REVIEW: Sitting on the busy intersection of inner-west Sydney’s Stanmore and Enmore Roads is a survivor, a business that has stood the test of time, trading through evolving drinking habits and social values, offering the folk of Enmore, Marrickville and Stanmore a no nonsense pub, a meeting place, for almost 150 years.
The Warren View Hotel is a family run pub that first opened for business in 1870, and is the topic of this week’s Time Gents’ review. We spent a couple of hours at this interesting little pub on Sunday afternoon, enjoying lunch, and a couple of beers. But, just who, or what is, the view of Warren?
Enmore can thank 32-year-old Patrick Boland for this treasure. He was granted a license for the Warren View Hotel at the Central Police Court on Tuesday May 3 1870.
Just why Boland named his pub after a sprawling mansion, known as ‘The Warren’, over four kilometres away on the banks of the Cooks River remains a mystery. Undoubtedly the castle-like Victorian Gothic mansion could be clearly seen in the distance from Boland’s new pub, but why he didn’t settle on a Royal, Post Office, or even a Commercial, we’ll probably never know.
Thomas Holt built the mansion, ‘Warren’ in Marrickville South in 1857. It was designed by architect George Mansfield, and contained an impressive art gallery filled with paintings and sculptures from Europe. Holt gave it that name because he bred rabbits on the estate for hunting, as well as the grounds being stocked with alpacas and other exotics.
The Warren was a landmark in the district for decades, before it was demolished in 1922.
Boland and his family owned and operated the Warren View Hotel for over a decade, until his death at the age of 50 in 1882. The intersection where the pub trades also became a district landmark, eventually known far and wide as ‘Boland’s Corner’.
In 1970 Tooth and Company Brewery presented the hotel with a metal plaque to celebrate a 100 year business partnership, which can still be seen in the main bar.
Getting back to today’s visit though, I can’t but recommend the Warren View to those who like their traditional Australian pubs, sprinkled with a little history, and with modern contemporary surrounds. The Warren’s beer garden is a ripper.
A cool oasis, shaded by a large tree with hanging baskets of plants, the beer garden was well patronised on our visit. The garden was a welcome refuge for families, with children, younger couples, and a group of men, seemingly celebrating an occasion, for lunch on a day when Sydney was experiencing sweltering temperatures in the high 30s.
We chose though to eat in the air conditioned bar.
Our lunch was reasonably priced for an inner-west Sydney pub. I had change out of $50 after enjoying beer battered fish and chips, with salad, for me, and crispy pork and baked vegetables for Ray, my partner, over a couple of Carlton Draughts, and lemon lime and bitters.
The main bar was an eclectic mix of drinkers and diners, watching sport on television, reading books and newspapers, or just having a chat.
The Warren View is one of those pubs that doesn’t look special from the outside – except for her green painted exterior. Because of her location, you probably wouldn’t visit, unless you’re a local resident. Sitting on a busy intersection, with parking difficult, you could easily cruise straight past her in search of an easier drinking hole. But let me say, she’s worth the effort to find a parking spot.
I’ll give her three and a half schooners out of five. I like the Warren, even though the view she’s named after disappeared over 95 years ago.