Bridie O'Reilly's South Yarra
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Open: Daily 11.30am-late
The problem with themed bars is that they inexorably pop up in popular precincts and will then proceed to cater exactly to the type of consumer who isn't going to add to the cool of its particular surrounds. Chapel St has long been a favourite with fashionistas and the cultural dilettante, but along with it has come a crowd of wannabes; and they're the kind of person who find drinking in themed bars a culturally educational experience. Which, really, is a shame. Bridie O'Reillys in South Yarra boasts one of, if not the, greatest forecourt beer garden in the Greater Melbourne area. There are few experiences akin to relaxing with a pint in the summer sunshine on one of the long trestle tables with a group of friends, indulging in one of Bridie's dependable selection of tap beers. As an Irish-themed bar, the selection of beer is exactly as you'd expect; Guinness, Kilkenny and the local brews, and their food is much the same. Tasty and simple bar snacks and a fair menu selection make it an easy decision to stop by while shopping, or to enjoy an easy, unsophisticated meal. Inside, there's the usual maze of intimate wooden booths and tables, almost a carbon copy of anywhere else you'd dare tread that had an 'O' prefix in its title. The clientele will also suit people who enjoy the easier option when it comes to a night out. Bridie O'Reillys is a themed pub with fairly decent food, a great courtyard; no more, no less.