Origin Wednesday. We meet again. While sporting events don't typically tempt the fairer sex out of the house en masse, there's something about Origin that is open and inclusive to both the sexes. Maybe it's because it's so much simpler than the usual football competitions. Two teams! From two states! Best of three! It all makes sense! (If only I felt this way about the scoring system, we'd really be onto something.) Maybe it's because there is something quite gratifying about watching grown men running around in shorts.
Or maybe it's because—if you happened to be an unattached female—Origin night is a great opportunity to do some man-hunting. This event really brings the boys out of the woodwork, so here are our tops picks of bars to haunt on Origin night where the floors aren't sticky, the dudes are dapper, and no one's going to scream 'Queenslander!' at you so loudly your ear drum ruptures.
Should you head out on this man-filled evening, we can't guarantee you'll meet your prince charming, but, statistically speaking, it's a lot more promising than your typical Wednesday.
(Oh, and guys, this list is not just for single girls. These venues have some very tempting game-night deals on just for this holy sporting occasion. Plus, think of all the chicks who'll be milling around after they read this. It's win/win!)
Victoria Park really has this whole Origin thing down pat. Forget the elbow bumping, beer sloshing, over-crowded mess that usually results from an Origin screening. At Victoria Park they've really thought things through, and are providing their lucky patrons with beans bags for reclining and enjoying the game. And, it gets better, there are roast meat and gravy rolls on offer, plus half-time hot chocolate, and popcorn to enjoy during the game. Delish' gravy rolls, hot chocolate AND men, all in one room? Sign us up! Because this is such a genius idea, those beanbags are going to fill up fast, so we highly recommend you book ahead.
The gang at Bitter Suite have taken the high road, and are putting on an Origin night offering that is classy, cosy, and not a bit uncouth. As well as their usual selection of craft beers, they are also serving warm mulled wine and hot buttered rum (we'll try hot buttered anything) and have their Stew'n'Beer special on for the night, which includes a winter stew and three-quarter cider or beer for $20. We love the Bitter Suite menu any night of the week, but combined with the promise of boys and buttered rum, this is one winning combination.
As if we didn't already love them, the folks at The Alliance have a few game night specials that are making our mouths water. In particular, they're offering their Wagyu beef burger and a schooner of Gold for only twenty beans! Come Origin night this friendly Spring Hill favourite will be screening the game on wide screens all over the pub, so you know there will be loads of men in attendance. (But, to be honest, we'd head in just for the drool-worthy bar menu, Origin or no Origin.)
Regatta is an oldie but a goldie when it comes to sports viewing. This quintessential Queenslander is the patriotic spot to watch the game itself (we recommend heading to the famous courtyard for prime man-scoping). And the iconic Boatshed Restaurant is open for dinner before or after the game, in case watching all those brutish Sportsmen gives you a caveman sized crazing for steak. The best thing about the Regatta is, you can assume that because of its close proximity to the university, that some of boys in this bar are on their way to tertiary qualifications (win!). You can also assume that some of them are in first-year uni, but I'll leave that to your discretion.
Craft Restaurant and Bar
We love Craft's spacious deck in winter (complete with the heaters). This bar and restaurant has the laid back feel of a lovely old pub, only with great food, and, on this special evening, great amounts of man-traffic. The share plates on offer are the ideal nibble food for game time (our pick is the pork belly with sweet potato crisps—yum!). And if you're ever stuck for game chat (or worse, caught out not paying attention at all), you can always push a golden bowl of shoestring fries towards him and beg for forgiveness.
If you want to get a gang of gals together and head out on this Origin night, we recommend this spot for some female-appropriate fun times. The cocktail jugs on offer are delish' (and economical!), think jugs full of Pimms, watermelon, and mint, and white peach sangria. And the bar snack are out of this world—our picks are the prawn popcorn and chilli salt squid. The riverside locale is sure to encourage some tasteful young men to settle in to this chic setting for the game.
Empire are offering a tantalising 'pizza and beer for $10' deal just for their Origin screenings, so you know this spot is going to go off. Girls, it's going to be tough competing with pizza, so I think if you cant beat 'em, join 'em, and grab yourself a slice. Make sure you book a booth to ensure you have a prime spot for game watching and boy spotting.