Setting a record pace for a refurbishment Duxton opened its doors last night in time for the start of the rugby season.
For those who haven’t been keeping up Duxton is the bar occupying the space All Bar Nun used to. (With much of the furniture from All Bar now to be found a few doors down in “The Nun” which still bears the signage of Marinetti’s Italian Restaurant.
At the end of this game of musical chairs O’Connor now has twice as many bars servicing a quarter as many customers with much more expensive beer.
The tradesmen doing the fitouts appear to be the real winners.
So what have they done to All Bar Nun?
Well with a common ownership to Tongue and Groove it should be no surprise that clever woodwork features throughout, as well as downlights reminiscent of that establishment.
In the front bar’s rugby corner it feels a lot like being in a swedish sauna, or maybe a coffin.
The squirrel logo seared into the wooden surfaces is a nice touch, although at the moment the whole place still smells a lot like wet paint and varnish.
Pints of Coopers Pale are going for $9 which will disgruntle many.
At the moment outdoor seating doesn’t stretch around the carpark side of the bar.
The decor is generally tasteful, with one corner even featuring leather recliners and a persian carpet.
Overall there’s less seating, and more standing room, which one imagines will evolve over time.
Now, for a place that describes itself on Foursquare as a gastro pub how was the gastronomy?
I like to use nachos as a benchmark between bars.
They all have it, and the buggers can be quite tricky to do right. I’ll give them credit, these were done just about spot on, although personally I like my chillie to have traces of chilli.
My cornchips remained crisp thoughout, there was enough tasty stuff to scoop up, and there were no burning hot surfaces.
They’re also using a pager system, which is cute.
On placing an order you get a numbered hocky puck which, when your meal is ready for collection beeps, flashes, and vibrates.
It can save trouble when the bar is busy but we’ll have to see how it all shakes down.
All in all it’s a pleasant space to be in, and remains one of the better places in town to sit outside and watch the world go by.