Thirsty ‘budgie’ was the ‘drinkers’ friend’ and ‘one of the boys’ at Fitzroy’s Standard Hotel

A THIRSTY budgie became somewhat of a celebrity in 1954 when it featured in newspapers from Newcastle to Melbourne.

Joe the five-week-old budgerigar, was said to have been the “drinkers’ friend” and “one of the boys” at its home at the Standard Hotel in Fitzroy, Victoria.

The bird, owned by licensee Claude Coleman, was photographed perched on a glass taking a sip of the amber liquid. Joe was also pictured perched on his master’s eye-glasses while Claude served a customer.

Joe just sat there, reported the Newcastle Sun on January 21, 1954, until there was a chance of his getting another drink — on the house, of course.

The Standard Hotel continues to trade in Fitzroy, Victoria to this day (2021). The pictures below and the entertaining blurb were taken from the pub’s website.

Standard Hotel Fitzroy 2017
The Standard Hotel, Fitzroy, 2017. Picture: Standard Hotel
Standard Hotel Fitzroy bar 2017
The bar of the Standard Hotel, Fitzroy, 2017. Picture: Standard Hotel

“Located in the backstreets of Fitzroy, Melbourne, The Standard Hotel brings you the best pub food, cold beers & live music that Fitzroy has to offer.

Gimmick-free and character-rich, The Standard Hotel has been dedicated to facilitating the fine art of good times since 1865. All and sundry are welcome with open arms – from the upper echelons of Fitzroyalty to wide-eyed out-of-towners.

The famous front bar is forged on a winning combination of quality conversation, drunken poetry and retro kitsch. There’s an inescapable warm feeling of nostalgia that comes with securing a cherished seat for one out of the tap under Kevin Murray’s Brownlow and “Boony for PM” propaganda.

The jewel in The Standard crown is the sprawling, iconic (so says us) beer garden. Designed to thrive in the most fickle of Melbourne weather, it accomplishes the remarkable feat of keeping the masses cozy in the Winter months and festive in the Summer sunshine.

In the grand tradition of public houses pre-happy hours and complicated cocktails, The Standard serves only the very best in beer, wine and spirits. For the famished, there is a relaxed dining experience with a no-fuss, quietly kick-arse menu that relegates the bland counter meal to the history books.

A well-earned reputation for quality entertainment stems from years of quality band booking and the torch has well and truly been passed on. If these walls could talk, they’d sing in glorious harmony.

Over the years, The Standard has become many things to many people. Committed booze hounds finding solace in the front bar or the weekend warrior enjoying the year-round pleasures of the beer garden. Even the odd hungry teetotaler has been known to find their niche. Maybe it’s time you came and found yours…”

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Categories: Melbourne Hotels, Victoria hotels

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