Poet Banjo Patterson described the 19th century larrikin Rocks Push gang as ‘wiry, hard-faced little fellows’. Jump a hundred years and The Push was still rebellious but with a left wing group who met over a meal and a beer.
You’d be forgiven for thinking designer Mike Delany dropped a tab of acid before choosing this riotous colour scheme. It’s alarming, that is until a few Panamargaritas ($17) get your lips tingling with jalapeno, aloe drink, agave and tequila, and ease you into the swing of things.
Downstairs locals are still huddled drinking schooners. Upstairs the elegant transformation of the Kurrajong Hotel brings contemporary pub dining to the mix.
At its heart, the Light Brigade is a sports bar. So when they did a recent spruce-up, they felt it was important not to alienate their heartland.
While I’m deep into my winter of whisky, I’m also partial to a good gin and tonic.
As I peruse the menu, ABC Radio’s Simon Marnie is tucking into three courses of roast pheasant at a neighbouring table.
"We smash Kingsleys!" Chef Elton Inglis - who has worked with Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver - isn’t backwards about coming forwards regarding the quality of his cooking or his chosen produce.
At a time when the Labor Party seems to stand for little more than getting back into power, this place harks back to the days when it used to stand for something: the workers. It’s guaranteed to bring a tear to the eye to anyone who remembers the glory days of Whitlam, Hawke and Wran.
Looking for things to do while staying at the new Atura Blacktown? Here are my suggestions:
Thirty minutes and thirty years from Sydney is a pub where strangers talk to one another, and Bar Manager John Mundy uses common sense and conversation to enforce the rule of law. Over a malty pint of Old Speckled Hen ($11.50) you might enquire after his glass jar of Pickled Eggs ($1.10/each).