YOU know that glare? That glare you get when you walk into an unfamiliar pub? Is there a more uncomfortable feeling?
Yes. When you walk into an almost empty bar, order your beer and take a seat – presumably where an old ‘regular’ parks his bum at the same time every day.
I got that glare from an old bloke who shuffled his way into the bar of the Villawood Hotel in Sydney’s west, his eyes firmly set on me from across the room, as he ordered his beer.
I nodded greetings. He nodded back.
There was an uneasy feeling. Then it dawned on me. The seat in which I had planted myself with my schooner of Reschs was different to the rest; it was in direct view of the television and TAB facilities, padded, and more comfortable. It was also in easy walking distance to the bar.
The seat obviously “belonged” to a regular drinker, and that regular drinker was likely the ‘old fella’ giving me the glare.
Not one to upset the locals (especially in Villawood!), I calmly took another drink of my beer, looked at the old fella, who by this time had sunk into a chair next to me (at the same table!), and said: “I needed that…”, and casually went for a wander around the pub.
I never looked back to see if he had jumped into my warm seat, but I’ll put a quid on it he did!
The Villawood Hotel opened November 26 1958 after the license of the historic Australian Hotel in the inner-Sydney suburb of Waterloo had its license transferred.
The Villawood Hotel is another ‘Super Pub’, one of many that opened during the 1950s to cater for the sprawling outer-suburbs of Sydney, after the transfer of an inner-city pub license.