The Oaks' sports bar with a Hulk Hogan beer tap, a giant foosball table and foot-long hotdogs.
Lower north shore institution The Oaks has taken a leap into its next phase, launching stage one of a huge makeover, which will see three distinct new offerings opening before the end of the year. First to welcome revellers is Taffy's, a sports bar that's heavy on pop culture and sports references, and ready to carve out its own chapter in The Oaks' 133-year history.
Inside Taffy's, you'll find enough screens to satisfy all your sports viewing needs, and the decor and vibes to match. Catch a life-size cut-out of cricketing great Richie Benaud, an enormous eight-person foosball table, arcade-style basketball hoops, an air hockey table, pop art murals, vintage sporting memorabilia and novelty beer taps — think Hulk Hogan, a Nintendo console, a cowboy pistol and Donald Trump.
The food offering is classic sports bar fare turned up a notch. Try fried wonton duck nachos ($18); 'disco' fries topped with pepperoni ketchup, cheese, pepperoni and aioli ($15); reuben spring rolls packed with pastrami and swiss cheese (four for $19); and a rotating selection of epic foot-long hotdogs, with fillings like chicken parmigiana and peking duck ($17).
The 20-tap bar is pouring plenty of beers, including VB, Carlton and Furphy. There'll be regular tap takeovers by local craft beer favourites, too. Even the cocktails have taken a step towards quirky, with options like a smoked barrel-aged negroni ($17), a macadamia and walnut old fashioned ($17) and a sticky-date espresso martini ($18).
Keep an eye out for the bar's namesake, David 'Taffy' Thomas, who at the age of 85 can still be found behind the bar pulling schooners.