Pubs of Manchester

All pubs within the city centre and beyond.
A history of Manchester's hundreds of lost pubs.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Junction Inn, Junction Street (Jutland Street)

Former site of Junction Inn, Jutland Street. (c) googlemaps.

The Junction Inn was sited on this small stub of Jutland Street, which in 1849, was known as Junction Street. The exact location of the pub was where the black Mini is in the centre-left. The street and pub were likely named after Junction Wharf on the Rochdale Canal which led to the basin shown below which then was surrounded by stores, an iron warehouse, stables and a sand yard. These days this area is nothing more than a giant car park.

Former site of Junction Inn, Jutland Street. (c) googlemaps.

1. Manchester (Piccadilly) 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

Roe Buck Inn, Ashton Street (Lower Byrom Street)

Before the Museum of Science & Industry came to town, this area off Liverpool Road before the railway station comprised Wellington Place (used to extend from the opposite side and so span Liverpool Road), New Street, Sage Street, Back Sage Street, Ashton Street, Dumbar Street and Garden Court [1]. The Roe Buck Inn stood on the corner of Wellington Place (what is now the bottom part of Lower Byrom Street) and Ashton Street. The 1848 map has Lower Byrom Street in brackets, so perhaps it was in the process of being renamed, which confusingly is at right angles to the modern Lower Byrom Street. The exact location of the Roe Buck is where the black and glass entrance museum entrance stands today.

Museum of Science & Industry, former site of Roe Buck Inn. (c) googlemaps.

1. Castlefield 1848, Alan Godfrey Maps (2008).

Queens Arms Inn, Liverpool Road

Castlefield Hotel, former site of Queens Arms Inn, Liverpool Road. (c) googlemaps.

Further down Liverpool street, and laying claim to be the official railway pub, was the Queens Arms Inn. Now on this corner of Liverpool Road and Potato Wharf is the modern Castlefield Hotel (which itself has a bar serving some real ales, but at the moment, our rules state no hotels). However, in the 1800s there was no such street as Potato Wharf and the Queens Arms was on the corner of a passage which opened out onto the long-gone Staffordshire Warehouse yard which sat across the twin pronged Castlefield Wharfs.

Castlefield Wharfs. (c) googlemaps.

1. Castlefield 1948, Alan Godfrey Maps (2008).

Railway Inn / Railway & Quay Tavern, Liverpool Road

Where the Indian restaurant Akbar's and the Japanese noodle bar Saporo Teppanyaki is on Liverpool Road, just along from the Oxnoble (Ox), is a modern set of red brick flats. In 1800s this stretch had four short side streets off it - Wharton's Place, Wood's Place, Ball Street and Castle Street - and straddling the latter two was the Railway Inn [1]. It was of course named after the Liverpool Road Station, the world's first inter-city passenger railway station. Although passenger services only ran from 1830 to 1844, the pub was still open in 1848 and in the late 1800s it was kept by Alice Raby as the Railway & Quay Tavern, suggesting it also very much catered for the canal workers from the nearby wharves on the Duke of Bridgewater and Rochdale Canals.

Former site of the Railway Tavern, Liverpool Road. (c) googlemaps.

1. Castlefield 1848, Alan Godfrey Maps (2008).

Mason's Arms, Pump Street

Pump Street was in front of London Road Station, approximately where Whitworth Street starts today. Whitworth Street is one of central Manchester's newer roads, linking London Road with Oxford Street, but in the mid-1800s Pump Street was one of several short streets and courts around this little area - Brook Street, Lower Brook Street, Brook Court, Syers Court, Birch's Court [1]. The latter of these being the notorious court dwellings which were essentially a number of two up-two down or even worse, back-to-back houses, which all faced inwards to a central shared court. The houses were without plumbing or toilets so unfortunately these courts were usually a dumping ground for waste and sewage. In 1849 there was no pub on Pump Street but by the late 1800s, the Mason's Arms is recorded at No.27 and was kept by James Hilton. When Pump Street was lost to Whitworth Street, the White Hart (now Monroes) went from being a mid-terrace pub to a corner pub as many dwellings and premises were cleared for the through-road.

