It’s basically the archetypal man cave. A sausage-roll slinging, TV-cheering, beer-guzzling cocktail bar, with a teaspoon of extra blokiness. It’s like you stumbled into the middle of a VB ad circa 2004 (‘...matter of fact I’ve got it now.’)
The Roy is the latest project from the team behind cocktail stalwart, Polly, on Brunswick St. There was always a bit of a pokey nook out the back of Polly, and owners Nora & Casey Gordon have spent the last two years trying to turn it into something. The Roy is the result—and it’s one of our favourite new spaces in town.
Don’t let the ‘sports bar’ concept put you off. The Roy isn’t your typical XXXX-style brew bar. The booze for one thing—how many sports bars serve 12 year-old single malts? Or can whip up a decent Negroni? How many have a dedicated Boilermaker menu? (Go the Hot Tamale, it’s our favourite.)
This isn’t your typical dive, even if the décor feels a little like a country cricket club. The walls are crumbling, white-washed brick, dotted with everything from old Benson & Hedges memorabilia to Budweiser neons and Fitzroy ’44 premiership posters. There’s a vintage jukebox in the corner, which actually works. Our favourite flourish though? The beautiful stained glass window behind the main bar.
The food menu is pretty up-front. You’ve got pies from Princes Pies, some handmade sausage rolls, and not a lot else. The Roy knows its market. People aren’t coming here for high-concept fusion. They’re coming to experience some classic country charm in the inner city. To watch the game, cheer their team and drink some good quality grog.