A lot of Melbourne pubs have had makeovers, been half demolished, had smoking areas installed, glass and steel and are not cosy at all. I'm not sure why any of them bothered.
The Terminus Hotel in Richmond/Abbotsford (you choose), looks like it has had nothing done to it in years, and it really doesn't matter.
A sickly green colour on the exterior belies the interior which is a bit shoddy, full of weird stuff on the walls. We sat at a very makeshift table bolted to a wall, under a window with Black, star shaped christmas lights to our left, I think they were a reject from Alice Cooper's christmas tree. One of the barmaids looks like Toot Braunstein from the animated comedy "Drawn Together". I have the strangest feeling this was completely on purpose.
We were there for a friends birthday, so a number of us ended up at a table in the courtyard-cum-beergarden. This was of course after playing musical chairs with a woman who's beehive is solely responsible for global warming.
The crowd was fairly mixed, though it was mostly 30-40 somethings. There's also an upstairs area, didn't have a look at this but it looked pretty full as well.
Apart from the jugs of Cascade Light we drank ($12.80 each), we all decided to eat.
And, this, my friends, is the the biggest disappointment of the evening.
The pub is great, the staff are great, the atmosphere is great. There was a DJ outside playing the most weird retro music. There's a wall of fame with young pics of heaps of old time Aussie Celebrities, Bobby Limb, a very young Kamahl, et al.
So when it came time to order I couldn't go past one of my staples, a Chicken Parmagiana. This can very rarely be gotten wrong.
It was a bit pricey, $19.50. I rather naively assumed this was because the thing would have to be completely MASSIVE. I mean, most parmas are massive, but at this price it had to be gargantuan.
Well, when it finally arrived (and yep it did take it's time), the actual chicken parma itself was woefully small. Okay it was tasty, it was a good parma, but it was TINY. I can not over emphasise this point enough. I've had a lot of parmas in my time, hell I've had parma at Crown Casino, (something I'm not proud of) and that was bigger than this.
There were plenty of chips, and a nice little salad on the side, but I wanted a big hunk of meat covered in ham and cheese and tomato. And I got something tiny (albeit yummy). I've had parmas three times the size for half the price.
I know this is a trendy 30/40 something venue, and they figure everyone's coming her to get pissed so who cares what we feed em? The meals were tasty, but as for value, I have to say I was woefully underwhelmed.
But hey, who cares what I think? The place is always packed anyway, just because of where it is and who lives nearby. So, if you happen to be in the neighbourhood picking up yet another Billy Bookcase, why not head over the road for a break, back to the real world. Or, at least in Richmond/Abbotsford (you choose) as real as it gets.