joins Newtown’s host of ‘pubs what got a makeover and are much nicer now
’. Above the wonderland of Astroturf, new tiles and polished railings that is now the Marly,
sits Miss Peaches – the sweet bar and diner with a nanna-meets-yo-momma vibe and a menu that explores the wide belt of America’s South.
Take the side entrance, past the excellent neon signage and a denim-and-leather-clad lady bouncer (yowza), to get to the bar. One corner features a couple of '60s lounges and an old black-and-white TV, while the bigger space is decked out in patchwork print banquettes along the walls allowing for plenty of space to swing your jars.
Get things rolling with some tater tots, all crisp and golden with a slightly spicy maple bacon dipping sauce. The food for the most part is ballast, really, for the raft of American beers on offer. You’ll see hush puppies, grits and crawfish pies. We don’t order the blackened catfish, but you might.
Bartender James Snelgrove is behind the cans here, offering the likes of Grape Drank (Google it – no really) and Atlanta Fanta. The mix of Jack Daniels, lemon and Fanta admittedly grows on you, but it’s not an instant hit. There’s also an almost soupy Hot Buttered Rumspiced with pumpkin. The bottled beer selection, however, is excellent. There are all your Sierra Nevada favourites, plus the Brooklyn Brewery boys get a look in. Our favourite by far is the surprisingly refreshing and reliably bitter Acme IPA. It's a reason to visit the bar in-and-of-itself.
There’s some really nice stuff on offer on the menu here, cooked with smarts and plenty of energy. Gnaw on a big ol’ fried turkey leg if you feel like it. You can. They offer single legs that come off the bone in rich dark hunks. Grits with gravy – creamy cornmeal porridge with rich striations of braised beef – is a bit like a Creole version of polenta alla ragu and perfect as a stand-alone meal.
One day, we’re hoping someone will do an Aussie menu of roadside classics: crumbed cutlets, meat pies, chops, a burger with the lot. It might make more sense than copying food that really needs to be enjoyed in situ. When have you ever had smothered greens or biscuits in gravy in Australia that taste quite as good as the ones you had in the place where people eat them without irony?
This is a great pub-bar with tasty food, a delicious soundtrack of soul and '60s R'n'B and fun time a'plenty on the cards. Miss Peaches? She'll be apples.