Young and trendy pub offering not only a grungy front bar but also the whole DJ and band area out the back on the weekends when things get hectic. Midweek meals are the order of the day, with decent servings cooked in a dedicated kitchen.
Given its funky and unfussy nature, the Retreat Hotel pulls in patrons every day of the week - whether there for a chat or simply to read a book.
One of the top pubs on Sydney Road, and well worth sticking on your Brunswick shortlist.
Outdoor Area / Beer Garden
A simply massive beer garden works a treat over the warmer months, often attracting bands during the peak periods, and a hell of a lot of laid back drinking to go with them.
Falling distinctly under the "so daggy it's cool" category, The Retreat Hotel is the perfect place for a long session, starting at midday and sliding on into the night. You and your mates can pull up a piece of astro turf in the beer garden, kick back, and enjoy the soundtrack of mellow Aussie rock and 70s tunes. When you're ready, take your pick from the simple but delicious fare, grab another beer and dig in. If you're feeling a little too relaxed, you can shoot some pool or shake your groove thing on the late night dancefloor.
The Retreat Hotel attracts groovers from all age groups and walks of life, and the dress code is definitely not fancy. A top notch local.
What I really want to know is... how did they get hold of my Grandmother's floral dining chairs?
Nikki, Seddon, 02/08
Go to the Retreat on a Saturday afternoon and sit in the front bar for the a bit of dirty blues or country. Last time I was there, the drummer set fire to his drumsticks. The bar staff turned off all the lights and let the band keep wailing with these mad flames beating out in front of the crowd.
Recover after such an experience by ordering one of the Retreat's great meals... unfussy, down-home cookin'... and the serves are huuuuuge.
Melanie, East Brunswick, 11/04
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Retreat Hotel / Link to this page: http://www.partystar.com.au/venue/624/