1. Manchester (London Road) 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

Olive Branch, Sackville Street

In the mid 1800s the area that is now known as the Gay Village was a mixture of terraced housing and business such as the "Road & Street Cleaning Company," "Tin, Copper and Zinc Packing Case Manufacturer" and the "Button Manufactory." This is one area of town which contained less pubs back in the day, with only the Ogden Arms (Rembrandt), Rams Head (Paddy's Goose) and the long-gone Olive Branch, shown in the 1849 map [1]. The Olive Branch was towards the Portland Street end of Sackville Street, just past where the Thompsons Arms is nowadays. Its exact location was where the steps are leading up to the Portland Tower.

Former site of the Olive Branch, Sackville Street. (c) googlemaps.

1. Manchester (London Road) 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

Old Wheatsheaf, London Road

In the shadow of London Road station and opposite the London Road Market and its 12 stalls selling meat, fruit & veg was the Old Wheatsheaf. Today the Bulls Head on London Road straddles Fairfield Street and Granby Row with the old London Road Fire Station across Fairfield Street. In 1849 the Bulls Head was not yet in existence and the row of premises extended north, as Fairfield Street was yet to be extended this far. The Old Wheatsheaf stood where the south east corner of the Fire Station is today and the later 1800s was run by John Salt [1]. This grand old building will once again contain licensed premises as either the Britannia Hotel group who own it turn it into a hotel, or more preferably, the council compulsorily purchase it from the low-brow hotel chain and sympathetically convert it into something worthwhile.

1. Manchester (London Road) 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

Golden Eagle, Birmingham Street

London Road Station was originally a temporary site in 1840 when the line from Crewe was expanded past Heaton Moor into Manchester. The Manchester & Birmingham Railway company built the new station here and it was briefly known as Store Street Station and Bank Top Station. The station then was small with only a handful of platforms and Birmingham Street passed south of it running from roughly where Whitworth Street is now, linking up with Fairfield Street at its intersection with Travis Street. On the London Road, Birmingham Street corner facing the station stood the Golden Eagle, which as well as being a station pub, was probably something of a market pub as London Road Market and its dozen stalls ("butchers, meat, fruit & vegetable") was adjacent [1].

Old location of Birmingham Street. (c) googlemaps.

1. Manchester (London Road) 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

Stag & Pheasant, Ashton Street

Ashton Street used to be a continuation of Granby Row off London Road but has long been lost to the expansion of London Road (Piccadilly) Station in the 1880s. The 1849 map of London Road shows the Stag & Pheasant, run by Matilda Lovitt, on the south east corner of Ashton Street and Chadwick Street [1]. When you're waiting for a taxi from Piccadilly at the Fairfield Street entrance, you're stood on the site of the Stag & Pheasant.

1. Manchester (London Road) 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).

Thursday, 26 August 2010

The price of progess?

Crown & Cushion, Corporation Street, 1990. (c) deltrems at flickr.

Rumour has reached us that one of Manchester's oldest pubs, the Crown & Cushion at the top end of Corporation Street in Angel Meadow, may be in its final year. It's believed that the the Co-Operative Group, who own much of this part of Corporation Street, have purchased the pub from Manchester's most responsible family brewery, Joseph Holt Ltd., and it will be pulled in January 2011 (rumours of the last day being 5th January) [1]. Plans are afoot to divert the ring road slightly north through this part of Angel Meadow, forming a new Head Office complex for the famously ethical Co-Op. This video renders the redeveloped area without a Crown & Cushion, and presumably the Ducie Bridge and New Century Hall is also marked for demolition?
The campaign to save one of our classic city centre boozers - and what is probably Manchester's oldest licensed premises - starts here.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Dog & Partridge, Deansgate

Former Dog & Partridge, Deansgate. (c) googlemaps.

Alliance & Leicester on Deansgate, a few doors up from the old Pig & Porcupine, is a fine looking building, squashed between dull, modern red brick offices. It's obviously been built around or just the façade was retained, and indeed it is photographed here in 1975 as National Westminster Bank when it stood alone. It became a bank in the 1970s but before that was the Dog & Partridge pub.

The narrow street to the right was Tickle Street which was where the Dog & Partridge's original entrance was, as shown in the 1849 map - it was run around that time by Sarah Richardson [1]. It was run by Frank and Liz Duggin in the 1950s and '60s and was probably a Chesters house, as described by their grandson Pete Bradshaw who was born in the pub in 1957 [2].

