When will I learn? Friday afternoon is not a good time for a survey in Liverpool. The train was jam packed with very noisy stag and hen groups and once I was out of the station I kept tripping over wheeled suitcases. On well, I'm here now so let's get to it.
First call, the Newington Temple:
Last time I was here, in 2013, it was called Bier. The interior under its new name is similar, perhaps more comfortable than I remember? The rather austere white tiles and grey paint have been softened by flowers and ivy.
The six handpumps have been reduced to a perhaps more sensible three and my pint of Purity Mad Goose was excellent.
Not many in here at half two, a couple of conversations were drowned out by the music.
What a nice pub. I think it'll be all downhill from here as I head into party country!
A rather good film, but then I (almost) always like a film about a pub. (Except Cocktail!)
Last time I was in here, in 1999, it was the Hogshead, obviously it's changed a lot since then!
The counter has a handrail above, for the dancers to hang on to (Health and safety gone mad?)
No cask, of course, but the Guinness was carefully topped up and had a shamrock in the top, I've not seen that for ages. Lots of people in even at three, I got the last free table, I bet it's packed later.
The efficient bar staff were four or five scantily clad young women. Which reminds me: When is the Liverpool branch of Hooters opening?
The tellies above the counter were showing IPL cricket when I looked. Perhaps not really suited to the audience here?
Obviously this is not really my sort of place, I'm at least thirty years too old for a start, but I must say this bar is very well done, providing exactly what you expect from the name, and doing it very well.
Next, Einstein Bier Haus:
This used to be Walkabout but I never ticked that one, so it's new for me.
I wondered why the ground floor was completely deserted, but it didn't take me long to realise that the big doors were open and an icy wind was blowing in. After typing one sentence, I carried my Guinness upstairs where it was much warmer and a lot busier.
The converted warehouse has bare brickwork decor, some of which looks fake. The inevitable loud music mixed with quite a lot of chatter from multiple groups of people, I imagine it'll be busy later.
My booth upstairs had a beer font with a touch screen and card reader, presumably when it's working you can pour your own lager. Quite a good gimmick, I think. I wonder if it's per pint or all you can drink. Not in operation now, so I couldn't investigate.
Two large groups decided it was time to move on, and suddenly the place was almost deserted.
Looking out of the window I could see the former Crafty Chandler is going to be Cheers Big Ears. I don't think it's open yet so I'll have to save it for next time I'm up this way.
Last ticked in 2015, I knew what to expect here: A noisy busy warehouse conversion with fake Irish styling.
I must say the Guinness was the worst I've tasted for years, some pipe cleaning is overdue, I think, it tasted stale. I have to admit I've tended to disparage people who talk about the quality of Guinness in a particular pub, saying that it's keg and always the same, but clearly I have been wrong, this was definitely worse than the previous two pints. I looked longingly at the Wetherspoon's across the road, why aren't I in there enjoying some real ale? The things I suffer as a pub researcher!
The music was drowned by the noise of a number of big groups, stag and hen, one woman was wearing a bridal veil, I don't think that's usually matched with white trousers but I'm hardly qualified to comment on couture, am I.
I noticed across the road in Soho they have a shisha bar, I must go there some time, I used to enjoy a puff or two when I was in Dubai. Perhaps I'll wait for some warmer weather, though, it's bitter out there today.
Time for home, but perhaps I need to clear the dishwater taste out. I wandered down Wood Street, what's this, Mulligan's?
Did this used to be Revolution, or was that further down? Once I got home, research in my database and on Streetview revealed that this was Beluga which I ticked in 1998, so it's long overdue for a revisit.
What I found was one long room below street level with rather well underdone Irish decor, completely deserted apart from three staff. Obviously I ordered a Guinness, and it was a damn sight better than the last one.
Some friends of the staff came in for a chat, but no customers. Why not? I almost felt that as a customer I was intruding on a family gathering, I remember some years ago dining in an Indian restaurant when everyone else, including the staff, was there for a family celebration, and we were the only "outsiders".
Time to go home, one new tick (Making the total 1,377) and one not visited for 24 years is a good haul.
Miles walked: 1
Maybe coming soon: Southport