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Hoo Ha Bar

Bars Mater Hill
3 out of 5 stars

What's the Hoo Ha about? Boutique brews in casual, warehouse-style surrounds just off Grey Street

A block away from the bright lights of South Bank's main drag, worlds apart in its vibe, a former ugly-duckling office building has morphed into an inviting all-day venue, with sandblasted brick walls and exposed beams. Add a vintage lamp here and there, beer bottles with wildflowers adorning rustic timber tables, and you’ve got yourself the homeliest little drinking hole in these parts.

It’s one of those places that’s chilled no matter what the hour. Days begin with the sun streaming gently through the windows as the espresso machine pumps out coffees, and the pace stays cruisey through lunch, until the beer taps begin to flow in the afternoon. Couples and groups wander in, claim stools at the bar, or flop onto big leather chesterfields for a chat. Old-fashioned conversation is alive and well here, since the tunes are kept at background volume, save for the odd vintage vinyl set.

Check out the blackboard beside the front steps for current beery delights. We love their commitment to local and imported boutique brews. From the deliciously malty Prickly Moses red ale, to citrusy Feral Hop Hog, smoky Killer Sprocket Bandit, Green Beacon Windjammer, Kooinda Milk Porter, Hills Honey Mead Cider… we could go on, and on. It’s a list that’ll have you looking at the world through rose-coloured beer goggles in no time.

The cocktail list is much shorter, but fun in a fruity kind of way. There’s a tequila-based Bloody Mary (Maria) with olives and an affogato-style Espresso Martini (yes, there’s a little scoop of vanilla ice cream) but our favourites are the Gramble – muddled grapes with gin, lemon juice, house-made pineapple and coriander syrup, Paychaud’s bitters and a Chambord drizzle – and the Melon Head, a sweet-sour-spicy mix of Aperol, gin, lemon juice, lemon bitters, egg white and house-spiced peach reduction served with a chunk of watermelon sorbet (both $16). Shorter still is the list of boutique Australian wine – just four well-chosen drops in each colour, all available by the bottle or glass ($8-$12).

A menu of share plates is available all afternoon and evening until 9pm (evenings only on the weekend). Small plates ($7-$10) include humble classics like patatas bravas, bruschetta and ham and cheese croquettes with lemon aioli. If your belly’s already full of beer these are ideal, but there’s a range of larger plates including a cider-braised ham-hock sandwich with cos, vintage cheddar, pickles and mustard on good bread ($13), and slow-cooked beef cheeks with hummus, cucumber and mint salad ($20).

Get there early and claim a comfy sofa in the precinct’s most laid-back bar. Who needs the hype of South Bank when there’s the Hoo Ha Bar?

By: Morag Kobez


Venue name: Hoo Ha Bar
Address: 41 Tribune St
South Bank
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 7am-late; Fri 7am-midnight; Sat Midday-midnight
Static map showing venue location