1. Manchester (Oxford Street & Gaythorn) 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2010).

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Film Exchange, Quay Street

The Film Exchange was a members club that used to provide hardened drinkers with a place to sup during afternoon closing in the 1970s and early '80s.  In the early '80s it had a membership scheme where three members had to vouch for you, then it was £4 a year [1]. I suppose it complemented the Press Club (which still provides all night drinking) and was apparently just as easy to get into so long as you were with or claimed to know a member [2]. The Film Exchange was close to the Hospital for Skin Diseases opposite the Opera House on Quay Street, seen in 1975 and 1988, and was an equally as elegant building. Sadly, both have been demolished and replaced with nondescript offices, as shown below.

Site of Hospital for Skin Diseases and Film Exchange, Quay Street. (c) googlemaps.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Pub Walks

Bet we could do a better job:

I suppose it would be interesting to hear the "official" take on our pubs during one of the these walks, and see if we've overlooked anything thus far. Next weeks' Lost Pubs of Manchester walk sounds good, though I'll pass on tomorrow's thanks...

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Guest Pub - Ye Olde Three Tuns, Thirsk

Ye Olde Three Tuns, Finkle Street, Thirsk. (c) beerintheevening.

Thirsk is a lovely little market town in North Yorkshire, with its own market square and quaint little flat racing racecourse. It's also on the way to the North East football grounds and this was how we first came across the town. There are many pubs around the square and just off it, but the pub we feature today is Ye Olde Three Tuns, a personal favourite of ours. We have been visiting this pub for approximately 10 years (we watched the Rugby World Cup Final on one particular early morning 2003 session here), and have always received a warm welcome from the landlord and landlady, Wilson and Irene. Wilson is a retired RUC Officer and would gladly show you his medals and memorabilia should you ask. Irene is a tough, no-nonsense landlady who runs a tight ship. Sadly, Wilson has been ill for some time now and at our last vist last year, was not able to meet us, and regretably may not be able to again.

Ye Olde Three Tuns, Finkle Street flooded. (c) thirsk.

The pub itself is a stones throw from the nearby Cod Beck, a tributary of the River Swale and has been known to flood when the river bursts its banks as you can see from the pictures above and below. Ye Olde Three Tuns is a little Tetley's house with a real fire in the centre of the room, a couple of one armed bandits/quiz machines, and two pool tables in a separate upstairs pool room (with jukebox). Ale is provided by way of Tetley Cask bitter and a fine pint it is too. It used to do food, although I think it may be a limited menu these days. Breakfast and an early start can be arranged upon request. If you make your way to this town, you will usually be afforded a warm welcome at most of the hostelries, but be sure to search this one out, down the side of the road that the Wetherspoons is on, and I'm sure you'll love it as much as we do!

Ye Olde Three Tuns flooded on Finkle Street, 1930 and 2000. (c) thirskmuseum.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Mystery Deansgate pub

40 Deansgate, "1870s." (c) Kethry / Greater Manchester Police Museum.

This intriguing photo of No.40 Deansgate from the 1870s, described near Bridge Street, is displayed in the Greater Manchester Police Museum and I'm sure I've seen it before with the pub or beerhouse named... but I'm damned if I remember where. Since then I've come across a few interesting variations of the same shot including this spooky one from the the Archives.

40 Deansgate, "1880s." (c) manchesterconfidential.

40 Deansgate, "1870s." (c) pawqualitycomics.

Until recently, No.40 Deansgate was the old-fashioned restaurant, Pizzeria Italia, beneath the Ramada at the top end of Deansgate, which had been in business since about 100 years after the photo was taken - since 1973. However, it is likely that Deansgate was renumbered at some point, as it's likely that No.40 was down near John Rylands Library back in the day (i.e. near Bridge Street as described in the top photo).

Pizzeria, 40 Deansgate. (c) qype.

118. Lammars, Hilton Street

Lammars, Hilton Street. (c) manchestershortbreaks.

