Harts Pub

Bars, Craft beer The Rocks
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A historic hotel that’s keeping things simple


It doesn’t take much to make a quality alehouse. To start with you need a stripped back, heritage building with the kind of hard-worn wooden floors that have survived countless after-work rushes and last drinks shuffles. You probably don’t want to put anything fragile on any of the walls or shelves because elbow-room and space to rest a schooner are in short supply on busy nights. Sturdy furniture is also a good call: wooden chairs, comfy couches and banquettes that can withstand the rigours of boisterous conversation and high spirits at the end of the working week.

Next, you’ll be needing some beer, ideally a range of local brews and if you’re brewing in-house, even better. The final piece of the pub trifecta is the food, which should be simple, hearty and arrive in generous serves. Put it all together and what you get is Harts Pub in the Rocks.

This is the place to head for a pint of porter, pale ale or a straight up lager from the Rocks Brewing Co; you can get those pints for a pocket-friendly eight bucks during the two-hour happy hour 4.30-6.30pm on weekdays. Are you already familiar with the Rocks beers and looking to try something new? On our visit there’s a cherry-flavoured tart ale from Edge Brewing in Victoria, a beautifully bitter Black IPA from Hope Estate in the Hunter Valley, plus a more reserved IPA from Pirate Life Brewing. The line-up of the guest beers changes regularly, so there’ll always be something new to investigate.

The meals here stick to classic pub fare. Next time we’ll bring a lunchbox to take half of our Reuben home – it’s a monster. The hangman’s lunch is the house take on a ploughman’s, with a thick slice of pork terrine, pickled red cabbage, cauliflower, carrot and green beans, salami, prosciutto, toasted bread, boiled eggs and aged cheddar. It’s worth ordering extra bread for all the tasty morsels on this board. This is a good spot to keep in mind for pre-cultural snacks before a visit to the MCA, Opera House or Walsh Bay.

By: Emily Lloyd-Tait


Venue name: Harts Pub
Address: 176 Cumberland St
The Rocks
Opening hours: Sun-Wed noon-midnight; Thu-Sat noon-1am.
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