Annie's Place

Thursday, November 19, 2009

One of my favourite places in Alice Springs is Annie's Place, a backpacker’s which has a kitchen and bar open to the public from 5pm until 9pm. The public can remain there after nine, they just cannot enter after nine. This stops the bar from becoming overrun with late night party people. Annie’s Place is great as it reminds me of a small pub/bar in the big city. It has a cute beer garden and cheap food that tastes good. It's rare to find a cheap meal out in Alice Springs. 

Alice Springs is right in the centre of Australia, hundreds of kms from other towns, so it's hard to get in stock and to retain staff so as a restaurant owner your overheads are higher than they are in the coastal cities. Annie’s Place gives locals a taste of the big city. Not the posh big city, there's Hanuman for that (Hanuman’s is a posh, yummy Thai restaurant within one of the hotels), but the big city that you would find in Fitzroy, Melbourne or King Street, Newtown.There are three components of place that produce a sense of place, ‘the physical setting, human activities and human social and psychological processes rooted in the setting’ (Stedman, 2002). Annie’s Place embodies all three. The physical setting is aesthetically pleasing, cosy and inviting. Human activities of eating, drinking and socialising take place there. From these activities, connecting with friends and/or making new friends you become socially and psychologically rooted in the setting. 

Annie’s place has that sense of place that other pubs/bars in town lack. The physical setting plays a big part of Annie’s Place’s appeal. You can connect with friends at the Town and Country, but the Town & Country lacks that certain aesthetic that would give it a sense of place. For me, Annie’s Place is important, as it provides that big city link in the bush. It gives variety to a town with four main pubs that mainly cater to tradesmen or cowboys. I would think that, generally, the tradesmen and cowboys would disagree with me about Annie’s Place. They would probably feel ‘out of place’ in Annie’s Place, just as I feel ‘out of place’ in Bojangles, the cowboy bar. If you're ever in Alice, I'd go to Annie's Place.

Steadman, R. 2002, ‘Toward a social psychology of place: predicting behaviour from placed-based cognitions, attitude and identity, Environment and Behaviour, vol. 34, no. 5, pp. 561-581

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