The Standard opens a bar in Hobart

Author: Emma Breheny
Photography: Graziano Di Martino

Anyone who's eaten a burger from Hobart laneway joint The Standard will know the name is a modest misnomer. But, until now, the pleasure of enjoying a double-patty with something stronger than cola has proven elusive.

All that changes this week when owners Christian Ryan (Aløft), Will Priestley (Pilgrim Coffee) and Sam Chang (late of The Source) open Standard Drinks. The Standard isn't going anywhere - the Hudsons Lane grab 'n' go will still be turning out burgers and shakes for those on the run. But now it'll be complemented by a 65-seat bar that offers not just cocktails and other stronger waters, but an expanded menu that includes fried chicken and pies in the key of apple, blueberry or cherry.

Beers start local with Cascade on tap before moving Stateside with Coors, Samuel Adams and Sierra Nevada, while the tight wine list is a bit edgier, with a few naturals picked by Hobart importers (and GT contributors) Living Wines. Tongue-in-cheek cocktails that Ryan says you might "feel a bit dirty ordering" include Sex on the Beach and a classic Piña Colada.

Inside the bar.

Chang's American upbringing figures strongly throughout, from the beers he'd always struggled to find in Hobart to the pinball machine in the corner. The Standard's stripped-back burgers channel his Californian childhood, and the wings and fried chicken on the bar's menu tap the same vein of nostalgia. "It's what you would expect to get when you order fried chicken: super juicy, nice crisp skin."

His partner and fellow Source alum Stephanie Tchon is in charge of the pies, which will be served unadorned, except for the apple pie, which gets a scoop of ice-cream.

The bar's neon sign is a play on the poster for the '80s great Cocktail, while the ceiling is plastered with posters for ET, Ghostbusters and more. An entire wall has been transformed by artist Nikki Sward into a palm-tree mural recalling the wallpaper seen in Frank Lopez's office in Scarface. Together with the wood veneer panelling, it evokes a teenager's ideal rumpus room circa 1987.

Three years in the making, it's the kind of place you'd be happy to kill some time.

Standard Drinks, 54 Liverpool St, Hobart, Tas, 0455 629 135. Open daily, 4pm-11pm, from Thursday 6 July.







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