Hairy Canary- Little Collins St

First mistake of Hairy Canary. Using the word ‘hairy’. Gross.


Despite its hairiness, I was excited to visit this place. My life long friend Caz suggested this as a good-bye dinner before her trip to Europe (everyone is leaving me and I’m sad!). It has a decent rating on Urban Spoon, and it’s cosy. The bartenders were young and charming, and we landed an awesome people-watching spot looking out onto Little Collins St.


I was happy to be visiting somewhere a bit different to the standard Fitzroy cafes. However the issue with this place is definitely the price. I generally have very little money. But whatever, I decided tonight I would #YOLO this shit up and order something from this double-dollar-signs menu.


This is Caz, pre-cheeseboard and excited about the menu.

We got to Hairy Canary, hoping for some yummy tapas and a decent wine. We were immediately greeted with handsome, charming (English) bartenders who got all cute when they forgot what the specials were. There were 2 vegetarian options in my price range; eggplant chips and a FUCKING CHEESEBOARD.

The Cheeseboard was $28. Yes, twenty eight fucking dollars. Caz and I decided to split it, thinking (like any normal person would) “it’s $28 worth of cheese, this should be a riot”. I got excited and ordered a Chilean red wine. An eclectic array of tunes ranging from Jose Gonzalez to ‘I think I wanna marry you‘ were playing in the background. The lighting was warm, we were feeling grand.

image-10This is what $28 worth of cheese looks like.

Our cheeseboard arrived, and we took a minute to recover from that charm of the English wait staff.  Then we looked down and felt nothing short of underwhelmed.

It tasted delicious, as any cheeseboard does. But I think they just took the scraps from last night’s soiree and chucked some strawberries on top. Call me old fashioned, but when I pay money for food I’m used to receiving something in return. Regardless, we basked in the glory of sophistication for a moment, but were quickly greeted again with hunger and an even emptier bank account. Boo.

The wine was amazing, partly because it was from Chile and partly because my usual array of cask wines have set the bar low.

Occupie Metrics:
Door to Beard Index: The beards exist, but more so in a ‘refined old man’ kind of way, than a ‘hungover and unshaven while riding a fixie’ kind of way.

Wine: Yes.

Noms: The eggplant chips may have been a more satisfying choice.

How poor will it make me? This is not an appropriate option for those light on coin. Buyer beware.

Final thoughts: It was cold outside, and this place was warm and inviting. It was fine to spend an evening here but I wish they were a bit more adventurous with their portions, and I wish I had more cash to spend on Chilean wine.

Hairy Canary on Urbanspoon


The Cornish Arms Hotel, Brunswick

The Cornish Arms in Brunswick is the first pub I’ve visited on behalf of Occupie Fitzroy. It’s the first Brunswick venue I’m blogging about. It also has a balls-awesome vegetarian menu. Everything is exciting.

I originally visited the Cornish Arms some years ago amidst a bad acid trip and to see my friend’s angry grunge band. Needless to say, the experience was unpleasant. I’m now extremely grateful to have forged some new memories of this classic venue.

This place is a really nice break from the wankery (and prices) of many Fitzroy venues. I’ve started frequenting the Cornish Arms every Monday night with a band of vegan-parma devotees and cider-holics, and I’m pretty excited to be spending regular hang times here. The place is chilled out and unpretentious, which is what you should be looking for on a Monday night. They have an impressive menu of vegetarian/vegan parmas and burgers, all at the finance-friendly price of $12. And they have cider. So no matter what, this place is either going to be good, great or amazing.

cornish arms 01

This is now my Monday night dinner. Noms.

*I know* it may just look like a typical pub meal, but nay! This be a mushroom and haloumi burger, the dinner of gods! And some chips (because every Monday night must include 2 cholesterol points). I would be happy to eat this every week for all of eternity. However I’m already feeling that pang of regret for having discovered this wonderous dish so early on in my exploration of the menu, because now I’m never going to order anything else. Woe.

cornish arms 03This is Nikki enjoying her mushroom burger and being a total gangsta.

The only thing almost (but not quite) as good as the mushroom burner and chips, is that every Monday night is an open mic night. Some open mic nights can be hit or miss, but this one involves a Shakespearean stringed instrument, and a guy who dances to his synthesiser. This place is pure, indulgent, north-side bliss.

cornish arms 02 AKA Lord of the Dance, this guy is a total badass.

Occupie Metrics:
Door to Beard Index: When I say this place is unpretentious, what I really mean is every kind of beard can be seen. Beards on hipsters, ageing alcoholics, north-side family men. Brunswick is diverse, thus the beards are varied and plentiful.

Beer: They have it.

Noms: SO GOOD. Apparently their vegan parmas are amazeballs but faux chicken weirds me out.

How poor will it make me? A full Monday night belly will cost you around $22 (burger and pint). Goes alright in my books (and my blog).



Cornish Arms Hotel on Urbanspoon

Bimbos Deluxe- Brunswick St

We are beginning with a Fitzroy classic, Bimbo Deluxe on Brunswick St

I’ve personally always found this place to be pretty good. Seconds after locking your fixie to a fence around the corner, you can see that this place just screams “fuck you…. we’re cool”. It has really sexy/dungeon-esque mood lighting, super freaky baby doll decor, and couches that are easy to get stuck in. It definitely clings onto the grunge that was once so pervasive in Fitzroy, and in parts closely resembles a cave. In fact, it actually has a cave.
The pizzas are often cheap and always amazing, with plenty of options for vegetarians like myself. However, eating said pizzas has proven difficult whilst being stuck in a couch, and at times I have ended up with a lap full of mushrooms (a warning for those lazy pizza eaters). I assume there is other food available, however when $4 pizzas are on the menu, who really gives a fuck about the salad.
Bimbos also do vodka infused with cool flavours, like watermelon and chili. It hangs in big vats above the bar, amongst even more freaky baby dolls. I assume it’s tasty, however a vodka-aided hangover from 2009 still lingers in my mind, so I no longer touch the stuff.They have the normal beer selection, and a fancy beer selection, of the ‘normal’ Fitzroy prices (see: ‘fuck drinking here is expensive’). Their cider (the only thing I’m usually concerned with) is great, however it was served to me in a fucking schooner. One of few downsides to this place: if I wanted a schooner I would go to fucking Sydney.

Occupie Metrics:
DBI: 3.0- This place has fierce beards, and many of them.
Noms: $4 pizza during certain times. Seeing as it’s $4 and it’s pizza, it is definitely good.
How poor will it make me? Food, not very. Drinks, probably. Because of those fucking schooners.

Final notes:
I visited this place on a Monday night. Like any bar, Monday nights are pretty chilled, kind of the way I like them. However a Saturday night is very different and seems to get filled with the kinds of people I actively try to avoid. Moral of the story: visit at your own risk, but it will probably be awesome.
Bimbos pizza get in me!

Bimbo Deluxe on Urbanspoon