Grub's off
February 3, 2014
Richard for 2011

Surely there are licensing issues when glitzy establishments switch-off the ovens while continuing to serve drinks? ... Late night nourishment underwhelming in Sydney's "entertainment precinct" ... Nosher prowls for a hamburger  

Riley St Garage: solids off early

IT'S 10pm on a Tuesday night. 

After an excruciating night with Dido & Aeneas at Star City's Lyric Theatre we are in serious need of perking-up. 

A burger at the Riley Street Garage, Woolloomooloo, seems just the ticket ... a Lessey's beef and blue cheese number with chips (a.k.a. fries), a snip for $20.  

A nice, but as it turned out, far-fetched, idea. 

The greetings poppet at the front desk says hamburgers are unobtainable. In fact, the kitchen closes at 10pm. You can only have cheese or pudding (a.k.a. sweet 'n cheese). 

Of course, you can keep ordering grog till 11.30pm. 

In a flash, one of the big licensing law rabbit holes is exposed. 

Establishments that are licensed in the expectation that they'll serve food to soak up their patron's liquor intake, switch off the solids when it suits them. 

Maybe, it's something to do with paying chefs and kitchen staff after 10 o'clock at night. 

However, it does seem infra dig for a city that bastes itself in the juice of its global tourist and night-time entertainment status, to have its stoves shutting down at 10pm. 

We're taking here about a hamburger, which normally doesn't require Paul Bocuse to fry and assemble. 

The whole idea of premises that sell food and drink is to keep the food going in tandem with the intoxicating liquids. 

Otherwise, all is lost. 

Happy Three Hours at The Bourbon

I discover a similar problem at Christopher Cheung's The Bourbon.  

On a visit a few months back we're advised, by a helpful hostess, at around about 8.30pm on a Friday, that hamburgers are not available until after 10pm. 

Sorry, the kitchen has also closed for an hour because it has to "catch-up". 

Naturally, the bar doesn't have to catch-up. Drink away. 

While we're at it, it didn't take long before The Bourbon's glitzy "do-over" morphed into something closer to the heart of Tattsville. 

There's cheap-and-cheerless street signage for "Aussie Day BBQ ... Live Music 7 Days a Week ... Happy Hour $5 House Drinks". 

In fact it's a happy three hours, from 4-7pm, Monday to Friday.

That's the spirit. Guzzling $5 drinks as fast as possible. 


Nosher reporting

Article originally appeared on Local news from postcode 2011 (
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