This was one of the first of the new bars in this area of town and is in the same ownership as the nearby Crown & Anchor and Barca in Castlefield. Despite its slightly out of the way location at the Piccadilly Basin end of the Northern Quarter, it has a good loyal client base and is regularly busy, and is even welcoming to less typical gents like ourselves, with friendly doorman who are actually pleased to see you. The bar itself is a chilled food-with-drinks place during the day and early evening, but then turns itself into a friendly vibrant place, with the average age group a bit older and slightly more discerning than most other Northern Quarter places. A lack of a real ale is really its only let down, though the Guinness was fine and pefectly palatable. Lammars is rightly one of the Manchester's most popular bars and along with near neighbours, Bar de Reve and Jackson's Warehouse, is worth looking up when on a night out with the missus, couples or groups of friends.

Lammars, Hilton Street. (c) manchesterbars.

117. Bar de Reve / Bar 57, Tariff Street

Bar de Reve, Tariff Street, 2010. (c) Pubs of Manchester.

On the corner of the street between Jackson's Warehouse and the Crown & Anchor and opposite Lammars is Bar de Reve, formerly Bar 57 (or was that Fifty 7). This is the latest chic addition to the Piccadilly Basin end of the Northern Quarter, as bar owners desperately try and establish this part of town to be the new area to visit. With its very attractive looking furniture (and barmaids!) this bar seems to be trying just a tad too hard if I'm honest. Indeed, you get the feeling of being more in a hotel lobby bar, than that of trendy, upmarket, cosmopolitan Manchester. Maybe things change at night, as it was early evening when we tried it, and the place was pretty deserted. As you would expect, no sign of real ale, but a reasonable selection of bottled beer was available. The Little Creatures Pale Ale was a cracking drink, citrussy and full of hops. It's a shame that no-one will try Manchesters own beers, either draught or bottled, they just might be onto a winner!

Bar de Reve, Tariff Street. (c) manchesterbars.

116. Jackson's Warehouse / Moon, Tariff Street

Moon Bar, Jackson's Warehouse, 2006. (c) SleepyOne at SSC.

Seek and you will find is what they sometimes say, and that really is the case for this hidden little bar adjacent to the Rochdale Canal, accessed through a little hole in the wall. Sat on an old docking basin behind the mill, most people would never find this little place, even if they had heard of it, and yet it's quite a nice place to while away a few hours on a pleasant sunny afternoon.

Entrance to Jackson's Warehouse, Brewer Street. (c) googlemaps.

As a bar it's previously been Moon Bar, Jackson's 1836, a gay bar, an Italian restaurant, and in its latest guise remains a three-roomed bar, all interjoined which means it can be sectioned off for private parties and the like. The central bar area is a decent size but unfortunately doesn't supply any real ales. Guinness is on draught and the usual cooking and bottled lager suspects are in evidence. Outside, the usual standard fayre of silver tables and chairs adorns the quayside, though they don't overdo it and its tastefully done. Worth a trip for the novelty value alone if you're in the area.

Jackson's Warehouse, Tariff Street. (c) Aidan O'Rourke.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Guest Pub - Falcon's Nest, Gosforth Park

Falcon's Nest, Gosforth Park. (c)

The main reason for this guest pub review is as a public service because of its close proximity to Newcastle races and being just off the A1 it's a doddle to find. I left the accommodation to the wife for a day trip to the races and this is what she booked... my only request was for a pub with proper beer on, and this place had a Cask Marque.

The accommodation is provided by the Innkeepers Lodge which is just across the car park, but this is set to become a Premier Inn or somesuch later this month so there'll be no breakfast provided and I can't imagine the pub staff being quite so helpful in the future. It's also worth pointing out that adjacent to the pub is a busy A-road, a McDonalds and a 24 hour garage - it's not sounding great is it? Honestly, it's not quite that bad...

But firstly, this place is out on a limb. Not ideal if you fancy a crawl around Newcastle, so don't book here if you want the city centre experience. Having said that, I wouldn't imagine you get many hen or stag do's staying this far out, so if you like a quiet gallon or two it's swings and roundabouts.

Secondly, most of the online reviews focus on the food, which is in fairness pretty decent - it's a big place serving lots of food to the races crowd and day trippers. The decor is a recent take on olde worlde country pub; not unpleasant, but when teamed up with a dozen plasmas scattered around the bar area it's all a bit contrived.

