A tradition that a number of your correspondents and members have participated in over the years is the Hawks Nest Boys Night Punters Club. One night during the Christmas break, when we holiday with our families at Hawks Nest, the boys get a night out by themselves. After a greatest hits feed at the Hawks Nest Chinese restaurant (Beef and Black Bean, Lemon Chicken, Mongolian Lamb, Honey King Prawn, Fried Rice and Crown Lagers all around), we move to the punters area of the Hawks Nest Golf Club. A $1 bet is placed on every greyhound race in Australia on the Blue Dog or Number 4. This makes for a very straightforward evening. No names are necessary – it is simply a matter of cheering for the Blue Dog. A couple of years ago, blue shirts were purchased and adorned with the Number 4 along with the acronym HNBNPC. This highly scientific method has actually had some significant success and last year there were sufficient funds to sponsor a race at Wentworth Park.
So much fun was had last year, that a second tradition has been developed and on Friday I attended the 2nd Hawks Nest Boys Night Punter Club sponsored race at Wentworth Park in Glebe. There was a fine turn out of the lads and most were resplendent in their blue finery. When a $9.50 Blue Dog won the 4th the ebullience of the boys went up even further. Race Five was our sponsored race and the Blue Dog in this case was named Cadence. It ran bravely, but finished third. A highlight of the night is presenting the winning trainer with a prize (usually a couple of decent bottles of plonk). The female trainer looked quite bewildered as she was surrounded by 7 blokes in their blue shirts. The crowd was also bewildered by illiards’ off-the-cuff remarks – but everyone walked away happy.
Now Wenty Park isn’t known for its beer menu, so I took the opportunity to pop into a place I’ve been wanting to visit for a while – The Little Guy in Glebe. Only a short down hill stroll to Wenty Park, so it was perfectly placed. The joint was jumping on a Friday night and it was pretty squeezy at the bar. They’ve a remarkable job to turn an old terrace house into an intimate, warm feeling place. There’s a very good balance between cocktails and beer. It would be a challenge for these space challenged places to have a wide variety, but The Little Guy has done a pretty good job with 3 beers on tap and a healthy beer list from which to choose. The food list was also eclectic and reasonably priced. My pate was generous and delicious.
One of the legends of the Australian Beer scene is Nail Brewing and its Oatmeal Stout. It’s won countless awards and if you saw it nominated on a competition sheet and you had an opposing stout, you’d simply not bother. I don’t think it makes beyond the WA border very often and when I saw it on the beer list – it was decision made very quickly. This is a classic Australian stout. Hearty, robust, malty and toasty. Perfect for a crisp autumn evening and to ward off the cold as I sat in the window seat of The Little Guy. As the web site boasts – this isn’t Guinness. Reason alone to get to The Little Guy – but once there, you’ll find others.
Good grief…who gave @illiards a microphone?