Called to the Bar : Choos your bar

So, let’s get this out of the way first; there are no olives at Choo Choos. Instead they offer free popcorn to all who drink there and for $5 you can get a hot dog.

Hot diggity

Choo Choos is in the Brookfield Plaza, somewhat near Bar Lafayette. It was a rainy night in August when I stopped in early in the week. My timing was good as Choo Choos is small and a busy night would have been difficult. Yet there was ample space for me and my drinking buddy from the ABC on the night we visited.

As you walk in there is a long bar to the right and bench seating to the left and all throughout there are some large face murals on various walls. I initially plonked myself down on a stool at the bar so that I could take a look at what was in the glass-door fridges. It was to also get away from the staring eyes of those face murals. The staff were friendly and gladly helped me choose a cider to have; they only had the one so it wasn’t that difficult.
Easy to find and easy to drink

With that task achieved I asked about food and that is when I discovered the awful truth about the olives. Popcorn is a poor substitute for my marinated favourites but at least it is memorable. I don’t think I will ever forget that time I was at a small bar and I was offered free popcorn. This was that time. As for the hot dog it was a simple “sausage with sauce in a bun”; it put the cider to good use as something for it to wash down.

A cosy nook just past the bar at Choo Choos - note the eyes

I took off with my cider and hot dog to sit amongst the bench seating. The light was dim and the wall behind me refused to relax but it was dry and pleasant and I took this chance to get better acquainted with the cider.

Did I mention the dim lighting?

The music on this night was a great selection of late-60s rock with songs by Traffic, Cream and The Rolling Stones being heard at just the right volume. I could still converse but I could also just sit back and listen to the music. And not look at the eyes.

Not only did the eyes follow you around the room, they seemed to say "buy me a drink"

Hot dogs are not substantial but then neither are olives. So it is a good thing that Choo Choos is also near Grill’d and so having had an appetiser and a cider aperitif we ended the night with solid plank chips and juicy burgers. I could have then gone on next door to Bar Lafayette for some olives but as there was a break in the weather, it was a good time to head home.

Wat'choo looking at?

Justin Booker


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