Northcote Social Club
The Front Bar is all genuine sticky carpet with a keeping-it-real, slightly crusty public bar vibe. The usual suspects can be had on tap, including VB, Cascade and Stella Artrois. There's also a broad selection of bottled beers and a decent wine list. And when you're ready to immerse yourself in high quality live music, step into the cavernous Band Room, a fairly intimate space as far as venues go, so you always feel quite close to the stage. There's music on most nights from local and international touring artists, including rock, blues, experimental, folk and most things in between.
If you need some sustenance of the more solid kind before the music starts, there's a fairly robust pub menu including lots of vegetarian and gluten-free options. To start with, I had the Nachos with the nice and hot NSC salsa, followed by the Roo Burger with juniper aioli. Seriously yum.
The Deck dining area is a new addition and opens out onto an elevated beer garden with views of the Northcote surrounds. This is one of the best things about the no smoking inside pubs rule: nearly everywhere has an outdoor area these days. But be warned, lots of kids take over this area on the weekends, so maybe avoid it if you're not into those nails-down-the-blackboard squealing sounds.
Meri Harli, March 2010