Revisiting a long-standing favourite
Can you believe that February 2024 will mark 10 years since The Blind Monk has graced our local bar scene?
Beaumont Street was a very different place ten years ago, but one particular joint has hardly changed, and continues to be a crowd favourite for an after-work beverage, a big celebration, or a cosy spot for date nights – so, what’s their secret?
It may just be the Blind Monk's philosophy and story. Or is it their ever-evolving food and drink offering? Or potentially their incredibly approachable function space?
The Blind Monk stands as the first small bar venue for the Elsley family and for Phil Elsley, his first-ever job in the hospitality industry. Ten years later the family has not only learnt the tricks of the trade but have brought a significant collection of hospitality venues to Newcastle and surrounds.
What originally started as a beer-focused bar, has naturally moved into an intimate, yet casual bar with a focus on good cocktails, great beer, and approachable eats.
“We didn’t really want to pigeonhole The Blind Monk into one area, we just wanted it to be welcoming. Ten years on and we’ve still got a few of the original team that started with us,” Phil said.
So, what is the Blind Monk story? Well, it’s a tale as old as time…
As history tells it, the Blind Monk is derived from the famed Benedictine Monk who would taste and select grapes (wine) blindfolded so as he wasn’t influenced or swayed by the region in which they were sourced from.
What does this have to do with Beaumont Street’s Blind Monk? The connection is the Monk’s obsession with selecting the highest quality and most flavoursome grapes and The Blind Monk’s focus on good-tasting beers and ciders, paired with equally good fresh and tasty food.
An emphasis was originally placed on sourcing beers and ciders from small-volume local breweries to ensure fresh flavours and a regular turnover. This dedicated beer menu is offered in conjunction with one of the best cocktail lists in Hamilton.
Tie the beers, the ciders, and the cocktails in with the food menu at The Blind Monk and you’ve got a blooming good night.
“We’ve got pizzas and burgers on the menu as well as plenty of snacks and entrée-like dishes. The menu is still very casual, but a little more refined.”
Each week, The Blind Monk has a collection of daily specials including:
El Monko Monday’s
$14 Nachos & $15 Margaritas
$1.50 chicken or vegan dumplings with ginger soy dipping sauce
Wednesday $20 Wings
1kg wings with your choice of flavouring
Thursday $29 Ribs
Rack of ribs with fries and salad
Sunday $2 Oysters
$2 natural oysters or $2.50 Kilpatrick and bacon crumb oysters
“The ribs that we’re doing in here on a Thursday at the moment are pretty cool. We’ve really honed in and nailed the recipe on that now,” Executive Chef, Jeremy Fahy said.
Those who have been frequent visitors to The Blind Monk, or have planned a celebration or two over the years, will know about the venue’s incredibly affordable function space. Situated right at the back of the venue is their FREE function room perfect for any upcoming celebration.
It’s completely separate from the rest of the venue, can fit up to 70 people and the only catch is there is a $300 minimum spend on food – how good of a deal is that?
With this long-standing watering hole nearing its 10th birthday, Phil shares that the team has one big birthday bash already in the plans – watch this space for more information!