For 132 years, Balmain's renowned Exchange Hotel fed and watered local punters. Last year, it sadly closed doors amid rumours that its next life was that of a call centre. Luckily, the rumours were false, and the historic hotel reopened its doors in July, 2018. The heritage-listed pub has been treated to a decor and menu refresh — and is welcoming in humans and dogs alike.
Located on the corner of Beattie and Mullens Streets, the centenarian pairs craft cocktails with inventive Italian eats. You can match an espresso martini with a Mick pizza, topped with prosciutto and cherry tomatoes, perhaps, or a charcuterie board — piled high with jamon serrano, cured beef, salami and pickles — with a negroni.
Alongside the cocktails, you'll also find a neat lineup of local wines and spirits, and a hefty selection of tap beers. And if you decide to head in for a post-work tipple, you'll be greeted with a $5 beer and house wine happy hour — running from 4–6pm, Monday to Thursday.
It's a pub that takes its dessert seriously, too, with loaded dessert fries with molten Nutella, and its take on a s'more. Both perfect post-dinner treats, if you ask us.
Perhaps the biggest drawcard, however, is the pub's dog-friendly stance — which means you're guaranteed to experience some top-notch dog watching (and patting) while you're there.