Grace Darling Hotel
Time Out says
This Collingwood stalwart remains reliable as ever
While its modish disco-and-pizza sister venue Lazerpig generates steady buzz down the road, the Grace is a member of the old guard, still boasting on-point garage punk bookings in the upstairs bandroom along with a perennially attractive happy hour deal of $7 Coopers pints between 4-6pm each day. In the warmer months, the outdoor tables lining the Smith and Peel corner bustle with creative types kick-starting their nights into gear. When winter strikes the sprawling front bar becomes a mix of suits swilling knock-off pints, and smatterings of young couples on dates.
The menu is exactly what you’d expect from an old boozer – steaks and burgers – but they’ve nudged the food offering up a few price points with the likes of an O’Connors dry aged sirloin with porcini sauce (an additional $3), and a vegan butter curry featuring mild Masala spice, in the cashew-creamy sauce dotted with tofu dumplings and crisp onion. Even onion rings won’t leave you with much change from a tenner, though they rank highly on the fired snack scale, especially after a dip of Sriracha mayo, and they don’t leave you feeling like you need an oil change when you’re done.
As one would expect from a watering hole with credentials like the Grace, the bar features taps with locally sourced brews filling the lines, like the crisp, citrus-tinged Forrest Silvertop Kölsch alongside Coopers Pale Ale and Mountain Goat Hightail.
Sometimes it can feel like a rural retreat, especially in the aviary dining area, candlelit with stone walls lined with cascading greenery giving it extra old world ambience. But the out of order ATM parked near the bathrooms is a fitting reminder: The Grace is still very much a Collingwood pub.
Time Out Awards
114 Smith St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat noon-1am; Sun noon-11pm|