It is on busy Pascoe Vale Rd in a light-industrial and warehouse pocket of Strathmore.
To the street, there is the attractive original 1920s Spanish Mission facade, with a much larger beer-barn extension adjacent.
The charm is to the rear, where the hotel overlooks Cross Keys Reserve (a football ground, not a passive-recreation park). The spaces make the most of that aspect. The pub has all the attributes which one expects in a modern suburban pub.
Sportsmans bar (IIRC with TAB), running front to rear; some lounge seating in the main bar area with windows to Pascoe Vale Rd; a poker machine area running along the rest of the street frontage, and a huge bistro at the back. I didn't get to explore the original structure, but I gather that there is a second games or gaming area upstairs. There are smoking zones at the front and at the rear. Carparking appears to be plentiful, at the rear. IIRC the bistro is 7 days per week, lunch and dinner, and the cheaper mains are at around $13 on some midweek nights.
There are trivia nights.
I was there in the late afternoon midweek. The staff were friendly. The clientele looked to be tradies who had finished for the day.
As with the nearby Pascoe Vale Hotel, there is the potential to tap a large area which lacks hotels, and those who are sensible enough to arrive by train and not have to count drinks to drive home safely.
Roderick B Smith, Melbourne, 07/09
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Cross Keys Hotel / Link to this page: http://www.partystar.com.au/venue/196/
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