Friday nights and the Henson, like many pubs is loud, but its not the sound of a local band blaring out covers, it’s something else. As you approach the newly renovated pub, the decibels are cranked up high and it’s not just because you are under Marickville’s flight path, it’s something more shrill! It’s the sound of many, many children, having a ball.
The place is jam packed on weekends with families and kids of all ages winding themselves up into a sweaty, pre-dinner frenzy in an old garage at the back of the beer garden that has been converted into a play area stuffed with plastic balls. Kids may enter the play room via a sedate door or crash land using a slippery dip. And parents can keep an eye on their little ones from a viewing hatch above, safe from the zillions of plastic balls whizzing about. Be warned The Henson is serious kid fun.
It’s adult fun too. There is a quiet front bar, a meat raffle, trivia nights and a pinball room and pool tables for those yearning for their carefree days before kids. Best of all there is a large dining room with communal tables and booths. The kitchen serves up delicious food, alcohol and coffee.
While the kids play, the adults can unwind and share some grown up time until the meal arrives. We went with a gang of old friends and didn’t see our kids, until we went to haul them out of the ball room to eat. Bliss! A chance to share a bottle of wine and gossip!
One of the great things about the Henson is they are really working hard to be a community pub and they listen. So even in the short time they have opened, they have introduced a gluten free choice of food on the kids’ menu and altered opening hours to keep day time family customers happy. They have also introduced a breakfast pastry range for the mums who descend daily, pushing prams and nestling outside in the courtyard. It’s no wonder they have been busy from the second they revamped this inner west pub and flung open their doors.