It wasn’t long ago that the only option for sports mad fans was braving the sticky carpets of grungy taverns and local bowlos to cheer on their favourite teams with a little atmosphere and schooies on tap.
Though a new trend is emerging and we’ve witnessed a flurry of sports-focused bars appearing in neighbourhoods across the entire length of the coast.
Even rarer still, hip and happening venues appealing to the 20 and 30-something crowd have been thin on the ground in the northern end of town. But not anymore.
Northern Gold Coasters have been privy to this vibing sports bar slash craft beer haunt since its bold arrival on the scene late last year. Crafty’s Sports Bar is the star attraction at Harbour Town’s new foodie precinct and we can attest it is totally worthy of a jaunt up the Coast for Southern-style fried chicken, cheeseburger spring rolls and novelty bar games.
When we visited, the first thing to grab our attention, drawing us away from the other tasty options on this strip, was the super sharp fit-out. No expense has been spared in styling this sprawling bar and restaurant hybrid. From the bright and airy indoor-outdoor seating options to the cosy tan leather booths, cheeky signage and greenery galore, right down to the detail in the branded table-tops, caddies and coasters—this Biggera Waters hangout has got it all going on.
More than just a place to satisfy your growling stomach between shopping sprees, Crafty’s oozes fun times with the help of cornhole boards, ping pong and live sport. They’re doing a pretty sweet job in their mission to redefine the stereotypical manly ‘sports bar’ into an all day, approachable, family-friendly affair.
Crafty’s is nailing gourmet pub grub and we had a hard time deciding between tasty bites from the ‘Hand Food’ menu, like the giant soft pretzels with a golden ale cheese dip or the crispy cauliflower with chipotle mayo. Crispy on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside, the signature Southern-fried chicken wings with your choice of Buffalo or Memphis BBQ sauces hit a home run. Next, we couldn’t go past the guilt-free Super Food Bowl loaded with a rainbow of nutritionally dense goodness. And while it might seem cliché, we’re only human and gravitated to the herb-crumbed chicken parmigiana, because, priorities.
Add to that, gourmet hotdogs and nachos, burgers on pillowy milk buns, Crafted Cuts (aka generous steaks) and a lengthy list of handmade sourdough pizzas, and Crafty’s has got a little somethin’ somethin’ for everyone.
If you’re thirsty, Crafty’s helps you get buzzed early with brunch cocktails and espresso martinis on sale from 10am. Signature tipples don sporty names (naturally) and 16 draft taps brand them a craft beer bar authority around these parts. But we know you’ll only have eyes for their 2.5-litre beer towers.
You can count on Crafty’s to be the most happening joint around when State of Origin/footy finals/Superbowl/Australian Open/one day cricket/basically anything sports-related fever hits. But what truly sets Crafty’s apart is its friendly and upbeat service and its determination to be a destination restaurant rather than just a mid-shopping after thought.
They’re creating ample reason to come in at any time or day of the week, with a line-up of themed nights (like bottomless fries on Mondays, 2-for-1 pizzas on Tuesdays and half-price chicken on Wednesdays), daily happy hours (4pm to 6pm weekends and 9:30pm to 11pm weekends), plus DJs, bottomless weekend brunches and a new Sunday session that’s drawing punters in from all over town and is the ultimate pre-Mondayitis mood buster.
Basically if you’ve been there, you’ll know exactly what we’re waffling on about. For those who are yet to clue in, gather up your crew, jump in the car (or better yet, book an Uber), and see for yourself what Northerners have been keeping to themselves for so long.
Where: Harbour Town Shopping Centre, 147-189 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters
When: Open seven days from 10am until late
For more information, click here.
Image credit: Hayley Williamson for Crafty's Sports Bar