Irish Times Hotel
Hidden out of the way of the hustle and bustle in the CBD is one of Melbourne's more strange versions of an Irish pub. Also, when we say hidden, we're using the term loosely, as a two storey high Irish flag isn't exactly whispering your location covertly. The Irish Times is ideal as a destination for a righteous, post-work drink or seven, indeed, if you work in the vicinity, your boss will probably forgive you straying on your lunch break for the odd at-work session, such is its reputation for drinking conduciveness. Bedecked in the unfailingly traditional Irish bar garb, The Irish Times does, however, manage to set itself from the pack by providing an interesting combination of Melbourne small-bar culture with some of the finer, more subtle facets of the typically ostentatious Irish watering hole. The line it ends up perched upon is charming without seeming tacky - well, the two-storey high flag might be a little on the jingoistic side - with the typical colour schemes of dark brown, deep green and yellow dominant, yet tasteful, and the overall feeling of the venue being one of cosiness. The food selection on offer is also a factor that helps The Irish Times win over a hungry heart. The upstairs dining area delivers the perfect array of classis Irish pub nosh - steak, parma, oysters, stew, beef and Guinness pie, curry - as well as their speciality burger. It's fairly pricey, but from experience, quality all the way. The downstairs drinking area is well stocked in much a similar vein. A very nice array of quality red wines and the essential selection of beers - Guinness, Kilkenny as per usual, and an ornate Stella Artois tap. Quite simply, it's a very fun venue that makes drinking second nature.