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Food for thought: The Craft & Cork

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The Craft and Cork, located on Whyte Avenue, was first built as a regular pub which featured local craft beer and a selective wine list. Just before the COVID pandemic emerged, The Craft and Cork revamped its image into a hauntingly unique horror-themed bar. The bar itself features familiar pictures and lifelike props of characters such as the infamous Jason from Friday the 13th, Chucky, and Freddy Krueger.

Geordie Williams, one of the co-owners of the bar (and a huge horror fan) says that the new horror-themed bar sets itself apart from
the other Whyte Ave locations through its representation of local artists and a spooky themed menu. “There’s so much competition; we don’t want to look like every other bar.”

The front of the restaurant portrays old Hollywood art such as Universal Music posters and is more “family friendly,” as Williams says. The
back of the restaurant is for more mature audiences, as it has more graphic portraits and paintings of iconic horror movies such as The Exorcist.

Another aspect that sets The Craft and Cork apart from other Whyte Avenue bars is its representation of local artists. Some local artists featured in the bar are Ravenour EFX, which produced the very realistic props for the bar, and Chris Labrenz, another local artist
also crafted the tastefully uncanny photos which are hung proudly on the back walls.

The Craft and Cork also offers services for lovers of gore. “If you would like to get murdered by (one of our props) we have a photographer that does a photoshoot, and you can have pictures of yourself being killed,” Williams says. Photographer Kevin Gosselin, with Thirteenth Floor Imaging, specializes in taking these cryptic shots, which can be found throughout the restaurant.

The artwork is not the only local aspect of The Craft and Cork. All 12 beer taps are from Edmonton breweries, such as Analog, SYC, and
Situation. Additionally, all food is purchased locally and made from scratch daily.

A horror-themed bar would not be complete without an eerie menu. The Craft and Cork offers a variety of creepy menu items such as “The Hills have Fries,” “Soupspiria,” and the all too popular “Frankenburger.” The burger is crafted with ground ribeye and bacon, fresh lettuce, tomato, onion, and a house-made secret sauce. “We made sure all our food items were punny and horror related,” Williams says.

In the future, The Craft and Cork is planning on changing their name to fit a more horror-themed brand. The bar was originally named to represent its involvement with local craft beers and wine selections. Williams says, “Our name isn’t really fitting who we are now, so we are going to change our name to The Craft and Crypt.”

The cryptic bar is a historical building originally built in 1913, and according to Williams and some staff, it may be haunted. Williams says they have hired three mediums and “they all seem to have the same story about what happened (in the restaurant).” According to the readings, four spirits reside inside the building. There are three sailors that haunt the basement, and a female spirit upstairs. Williams says he hasn’t personally experienced anything supernatural, but that some of the cooks have heard unsettling noises throughout the building late at night.

The Craft and Cork is a perfect spot for horror fans, art fanatics, and foodies. For those looking to quench their thirst with a locally brewed beer, kick back and watch a slasher film on the TV, or have a photoshoot of yourself being brutally murdered, The Craft and Cork is the place for you.

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