On the edge of the rapidly gentrifying Central Park area, the Lord Gladstone has had a makeover at the hands of the Vic crew but has thankfully retained an old-school feel. The stern visage of Gladstone hangs outside tiled walls with a big screen showing sports on one wall while the Regent Street traffic buzzes outside. It's a laidback space, perfect for locals to congregate for a midweek dinner.
The menu offers solid pub fare, hearty and agreeably greasy. Favourites include the cheeseburger ($15), which oozes cheese and goes down easy, and the Lord's Burger, ($18) which features seeded buns, slices of beetroot and pickles. The patties on both are juicy, and the kitchen doesn't make the common mistake of overcooking the meat.
Both come with thin and salty fries in a cardboard packet and are available as part of the $10 menu, which runs at lunch and dinner on Monday and Tuesday and also features chicken wings and baby falafel. Specials could include the likes of an intriguing nacho burger ($18) and popcorn shrimp ($11).
The sugary piece de resistance, however, is the deep-fried Golden Gaytime ($9), all crunch and melting sweetness. Swimming in golden sauce, it'll make you nostalgic not just for the sadly departed Abercrombie Hotel's version but for summer treats from the pool canteen.
Drinks include some (very) local craft beers, like Marrickville's Batch American Pale Ale and Sydenham's Shenanigans Seasonal Summer Ale, as well as a range of Young Henrys' tallies, tinnies and a cloudy cider. The short wine list features some nice Australian options like the big berry and spice flavours of South Australian red Yalumba Patchwork Shiraz ($9 glass/$42 bottle).
With a dedication to live music and an existing killer sound system for the purpose, the Lord Gladstone seems comfortable in its skin, neither trying too hard for design magazine hip nor chasing the food trend of the month. From the graffiti-strewn courtyard to the tartan carpets in the front room, it's an approachable pub set to be a reliable local for years to come.