Hale & Mary – The Sports Bar Canberra Prayed for?
by The Editor
In years to come, will we look back upon this time as the golden years of the ampersand?
There were a few early trendsetters (Wig & Pen and Chairman & Yip), but since 2010 the trickle has become a flood with Tongue & Groove & Maple & Clove & Elk & Pea & Mocan & Green Grout & Fox & Bow & Walt & Burley & Marble & Grain & Wood & Coal & Beef & Barley & 79 & Fine all contributing the SHIFT-7 trend.
Now we have another with the launch of Hale & Mary (Don’t come at us with your ‘it’s a plus-sign’ rubbish!). Situated on the ‘old’ side of Kingston it fills the space previously occupied by the much-loved (and nomadic) Santa Lucia.
With a sunny outlook and slightly raised position, the new bar is attracting a range of sports fans and curious locals to see what the Southside’s latest venue has on offer.
Big TVs. That’s what. And likely they’re the first thing you’ll notice… (in fact, you’ll probably see them well before entering the venue). This is an Australian take on the classic American sports bar, where tellies line every available section of wall and customers can sit at the bar while shouting at whichever screen features their favourite team.
Don’t like sport? Well, perhaps this isn’t quite your place. However, while the early days have shown that clientele has a strong male skew, it’s impressive to see Hale & Mary has gone to great lengths in places you might not expect. Each of the bench tables features a lower bench that is the perfect place for a handbag, and the elegant wine glasses and champagne flutes are branded with the bar’s clean and simple logo.
Speaking of wine, the list contains plenty of variety, but be sure to get out your calculator to work out which bottle has the cheapest by-the-glass price (tip: it varies… a lot), and there are a few absolute bargains available for those who know what they’re looking for. House plonk starts at $8.00 per glass for red, white and sparkling.
As for food, the offerings are pretty blokey, but that’s fine when you’re sitting in a pub (Hey, we all deserve an excuse to head for the chicken wings!). Other options include a range of steaks and plenty of finger foods that all look pretty good to us.
As well as being open seven days a week, Hale & Mary is also open for breakfast. Quite how the sports streams fit with a lazy weekend breakfast remains to be seen, but it’s great to have a Canberra venue that prefers to be open than shut. We can all cheer for that.
Hale & Mary
Cnr Giles and Tench streets