Happiness as Anarchy #36: Old Art Deco Pubs

I am always excited to find original features in places where you least expect it – venues that don’t seem to pay any attention to the grand old buildings that house them. The Penny Black in Sydney Road, Brunswick, is a fine example. It’s a cheery pub with lots of beer on tap and burgers on the menu, sticky counters and a pool table. There are second hand sofas spread around, the kind that try to swallow you whole like a boa constrictor when you sit on them. But then you duck off to the toilets and discover the stairwell is all original, from the decorative tiles to the art deco lines in the walls and fancy bannister ends. It’s tired and run down, but there has been no attempt to renovate the stairwell and all of the underlying style remains. Maybe one day someone with a big pot of money will restore the whole building back to its former glory.

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By Amie Brûlée

Amie Brûlée is a musician, performer, teacher and researcher. She sings, plays piano, double bass and ukulele, unearths old songs and writes new ones. Amie also has a PhD in wine and anthropology and adores teaching wine tasting, gastronomy and song-writing. Amie lives in central Victoria with a house full of instruments, a head full of songs and a cellar full of wine.

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