so… what is a growler? A growler is a glass or ceramic jug with a capacity of 64 U.S. fl oz (1,892.7 ml; 66.6 imp fl oz) used to transport draft beer in Australia – so the old growler is an aptly named dive bar located at the cross. Its got next to no street presence and you descend a flight of stairs to get to this basement drinking hole. Initial impressions? Its suitably worn, great light fitting and suitable divey. Really liked how it presented. Not sure why google said it was in the middle of an intersection further away but its up near the coke sign up at the cross.


A look across the main drink/dining space. Light levels a tad jacked but it wasn’t dim. Exposed bricks, stripped walls, long tables and also booths. The smaller ones sit max 4, the big ones around 8. Black door on the left is the bathroom I will mention later.

Here’s the old growler bar. Its a bar. Specials are scribbled on the wall adjoining the kitchen area.


Oh look, Newtown’s own brew on tap. Young Henrys. I had the cider all night and it was goood! Its wednesday and the house wine was $5. Not bad.


Special of the day. No one had it but it looks good. $12.50 for fish and chips.


Really nice light bulb cluster.


chilli nuts and marinated olives. $6 $7 respectively. Both good nibbles to go with the drinks.


duck live pate with crusty bread and mini pickles. Not pictured but they also provided an extra plate of small crusty bread. This was quite good. The duck pate had just enough texture and the good flavours.


Cheese platter. Good selection of cheese and some sort of fruit paste. The pale cheese ia a goat’s cheese? Very light and pleasant.


Bar Meals Menu + price guide at a glance. Note it says 1/2 braised chicken. We’ll get to that.


Pork Belly dish (see, I always pick the pork belly). Nice serve $25. And it sat on a nice salad mix with what tasted like saukerkraut (but less acidic) and greens. I could have used less of the apple sauce which tasted a lot after a while like baby food. A tiny dollop would have sufficed. The pork belly was quite good and the portion made me wish I’d complained to the shelbourne when they serve me half the size and 90% fat with the pork belly i had there. (that had no practically no meat in it and I am still appalled they served it). This was quite good. crackling was good.


salmon and leek fish cake $24. Nicely presented fish cake, good portion on nice bed of salad. Looked good and ate well.


{DINING DRAMA} 1/2 braised chicken with white wine, olive oil and garlic. This is how it came out. It was one chicken leg. And not even a plump one at that. The menu said 1/2 braised chicken and M sat there sort of upset about the dish. It was $24 and he got a meagre piece of chicken drumstick. Period. That’s 1/4 chicken at best. It was really quite amusing (for everyone else) because we got into a debate as to whether or not this was how it ought to have been served and whether or not they messed it up. M was like ‘i really don’t want to be that guy’ and we debated what to do for a bit. so… I took it to the bar and asked if this is how it is meant to be. Because its quite frankly, a ripoff. $24 for a piece of chicken maryland/leg that…

so, the waitress asked me “are you sure you didn’t eat the other half?” and it was … just a bit bizarre. Um, why would we come up and ask if this is the right portion? Still, the response was that it was a new head chef and he wasn’t familiar with the menu and that they would bring out the other half in a bit.


15 minutes later. This showed up. The rest of the bird. Okay, now its a $24 meal.

Toilet: Normally don’t write about this but K had mentioned the toilet was appalling and I was sure she was exaggerating but that wasn’t til I went myself. It was clean. You can’t fault it at all on that front. When you enter, you enter into the airlock with the sink and the bathroom is to the side with the door. Except there was no bulb so you had to use the bathroom with the door open so you had any light. Otherwise it was 100% dark if you shut the door. And there was no toilet paper – 2 empty rolls. The airlock door has no lock so anyone can walk in on you while you  used  the bathroom with the door open. It was just kind of wrong, awkward and kind of headscratchingly bizarre.

So we paid up and they again apologised for the chicken and we mentioned the toilet and that they should replace the bulb. They said, guest bathrooms are at the back adjoining the kitchen. Go figure. So there you have it, go to the bathroom there.

Old Growler was quite a pleasant experience for the most parts. But it could/should have been perfect. I dug it for the most parts. Quite a nice venue for drinks, it wasn’t super busy (everyone was probably watching origins) and the general atmosphere was quite good. I liked it. The waitress who attended to us was quite pleasant and despite chickengate, she was at no point standoffish or rude. Food was also good/decent for an underground dive bar except for chickengate + bathroomgate. Check their specials. $12.50 fish and chips today sounded pretty good!

Old Growler on Urbanspoon

3 Responses

  1. milkteaxx

    i love a good pub feed or some simple drinks and nibbles with friends every now and then! this place looks nice!