Room for a Pony
338 Elizabeth Street, North Hobart, TAS
(03) 6231 0508
Equally as comfortable churning out takeaway coffee in the morning as it is pouring ice-cold beer on a Friday evening, Room for a Pony is a versatile hotspot in Hobart’s north.
The popular cafe-bar-restaurant hybrid was established in 2015 by Drew Port and Mendel Zotz-Wilson. Drew has a background in finance but he quickly grew tired of the corporate sector, turning instead to his dream of opening a bar. In doing so, he partnered with Mendel, an experienced hospitality professional, who has worked in a number of bars both locally and overseas.
The boys chose a converted petrol station on the bustling corner of Elizabeth and Burnett Streets as the home for their first venture. They refurbished and redesigned the rundown building, creating a light-filled space with hanging pendant lights, scattered greenery, concertina windows and bespoke timber furniture – which was designed and built by Drew’s brother, Thom.
The name is a tongue in cheek reference to 90s sitcom Keeping Up Appearances and was decided upon after consuming a large bottle of whisky. The witty choice is perfect for the relaxed, friendly and welcoming space, where Drew and Mendel promise frequent laughs and a consistently good time.
During the day, Room for a Pony offers laid back cafe fare paired with freshly squeezed juice and delicious coffee. In the sun-drenched courtyard, customers can enjoy the venue’s famed pumpkin rosti with poached eggs and burnt butter hollandaise, or opt for a sweeter option in the banana and Nutella French toast with vanilla ice cream.
Every option created by Head Chef, Christian Allen, aims to showcase local produce, with fruit from Drew’s parents’ farm making an appearance on the menu. Christian’s modern Australian flair ensures a focus on gluten-free options with lunchtime dining including a seasonal carrot salad with honey, fried chickpeas, hummus, coriander and chilli; and a brown rice sushi bowl with salmon gravlax, miso sesame broccoli, avocado and omelette threads.
As the sun goes down and the weather starts to cool, customers head inside to enjoy dinner and drinks in a chic, indoor setting. This space is incredibly adaptable, changing from daytime cafe to laid-back bar and restaurant with ease.
The dinner menu is a selection of snacks, making Room for a Pony the perfect spot for an evening catch up with friends. You’ll find twists on classic nibbles like the five-spice chicken wings with kecap manis, and sweet potato cakes with vegan aioli, although the mouth-watering cheeseburger slider with chips is also tempting.
If you’re after something a little less substantial, order a plate of the pork scratchings with black nuoc nam or the kaffir and lemongrass beer nuts to snack on throughout the evening. These bar bites are perfectly paired with one of the beers on tap or a glass of wine, with both local and international drops appearing on the list.
Offering simple food packed with flavour, Room for a Pony is a much-needed addition to the hive of activity that is Elizabeth Street. All-day food and beverages means Room for a Pony is there for you, whatever the time of day.