It looks like it’s always been there. And technically it has. Six months ago an old office block in West End was shelled, eventually becoming the suburb’s newest local, The Montague Hotel. “We really wanted to stay true to what West End is,” says group general manager Steve Lee. “So putting a big shiny ultra modern thing here just wouldn’t work.”

Opening last week on the corner of Montague and Kurilpa streets, the self-nicknamed “Monty” is a 400-capacity venue with big ambitions. Expect all the things that make any pub great – a meat-heavy menu, plenty of beer and screens for sport. But there are also some more refined additions – a gin menu, a focus on good wine, healthy food options and decks stretching out onto both streets. “The majority of our business will be local,” Lee says. “We definitely want to nurture that and just aim to be a forward-thinking pub that’s still really accessible.”

Inside the industrial-styled space, copper beer tanks hang high above the central bar. A fresh batch of preservative-free Carlton Draught will be pumped in every fortnight. Otherwise, the pub’s 17 taps pour a specially brewed Monty’s Pale Lager, mainstream CUB beer and a solid craft offering – Newstead Brewing, Green Beacon, Fortitude Brewing and a clutch from South Australia, including Prancing Pony’s India Red Ale (which recently won “Supreme Champion Beer” at last year’s International Beer Challenge in London).

Rounding out the drinks are an unfussy wine list, a Martini menu and a classic and signature cocktail list. There’s also a straight-pour gin menu, with each drop matched to carefully selected accompaniments. It all drives home the Monty’s aim to be much more than your average pub.

Chef Enda Gaffey (formerly of Bavarian Bier Cafe, London Fields and The Charming Squire) is in charge of kitchen’s charcoal rotisserie that feeds the 80-seat bistro. The menu focuses on slow-cooked meats from the grill, plus pub standards done well (steak, schnitzel, fish and chips). A $14 “Superfood” selection comes on stream for weekday lunches, featuring dishes such as an alkaline salad, chicken breast with greens on rye and a Swiss mushroom burger.

The Montague Hotel
363 Montague Road, West End
07 3846 3472

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