In a sort of ‘what-you talkin’-about- willis’ Diff’rent Strokes  moment, I am happy to announce that Melbourne has  a brand new, down to earth pub  that is themed…wait for it…. Irish!!!

Even more more astonishing it works a treat, and for once doesn’t have that twee, cultural cringe so brilliantly captured by Mick Thomas’ (Weddings,  Parties, but this time with his band The Sure Thing)  song “The Cap me Granda wore”.

The Last Jar has taken residency at the late and lamented Arthouse Hotel in Elizabeth St., and for those can remember The Royal Artilleryman before that.  Indeed Elizabeth St housed a number of pubs that no longer trade, so it is brave for sure to open one here.

But the publican is no mug and knows her audience.  For a number of years, Siobbhan has run the beautiful Drunken Poet, a small pub/shopfront, across the road from the Market in Peel St that has been a welcome home for those looking for a late night or early drink, listen to some music and feel comfortable, with a boast of Melbourne’s best toasted sandwiches.

Time to spread the wings, put on something more substantial on as far as food and drink goes and so the opportunity to go to the “eastern side” of the Vic market was too good to refuse.

The pub is sparse as fixtures and fittings goes – bare boards, a few booths, and the bistro resembling a 60’s suburban kitchen.  But you don’t need tricks if you understand hospitality because the offer will speak for itself and despite one hiccup, a good lunchtime with very fairly priced food and drink was  spent at the Last Jar.

I know I use the expression old school, but this is as close to a typical 60’s-70’s pub, in the CBD, that i can recall. I like it.

Source: Tony Leonard,