welcome as anyone in his pub, they are by far the least social,”
“The hipsters come here once a fortnight and sit in the darkest corner they can find… They don’t realise there is actually an entire bar full of people watching football and talking to each other,”
“This Urshela bloke is by no means a regular. I’d take an entire family of yuppies over those kinds of patrons. They drink the cheapest beer possible and scare everyone off with their patronising critiques of renaissance Aztec folk music”
“It’s not really the type of conversation that Dolphins fans look at getting involved in,”