Posted by: Carolyn O'Donnell | June 9, 2012

George Town: Stewart Lane Country Club

All welcome: Species and nationalities mix freely in the exclusive environs of the SLCC

Relaxed, friendly ambience, steady supply of alcohol, plastic chairs – this place has it all.

Nestling in a dog leg of Stewart Lane just around the corner from the Goddess of Mercy Temple on Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, this bar has been allowing treasured customers to fetch their own drinks from the fridge for years.

The people-watching, the pets, the tableaux of empty cans are all mesmerising, but a steady stream of customers is guaranteed by this being the cheapest beer in town.

Its real name may be Antarabangsar Enterprise liquor shop, but in honour of its services to the thirsty, it has been re-christened the Stewart Lane Country club.

Service is catered to the individual. You can pay for selected items when you grab them, or someone comes over and counts the empty receptacles on your table before shoving them into a cardboard box. The menu includes packaged prawn crackers and peanuts. If it rains, you get an umbrella. There’s a bathroom and a tap out back.

‘You are so brave!’, one Penangite, who seems to think the SLCC is not the most genteel spot in town, said to me. What, for sitting on a chair and consuming a beverage that should be a little colder than it is?

If I pushed over someone’s motorbike for being in the way, that could be considered brave. Likewise, if I tried to leave without paying for liquids ingested, I think that would have a certain bravado about it.

Uncle sits on his stool by the cash register and casts his gimlet eye over the parched masses who come to share his hospitality. If anyone of them tried to sneak off without stumping up some moolah I think he’d bash them round the chops with a bag of empty bottles. Then you really would need a drink and a nice sit down.

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Responses

  1. Hi Carolyn, i grew up a few houses (No. 27) down the lane from this joint. When i was a child, i used to see many Indians coming here for toddy. When i revisit my roots these days, i do see a mixed crowd. He he, one day i may even bump into you :))

  2. Come over if you see me there – about to dash off now, but Iook for me in a week or so. You know what I look like :)


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