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Brisbane CBD, Brisbane

Union Jacks Ale House

127 Charlotte St, Brisbane, QLD
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If you are looking for a great place to unwind on a Friday afternoon, Union Jacks could be what you're looking for. Union Jacks Ale House on Charlotte Street stands in the shadow of the Oaks Festival Towers building across the road. Unlike a standard British or Irish pub, Union Jacks has embraced all four countries in the United Kingdom.

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Union Jacks Alehouse... The Place For After Work Drunks


By Elizabeth Whannell

If you are looking for a great place to unwind on a Friday afternoon, Union Jacks could be what you're looking for. Union Jacks Ale House on Charlotte Street stands in the shadow of the Oaks Festival Towers building across the road. Unlike a standard British or Irish pub, Union Jacks has embraced all four countries in the United Kingdom. The four corners of the pub have been decorated to correspond with each of the four countries. The walls are adorned with various items of cultural interest, from the Scottish tartan chart to the complete suit of armour at the entrance. The dim lights and hidden tables around corners mean that even when it's packed there are still places to escape the crush.

There is no denying that the real reason that Union Jacks, or UJs to the regulars, gets so many repeat customers is the cheap drinks. Thursday and Friday 5:30 to 7:30 is Happy Hour, and where most drinking establishments in the City have decided that they'll knock a dollar off the cost of a pint for the afternoon, Union Jacks show them how it's done by halving the price of everything. They also bring around platters of free food such as spring rolls and calamari from 5:30. It's for this reason that UJs is so popular with the after work crowd on a Friday afternoon; buying rounds hurts so much less when able to shout the whole table for under $20. There are also drink cards on sale at certain times, which cost ten or twelve dollars depending on when they are bought, and can be used to buy four drinks of any value. Nowhere else in the City even comes close to that kind of value for money.

The popularity of Union Jacks on a Friday night does have its downside. Because of the size of the crowds it can take up to twenty minutes to get served. This problem is compounded by the understaffed bar. The overcrowding can also make it quite difficult to find a table if arriving after 5:30 when Happy Hour starts. On Thursdays, when the crowd is roughly a quarter of the size of the Friday crowd the understaffing problem is even more noticeable; on several occasions there was no one available to restock the toilet paper as the serving bartender was the only person working.

The selection of beers available on tap is impressive, but this is not a place to go if you are looking for a nice glass of wine. The wine list is practically non-existent, and there is not a single Sauvignon Blanc available, which continues to disappoint. But as a place to go for a cheap drink with your mates, work or otherwise, Union Jacks is a good choice.

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