There's a long bar with no dedicated food ordering till, so it's a right pain in the arse when you just want to grab a couple of swift pints and some once-a-year pub amateur is in front of you ordering one drink at a time for his entire family, before moving onto starters, mains & desserts ("do you want chips or salad with that?" "I'll just go and check"...)

There's the usual array of cooking lager and bitter, a decent selection of bottled beers, four barrels of good wine on tap (for the ladies) and three pumps serving decent hand pulled ale. They're currently running a "Summer in a Glass" promotion, and this months selection was the ubiquitous Black Sheep, Sharp's Doom Bar and Thornbridge Jaipur.

For research purposes I had a go at them all, but the Jaipur was on great form; however, at 5.9% I wouldn't recommend it for a dawn-til-dusk session. Prices were well within my pain threshold when in a round - two ladies and two gentlemen's drinks for less than £2.20 per drink.

So that's the pub; good points are the better than average beer and food, less than a mile to the races and very handy for travelling in by car or coach. Bad points, it's a long way into town and a bit soulless I suppose, but once you factor in the extortionate bar prices at the race course this place is well worth a visit.

Bar Abaco / Choice, Castle Quay

Bar Abaco, now Choice Bar & Restaurant, Castle Quay. (c) yahoo.

This venue is still thriving as the popular Choice, but when we were sat next door at Lava this summer we decided that Choice was on the restaurant side of 'Bar & Restaurant'. Going back to the late 1990s this was known as Bar Abaco where it served foreign lagers and real ale in the form of Bombardier. This hidden corner of town is a pleasant spot to while away a summers afternoon with a bottle of something chilled watching the wildlife and waterways.

Choice Bar & Restaurant, Castle Quay. (c) prideofmanchester.

Choice Bar & Restaurant, Castle Quay. (c) prideofmanchester.

115. Hula Tiki Lounge, Stevenson Square

Hula Tiki Lounge, Stevenson Square. (c) manchesterbars.

Yet another themed bar, and one that if I'm honest, we didn't hold out much hope for. However, Hula, a cocktail bar owned by the folk from Walrus, was much better than we expected. The bartenders knew their beers and whilst unsurprisingly there was no real ale, there was a good selection of bottled beer from America (not just the usual Bud and Coors rubbish). A couple were tried - the Goose Island Honkers Ale from Chicago was a lovely bitter and hoppy ale, whilst the other we tried was blander but neckable lager and still a step up from generic yank light beers. As the best beers are imports, it isn't cheap, so you'd need deep pockets for a session here, which might be perhaps taking things a bit far.

Hula Tiki Lounge, Stevenson Square. (c)

We suggested to the barman that maybe a selection of Mancunian beers might be added, for example Marble Brewery ales, and he did say this would be taken up with the owner to see what the possibilities were. The premises itself is situated in a basement bar in the corner of Stevenson Square and it could be easy to miss if you don't know where it is. It's a single roomed bar and is cosy enough although the whole Hawaiian thing is very un-Mancunian. Definitely worth calling in though and enjoy a bottle or two of some unusual foreign ales that you probably won't find anywhere else in town.

114. Noho, Stevenson Square

Yet another bar in a quieter part of the Northern Quarter but one which might just become the next big area, due to its excellent location and available retail units around Stevenson Square. Indeed if ever they get rid of the buses and the traffic, this could become quite a thriving cosmopolitan area for drinkers and socialites. Noho itself is a large, open, single-roomed place, with an eclectic mix of old-style furniture, whilst appearing quite modern in looks with New York style decor and with a small corner bar.

As usual for these places, there is no real ale available so it was a quick bottle of Desperado (tequila and lime flavoured lager at 5.9%) before moving onto the next place. A large screen on one side of the bar regularly shows classic films of an afternoon which adds a further attraction to those who would like to chill with a beer. The large shop front windows also provide for excellent people-watching opportunities as you watch the world and its wife go by!

