The Scratch Bar
Those seeking beer and refuge from the razzle dazzle of Park Road will have their prayers answered at The Scratch, an ambient dive bar skulking at the railway bridge end of the strip.
For here in the dimly lit interior strewn with dark leather chairs, wooden stools, oriental rugs and the wall-mounted skull of a ferocious prairie beast, are a great array of craft beers.
Despite the homey North American dude vibe (which brings out the chat-to-a-stranger urge), everything here has been carefully and artfully thought out, from the cabinet of cheeses chosen to match each beer, to the Andrews Sisters on the play loop, the hand-picked selection of beers and smattering of top range wines and spirits for the non-beer drinker who happens along.
While the beer de jour fluctuates, some of the offerings include Rogue Amber Ale, Three Ravens Dark Smoke, Burleigh Dunkel and Moylan's Extra Special Bitter. For the uninitiated or the confused, Scratch is right into offering customers a beer tasting, otherwise be adventurous and try the Stout milkshake or the Cider Spider.
Foodwise, there's the cheese and baskets of raw unshelled peanuts au naturel or drinkers can order in from the Thai restaurant next door or BYO sandwiches from home. The Scratch guys don't mind, they want everyone to settle in and make themselves at home and this they do.
Still to come are rollicking ragtime piano nights and, meantime, anyone with a musical inclination and urge is welcome to use the in-house piano.
Need to know - As well as being able to bring your own food you can bring your own dog, with 4-legged pals welcome to join their owners.
8/1 Park Rd