Melbourne - a land of skivvy-wearing, chardonnay-drinking book readers - is fundamentally different from Sydney in its drinking culture.
So says the NSW president of the Australian Hotels Association, John Thorpe, who has come out swinging against a plan by the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, to encourage more Melbourne-style boutique bars in Sydney.
"Melbourne is Melbourne. Sydney has a different outlook," said Mr Thorpe, a fierce critic of the City of Sydney's plans to make it easier for hole-in-the-wall bars to gain permission for extended trading. "We aren't barbarians, but we don't want to sit in a hole and drink chardonnay and read a book."
The council plans to give easier treatment to 'low impact' bars with a floor area of less than 200 square metres, while the beer barns will still have to stick to the old rules.
Cr Moore has said she wants to encourage a more cosmopolitan Melbourne-feel for the city, but Mr Thorpe, a gruff, straight-talking publican of old, views these Melbourne types with deep suspicion.
"People can sit down, talk about history, chew the fat and gaze into each others eyes and all this sort of baloney but it's pie in the sky stuff," he said. "That's not what Sydney wants."
Sydneysiders - fit, outdoorsy types who enjoy the fresh air - are more likely to want alfresco drinking, dining and dancing, he says.
"There's a lot more entertainment than sitting there chatting. I think our culture is a little different than Melbourne because they haven't got this magnificent harbour and the Opera House. No wonder they want to sit in a hole in the wall," he said.
Boutique bars would only be able to turn a profit if they charged boutique prices, Mr Thorpe warned. "The bottle of wine from Dan Murphy's at $8 will cost you $50 at this intimate establishment."
Mr Thorpe, whose organisation donates thousands of dollars every year to the NSW Labor Party, said he would visit the office of every minister he could "to inform them that this doesn't entice investment into the industry".
John Wardle, an organiser from the musicians' section of the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, expressed fears that any planning regime that made it difficult for pubs might be bad for musicians because that was where many bands found work.
But Cr John McInerney said the council's plan, combined with a review of the state's liquor laws, might mean a proliferation of intimate wine bars that could employ pianists or guitarists.