113. Barcelona, Hilton Street

Sat just round the corner from the Black Dog Ballroom is a strange little place which seems to be a mixture of bar, restaurant, café and deli. It was pleasant enough though and we sat and stood outside at the single table and two chairs drinking Estrada Spanish beer and Birra Morretti. Obviously as is the case with a place of this nature, there was no real ale available, but the lagers were OK just for a change - the genuine article rather than UK-brewed fizz masquerading as continental. This is yet another example of bar/restaurant that litter the Northern Quarter, whether it survives is anyones guess, but maybe it needs something different to entice punters in. Indeed, until Saturday, we didn't even know this place existed, and it was empty despite the lovely waitresses. A quirky little place, not bad for one, couldnt see you doing much more than that unless you were eating here.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

112. Black Dog Ballroom, Oldham Street

Black Dog Ballroom, Oldham Street. (c)

Although an Oldham Street address, this basement bar, formerly IsobarClub North, Hole In The Wall, Stairwells and the Spread Eagle, is accessed on the corner of Tib Street and Church Street, beneath Afflecks Palace.  As with so many Northern Quarter bars, Black Dog Ballroom is a classy looking place and always busy but fails badly when it comes to pricing and offering much resembling decent beer.  Their range of ale consisted of two 350 ml bottles of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale which at £4 each caused us to almost fall off our fancy seats, and indeed places Black Dog Ballroom at No.1 in the most expensive bar in Manchester competition, outdoing Trof.  To be fair, this was ale all the way from America rather than Trof's which was from Accrington!

Black Dog Ballroom, blank hand pump. (c) Pubs of Manchester.

Even more disappointing was the blank hand pump which shows that at least they could offer real ale but choose not to.  The Guinness, which some of us went for, was served in dimpled pints pots, which although hardly traditional, was a welcoming surprise.  The main attractions of this speak-easy style bar are the 4am licence and four American pool tables, which are priced reasonably at £5 per hour.  So, a trendy and rather exclusive addition to the Northern Quarter but don't expect much in the way of ale.

Black Dog Ballroom, Oldham Street. (c)


Friday, 13 August 2010

The Decline of the Pub

...or rather, the decline of drinking beer in the pub. This post from The Pub Curmudgeon appealed to the boffin in me so the graph below shows the average beer consumption in UK pubs, per annum, from 1997 to 2010 (first two quarters from 2010 only). The reasons for this decline have been well discussed - government taxation, government(s) f#cking up the economy, government scaremongering, press scaremongering, pub companies screwing over tenants, poor landlords, smoking ban, improvements in home comfort and entertainment, etc. But the fact that beer consumption per se hasn't fallen as dramatically suggests that people are simply doing their drinking at home. A ray of hope is that cask ale is just about the only segment in the pub trade that isn't haemorrhaging.

Beer Consumption in UK Pubs 1997-2010. (c) Pubs of Manchester.

I suppose this a major reason why we decided to record the Pubs of Manchester - so many have already have been lost and the remainder may not be around for much longer if the above trend continues. Not because we're p1ssheads / geeks*, you understand.

* delete as applicable

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Manchester Millennium Pub Crawl

Manchester Millennium Pub Crawl. (c) Bernie Carroll Publications, Liverpool.

Acquired this geeky poster of Manchester's pub crawl circuit from a decade ago. It's different to any of the similar looking posters that some pubs in town display, and appears to be sponsored by J. W. Lees judging by the drawing of the brewery and a couple of Lees adverts dotted around the poster. It was drawn by Bernie Carroll and is available for a couple of quid from Beer Inn Print.

It contains 107 pubs within our boundary (plus many random ones from further afield) including a couple of possible news ones to us - Café Madrid and Rocket Bar. Can anyone shed any light on these?

Swan With Two Necks
Pack Horse
Canal Bar
John Willie Lees
Paddy's Rat & Carrot
Royal George
White House
Hat & Feathers

Rovers Return (Corrie!)
Cross Keys
Edinburgh Castle
Cheshire Cheese
Foo Foo's Palace
Lord Nelson
Pot of Beer
Lower Turks Head
Square Albert
Portland Arms / Azura Bar
Quo Vadis

Land 'O' Cakes (now Bem Brasil restaurant)
Pig & Porcupine (now Lal Qila restaurant)
Smithfields (now Nosh restaurant)
Granby (now San Siro restaurant)
Kings (Maxwell's, now San Carlo restaurant)
Athenaeum (soon to close and become Brown's restaurant)

