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The Bob Hawke Beer & Leisure Centre

Located inside Hawke's Brewery, this neighbourhood pub harks back to pubs of the 1980s and serves an Australian-Chinese bistro menu with deep-fried Viennetta.
By Ben Hansen
April 14, 2022
By Ben Hansen
April 14, 2022

Beloved inner west brewery Hawke's Brewing Co's 2100-square-metre Marrickville brewery now plays home to its own pub paying homage to 1980s pubs and the beer's namesake. The Bob Hawke Beer and Leisure Centre boasts a retro fit-out, a highly nostalgic bistro and the full range of Hawke's beers.

The 300-seat venue opened on the cusp of Hawke's five-year anniversary. Inside you'll find a pub or community centre style restaurant and bar, decked out with wood panelling inspired by Old Parliament House. As you walk through the venue, you'll find walls lined with steel brewing tanks, a patio area, and a pool room, filled with Bob Hawke memorabilia.

Food-wise, patrons can enjoy The Lucky Prawn, an 80's Chinese-Australian bistro that the Hawke's team has created with help from Nic Wong (Cho Cho SanBodega). The food is a throw back, just like the rest of the venue. There's prawn toast ($12), san cho bao ($20–22), honey king prawn ($35), sizzling beef ($30) and the mother of all nostalgic creations, deep-fried Viennetta ($40). While a Hawke's brew is obviously the recommended beverage of choice at The Lucky Prawn, you can also order a $14 bottle of Crown Larger for special occasions.

"While we named the venue in his honour, we were mindful of being sycophantic and simply plastering imagery of Hawkie all over the place," Hawke's co-Founder Nathan Lennon says. "I think we've achieved a balance that pays tribute to Bob in the Pool Room, while delivering an authentic Australian experience throughout the rest of the space."

While the venue is drenched in nostalgia, Lennon and fellow owner David Gibson wanted to ensure it was also sustainable and future-focused. The brewery is run with the help of a 100-kilowatt rooftop solar farm, and houses several eco-innovations alongside the venue. The building's carbon capture system which was developed with UTS Tech uses carbon-dioxide from the beer's fermentation to help grow plants and vegetables to be used in the venue.

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