Bob Hawke Beer & Leisure Centre opens in Marrickville

A Chinese banquet and beers at the Lucky Prawn.
A Chinese banquet and beers at the Lucky Prawn. Photo: Nikki To

With shoulder pads staging a return last month on the catwalks of Milan Fashion Week, it's clear the 1980s are back, baby. 

Marrickville's newest venue opens on Thursday, with more than a few nods to the decadent decade. Bob Hawke memorabilia, a brewery, bar and Chinese restaurant are just part of the package. Oh, have we mentioned deep-fried Viennetta ice-cream cake is on the menu?

The Bob Hawke Beer & Leisure Centre is the latest chapter from the team at Hawke's Brewing Co. The venue's pool room contains a collection of Bob Hawke memorabilia, the 1980s vibe continues on the mezzanine level (it's called Sanctuary Cove), while its "Australian-Chinese bistro" is named The Lucky Prawn.

The Bob Hawke Beer & Leisure Centre in Marrickville channels 1980s vibes.
The Bob Hawke Beer & Leisure Centre in Marrickville channels 1980s vibes. Photo: TheJamesAdams

"The Chinese restaurant is a rite of passage in Australia. There's one in every country town. And Bob [Hawke] told us lots of stories about meetings in Chinese restaurants during his union days," says David Gibson, who along with co-founder Nathan Lennon, approached the former PM about using his name for the beer brand (royalties go to Hawke-supported Landcare Australia) before his death in 2019.

The Lucky Prawn has ex-Cho Cho San and CicciaBella chef Nicholas Wong in the kitchen, with prawn toast and sweet and sour pork on the opening menu. "I'm calling it sweet and sour Hawke," Gibson says.

With the interior taking its design cues from Old Parliament House in Canberra and details including pristine vintage carpet from an old Chinese restaurant, despite the luxe surrounds of the new brewery-bar, Lucky Prawn doesn't have any tickets on itself. "You order food at the bar, like an RSL," Gibson says.

Deep-fried Viennetta ice-cream cake at the Lucky Prawn.
Deep-fried Viennetta ice-cream cake at the Lucky Prawn. Photo: Nikki To

Open Wed noon-11pm; Thu-Sat noon-midnight; Sun noon-10pm.

8-12 Sydney Street, Marrickville, hawkesbrewing.com/beerandleisure