The Cranker (as it’s known throughout the city) is an old pub reclaimed by a younger generation. That’s not to say it’s modern. The AC/DC pinball machine in the corner indicates that it was last updated around 1982.

The Cranker connects with its loyal locals because it speaks of a simpler time; one they remember only faintly. The walls are filled with vintage signs and advertisements that appeal to a larrikin sense of humour and there’s a self-labelled “mystery shot” in a dust-covered bottle behind the bar.

The pub’s fans congregate on Wednesday nights for $3 schooners, where beers and ciders are stockpiled to save multiple trips to the bar. Live and local bands provide the nightly entertainment, with an occasional stand up comedy show thrown in the back room.

Coopers reigns supreme on tap, with Little Creatures and Young Henrys being two notable exceptions. There are indeed cocktails, but they’re written on a Coopers-branded blackboard as a reminder of what you should be drinking.

A glowing neon noodle leads you from the street-level foyer up the stairs to Midnight Spaghetti, the pub’s laid-back Italian diner. Up here it’s all about the namesake, a red-sauce pasta with anchovies, pangrattato (breadcrumbs) and chilli; a go-to among kitchen staff at the end of a long shift, or an impromptu late-night dinner option.

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Updated: April 3rd, 2024

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