Takeaways on the Evan Walker Bridge
In these somber days of curfews, stay at home orders and bans on drinking in public, there are just a few bright lights on the horizon.
One is the attractive Evan Walker Bridge that crosses the Yarra from Flinders Street Station.
“The Evan” is one of 13 bridges between Church St and the Bolte Bridge.
Some local exercise fans have been on a bridge crawl along the Yarra and drawn up a list of what they have to offer.
The Webb near Docklands is challenging for the cyclist with a tricky bend to navigate and the Jim Stynes near Jeff’s Shed seems to sway as you cross the water.
But if you’re looking for a bridge where time seems to stand still then the Evan is the one for you.
Here you will find two willing bartenders busy concocting potions to please the Premier.
“We don’t want to promote what happened in Richmond,” barman Thomas Auer said. “They were pushing a grey line.”
The Evan may be just two bridges away from the infamous Swan and its five mainstream arches but it’s a world apart with one shapely foothold in the Yarra, known as Ponyfish Island.
Ponyfish locals are a well-behaved lot and they don’t approve of drinkers who purchase crowlers from back lane breweries, merely to flip the lids on the footpath or in a nearby park.
No, the island offers a scenic destination in itself, which in typical CBD fashion, is going against the current.
Where other venues have given up the ghost under the strict new lockdown laws, (even stalwart pubs in Richmond), Ponyfish Island has just opened up for takeaway.
The decision was made a week ago and the guys put up a sign stating, “Yes, we sell takeaway alcohol”.
“We’ve always wanted to do takeaway,” Thomas said. In the past “we just closed. We said this lockdown we need to try.”
The bar staff are in the process of drawing up a list of cocktails with instructions on how to mix them at home.
They acknowledge there is quite a lot of competition. Other bars were busy with bottled espresso martinis back in the second lockdown, but lockdown six has finally registered in this secluded little outpost.
“We haven’t sold any drinks today but we’re hopeful,” Thomas said. “There are a lot of people walking around at sunset.”
Back in the old days you had to beat 700 other patrons to get noticed at the bar and most locals couldn’t be bothered fighting through the after-work crowd.
But now is the time to rediscover what is on offer on the Evan. The bar’s even open at 3pm on a rainy Monday afternoon.
Caption: Barman Thomas Auer waiting for customers on Ponyfish Island.