Crown and Anchor

Bars, Pubs Adelaide Central
3 out of 5 stars
Beer at Star Hotel
Photograph: Graham Denholm

You get all types at the Cranker, and that's just how they like it

Everyone growing up in Adelaide has a 'Crown & Anchor' moment. A birthday drinks gone awry; a glorious month sipping beers in the afternoons between lectures; a hazy memory of an entire undergraduate career spent between the pool tables and the metal-loaded jukebox.

Anyone who went through an artsy or gothic phase rode it out at the 'Cranker' (sometimes 'Cranka'), air drumming to Faith No More with a jug of Cooper's Pale Ale by their side. It was the home of the pierced, the tattooed, the black-clad; it was also the home of the bespectacled and the tight-jeaned. A subcultural melting pot, the Crown & Anchor brought people together.

The Cranker hasn't changed much. It's still dimly lit and the floors are still sticky, but they're getting cleaned.   Beer is still the best bet here - there's a small, changing cocktail menu that is very affordable, and the wine is quite obviously poured from cardboard. But the beer selections have widened considerably. James Squire Golden Ale is now always on tap, as is tasty New Zealand ale Tui. Adelaide Hills Cider is also available on tap - both the pear and apple.

The jukebox - preloaded with industrial, metal and glam favourites - remains but does not overwhelm the front bar. The mural on the back wall of the band room is going to go, so we're told. The Jim Beam logo behind the stage is a notable casualty of the recent changes.

As far as sound, stage size and lighting, the Cranker is one of the best and sadly most underused venues in Adelaide. Once a metal-only zone, the pub has new bookings managers who have widened the selection as far as electronic, indie, pop and post-rock. Singer-songwriters are back in the front bar on Sunday afternoons, and sometimes do monthly Monday residencies. 

A more diverse clientele is bringing the Cranker back to its early-2000s glory days, where just about everyone got along in perfect harmony.

By: Ben Revi

Posted:

Venue name: Crown and Anchor
Contact:
Address: 196 Grenfell Street
5000
Opening hours: Daily 11am-late
Static map showing venue location