A sip of chardonnay, a nibble of salmon, a bite of a burger and a spot of bowling are all on the menu at a new restaurant in Woden.
The Alby takes over two floors at the Albemarle building off Furzer Street but isn’t your usual pub fare. There’s a dedicated beer garden and Australia’s first duckpin bowling alley.
The doors cracked open for the first time in mid-November and manager Mike Kadinski says first impressions are good.
“The fit-out was a bit more expensive than the usual fit-out for this sort of thing, so that we could attract a well-presented clientele.”
The new local has been developed by DOMA, and close to 1000 square metres of space includes bars, chef’s table for private dining, beer garden, and games basement with bar and food offerings, duckpin bowling, pinball, pool tables, and more.
Duckpin bowling is a ten-pin game popular throughout Canada and the United States, differing from regular bowling in that a smaller-sized ball without finger holes is used, and each play is allowed up to three bowls per frame. No actual ducks are ever harmed.
The pinball machines are described as “playable works of art” and include a rare ‘Guns N Roses’ limited edition model. The pub staples are also there in the form of pool tables while a spread of HD televisions screens beams live sport.
“I don’t want to call it a sports bar, because it isn’t really, but it’s definitely an adult playground.”
The menus differ slightly between the two levels. The upstairs caters more to a refined, sit-down meal while downstairs is more casual with burgers, pizzas, nachos, tacos, and other pub-style food for hands-on eating.
Mike says the atmosphere that they’re going for is one of class. It isn’t about late-night partying so much as a nice evening with friends or family.
“We wanted to get the pub feel, but at the same time, it’s not just about big pub food anymore. It’s about smaller, more sophisticated meals too.”
Mike himself has been in the local hospitality business for 20 years, coming over from Macedonia at 15.
“Hospitality is where I started and developed all of my skills. I just love the diversity; it’s never the same day.”
He says his upbringing put him in good stead as a people person.
“In Macedonia, everyone knows everyone for miles and miles, and working in hospitality gives me the sense of friendship and comradery every day in the workplace, spending time with people.”
All up, The Alby can take up to 219 people, or in a post-COVID-19 world, over 270. Opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 11 am to late. You can find the menu online.