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Pub Of The Week 2021: Tony Leonard’s latest reviews

pub of the week
Article image for Pub Of The Week 2021: Tony Leonard’s latest reviews


3AW’s Pub Of The Week is back for its 31st edition, again supported by DeBortoli wines.

2021 will be the 26th year that it’s been run by Tony Leonard.

The format will remain the same: a review around 11.45am on Friday with Neil, followed by a written review posted here soon after.


The pub is chosen at random – not the best of 3 or 4 from the week – and my clear preference is for owner/operator establishments, with a focus on pubs creating a good community/family feel. (For sure the food and drink is at a better level; hopefully something that demands the customer to come back).

I genuinely encourage feedback of the pubs reviewed, and suggestions of places that are providing better levels of hospitality. My address is and I will answer each of them.

Format of Review:

Reviews remain streamlined to give a broad outline of the pub’s offer, and if there are any points of difference that elevates over a standard offer. As previously stated, scoring out of 20 remains; most pubs will fall between 12.5-14, and a point between pubs is significant.

Random thoughts for pubs in 2021

For starters, if the level of service post Covid is still achieved by all operators and staff, then pubs should enjoy a bumper year.  Even now some 3 months after the harshest rules were relaxed, the protocols of info retention, hygiene, social distancing are uppermost in everyone’s minds. No one wants to go back to July 2020, so please keep it up.

Range of beer is now a given and the variety of taps never greater. At $6 pot (or thereabouts), the quality of beer is never more vital, from pouring, cleanliness of glasses and taste. I know it’s a broken record by me, but at $6 a pot, you are entitled to get the best as it can be. There is a tendency for some pubs – mainly inner suburban – to eschew the ‘big boy’ and not place a tap of Carlton Draught. I don’t get it and the customer ultimately decides, but why you wouldn’t have just one totally baffles me.

As for managers of corporately owned pubs, let me repeat: Get off your backsides, stop reading spreadsheets with your back to customers, learn customers’ names, and start running a pub. .

The rise of healthier options through  vegan/plant based foods gathers pace at an unbelievable pace. Like craft beer taking on the accepted styles, this sector grows exponentially.  Smart ones have already wisened up; don’t be left behind.

I urge all pubs to keep its info up to date on websites, e/g range of food, pricing and declutter social offerings. Relevant and up to date.

And finally two things which I have touched on before;

  • Shelf life of any review has about 18 months. IF there is a glowing review that’s 2-3 years old, then prepare to be disappointed if it doesn’t match expectations.
  • The info continued in review sites cannot be trusted to be accurate, always check with the pub on closing times, menus etc.

And as for the use of the term by these sites “Pub Grub”  to describe a venue’s offer?  Pub Grub only has one home!


Looking forward to 2021 and presenting Pub of the Week. Thanks again to Neil Mitchell and Vince Gurcuillo and the team at DeBortoli, sponsors of Pub of the Week since 1990.


January 29, 2021: Ascot Vale Hotel, Ascot Vale – 14/20
February 5, 2021: The Prince Hotel, Seymour – 13/20
February 12, 2021: The Albion Hotel, Dandenong – 13/20
February 19, 2021: Robert Burns Hotel, Collingwood – 15/20
February 26, 2021: NO REVIEW
March 3, 2021: Batesford Hotel, Batesford – 13.5/20
March 10, 2021: NO REVIEW (Neil’s Wheel)
March 19, 2021: North Port Hotel, Port Melbourne – 15/20
March 26, 2021: Rifle Brigade Hotel, Bendigo – 15/20
April 2, 2021: NO REVIEW (Good Friday Appeal)
April 9, 2021: Anglers Tavern, Maribyrnong – 13.5/20
April 16, 2021: The Camden (Town) Hotel, Caulfield South – 13.5/20
April 23, 2021: The Panton Hill Hotel, Panton Hill – 15/20
April 30, 2021: The Corner Hotel, Richmond – 14/20
May 7, 2021: Edinburgh Castle Hotel, Brunswick – 14/20
May 14, 2021: The Preston Hotel, Preston – 12/20
May 21, 2021: NO REVIEW
May 28, 2021: NO REVIEW
June 4, 2021: NO REVIEW
June 11, 2021: Town Hall Hotel, North Melbourne – 14.5/20
June 18, 2021: Hotel Westwood, Footscray – 13.5/20
June 25, 2021: Chelsea Heights Hotel, Aspendale Gardens – 13/20
July 2, 2021: NO REVIEW
July 9, 2021: Albion Hotel, Kyneton – 15/20
July 16, 2021: Fitzroy Town Hotel, Fitzroy – 15/20
July 23, 2021: NO REVIEW
August 6, 2021: NO REVIEW

pub of the week