While many venues are gunning for the #minimalist look nowadays (you know the one — white walls, polished concrete floors, industrial fittings and a deconstructed menu), we're delighted to report that the recently relaunched tavern The New Britannia remains faithful to its historic bones, daggy pizza joint roots and underworld ancestors.
A cornucopia of odds and ends, locally-sourced dark timber and dim tavern lighting, The New Britannia pulls together elements from its previous life as a working class Sydney pub, including a few ghost stories — ask the owners. Seriously, they had to burn sage in the space after a few spooky occurrences — the pub's apparently seen more than one murder in its day, and according to the South Sydney Herald, it's the pub where corrupt cop Roger 'Dodger' Rogerson had a cheeky beer in 1981 before shooting Sydney underworld boss Warren Lanfranchi nearby in Dangar Place.
Now at peace with the undead, the bar's new custodians are the young and hungry bespoke hospitality collective theIdle Group. They've built up a reputation around their other venues, the Neighbourhood in Bondi and Henrietta Supper Club, and are delivering the goods at The New Britannia too. The site previously housed the beloved but undeniably daggy Millennium Bar Pizzeria and the kitchen fitout remains, so the menu is packed with pizza options (tip: most of them are weird). Try the 'Uncle Randy's Big Brisket Delight' — brisket bolognese with mozzarella — part pizza, part pasta, all delicious.
Another other menu highlight worth your time is the burgers. 'The Dodger' burger (named after our aforementioned dodgy mate Rodger 'Dodger' Rogerson) is the hero of the menu and made with a juicy beef pattie, American cheese, iceberg lettuce, onions and pickles. And get this, the bar menu also offers a chip butty (remember those? They're back!) made with white bread stuffed with crunchy beer battered chips, house butter and tomato sauce served with pickles. Sweet carby Jesus. If that doesn't pique your interest, we're really not sure what will.
The New Britannia has an unpretentious, blue collar vibe and a reasonable menu that could smother the hunger of even the filthiest miner, dragging a pick back from a day of heaving ho, and we couldn't be happier (or hungrier).