Grand Central
Old Garratt
Mr Thomas's Chop House
New York, New York
Derby Brewery Arms
Old Nags Head
Hare & Hounds
White Lion
Lass O'Gowrie
Crown (Deansgate)
J.W. Johnson's (Living Room)
King (Northern)
Bar Icarus
Sir Ralph Abercromby
Rain Bar
Seven Oaks
Thirsty Scholar
Beer House (Angel)
Shambles (Wellington)
Peveril of the Peak
Circus Tavern
Band on the Wall
Revolution, Oxford Road
Wetherspoons, Piccadilly
Bulls Head
Idol's (Moho Live)
Grey Horse
Burton Arms
Moon Under Water
Smithfield Hotel
Hogshead (English Lounge)
Crown & Cushion
Generation X
Yates's Wine Lodge (Portland Street)
Mother Macs
Bridge Street Tavern
Town Hall Tavern
City Road Inn
Dry Bar
Rising Sun
Squizzy Taylors (Joe's Bar)
Joshua Brooks
Huxters (Blue Parrot)
Ducie Bridge
Frog & Bucket
Blob Shop (Melodies)
New Union
Prague 5
Via Fossa
Paddy's Goose
Sawyers Arms

Café Madrid
Rocket Bar

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Guest Pub - The Lorne, Oban

The Lorne, Stevenson Street, Oban. (c) The Lorne.

The Lorne is one of a chain of pubs owned by Maclay Inns, based in Scotland. We were tempted in by a sandwich board on the main street proclaiming The Lorne as "The Best Pub In Oban!" and whilst it's difficult to gauge whether that's strictly true, it's certainly an excellent pub well worth visiting.

Oban, on the west coast, is proclaimed as "the seafood capital of Scotland" and is a tourist trap for many people visiting the Western Isles with its own railway terminus (one branch of the picturesque West Highland Line) and numerous passenger ferry routes to the islands run mainly by Caledonian MacBrayne.

Oban. (c) The Lorne.

The Lorne has a 'proper pub' feel to it and features an impressive oblong central bar with various cooking lagers and some draught Euro beers, of which the wife sampled the Peroni Nastro Azzuro. A top shelf running around the bar's perimeter was crammed with bottles of whisky from all over Scotland (I wish I'd taken a picture) which I'm guessing is more for the tourists, but it adds to the character of the place.

The Lorne, Stevenson Street, Oban. (c) The Lorne.

Food is served all day but the big attraction was the promise of hand-pulled local ales and a Cask Marque. There were two pumps on, one supplying well-kept Deuchars IPA and the other the more intruiging, locally brewed Oban Bay Brewery Skelpt Lug. This is served in rotation with an Oban Bay Brewery stout called Fair Puggled which I didn't get opportunity to sample, but if it's as good as the Skelpt Lug it's worth giving it a go. Bar prices were pretty reasonable, as was the food, and I'll certainly be going back should I ever be passing through again.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

111. Centro, Tib Street

Centro, Tib Street, 2010. (c) Pubs of Manchester.

We'd tried Centro earlier in the day but it was shut, so when we nipped in at about 5.30 we were just about the first in. Real ale has always been on offer here but two blank handpumps didn't look too encouraging. Thankfully, the barmaid rectified this and within a few minutes a fresh barrel of Wainwrights was ours. This was on good form so it would have been rude not to indulge again. Full marks to the barman who gave us a pint of lager (for the lady, of course) on the house as we had to wait for our ale. Centro is a traditional Belgian-style bar with a full array of continental beers on and a basement seating area where gigs are often hosted.

Centro, Tib Street, 2010. (c) Pubs of Manchester.

The bar stools above the stairs offer interesting views of Tib Street, Cord on Dorsey Street and the funny little housing estate that sits in the Northern Quarter (Brightwell Walk may or may not be named after City legend David Ian Brightwell).  Centro was previously known as the Old Fire Station, then Straight 8, which was opened by Liverpudlian  businessmen who were keen on running a pub in Manchester.  It may or may not have had connections to a nightclub or two down the other end of the East Lancs.  Centro is one of the original and certainly one of the best Northern Quarter bars and is recommended as part of a cheeky little Tib Street crawl.

Centro, Tib Street. (c) manchesterad.