Friday, 12 August 2022

A Few More in the City Centre

Today's trip was supposed to be a number of overdue visited to pubs at the river end of Liverpool city centre.  However, having learned that they had my favourite ale on, I started with a non-overdue tick in Wetherspoon's Captain Alexander:

Especially suited to today's warm weather, the Oakham Citra went down very easily.  The place was pretty busy (why are my shares still down?) but there were plenty of free tables so I wouldn't call it full, which perhaps it ought to be on a Friday lunch time.  I suppose now that many office workers don't bother on a Friday the traditional pub visit no longer happens.

Now, I could stay here drinking Citra until it runs out, or I could drag myself reluctantly away and get on with my researches.  I chose the latter, and crossed the road to the Liverpool:

Two surprises on entering here:  It was very quiet inside, only seven other customers; and the air conditioning was working really well.  It was wonderfully cool, much more comfortable than the 'spoons across the road.  I had a lovely cold Guinness here.

Some of the other customers were eating, the menu of pub classics looks good.

The decor has changed somewhat since I was here in 2017, it has been modernised rather well, but the historic pictures of various HMS Liverpools seem to have gone.  There's still a stage for live music.

The background music here was a rather fine selection of old stuff, Dean Martin and the like.  The moment I'd written that, the next track was Message In A Bottle by the Police, now that's what I call a wide variety.  Sounds like my "jukebox" at home which plays randomly from an even wider range of genres. Beethoven, Artie Shaw, Pink Floyd, Pink, and so on.

Next, I headed to Castle Street, where I found Bobo, a wine bar not in my database.  I think the heat must have been getting to me, as my picture of this one was too blurry to be of any use.

I could see draft pumps on the counter so I went in to this very well done shop conversion for a pint of Sagres.

My beer was delivered to my table without me paying anything, which perhaps puts this place on the wrong side of the bar/restaurant line?  Never mind, another one added to the total.  I hope I remember, and don't try to walk out without paying!

Once again the air conditioning was doing a good job, and it was comfortably cool in here.  The decor, with patches of plaster missing to expose rough brickwork, and dark green ceramics below the dado, looks very good to me.

According to their web site this place is Spanish/Portuguese.  I'm not sure exactly what that means, especially as in my admittedly limited experience the two cultures are quite distinct.  A pleasant place for a pint, anyway.

I remembered to pay!  Now we're doing never visited bars, how about Manhattan:

This is a tiny "bar and grill" in a half basement, plus lots of tables on the pavement outside.  The friendly barmaid apologised that they'd run out of Love Lane, so I had Carling.

Two staff were hardly stretched by the handful of customers, in fact I think two would be plenty even if the tiny room was packed.

I eyed up the decor.  Someone much better at design than I (Hardly setting the bar very high) has turned cheap wallpaper and bog standard ceiling tiles into something rather attractive.

An apparently drunk fella came in, worryingly he seemed to have car keys in his hands.  He chatted to the barmaid and tried to get me to join in, but I resisted.  Moments later, he's serving behind the counter, so clearly my assumptions were well wide of the mark.

I studied the drinks menu on my table.  Oh dear, under the Whiskey (sic) heading they've got "Jonny (sic again) Walker Blue Label, Black Label, Red Label."  Actually, I've never tried Blue, I wonder if they've really got it?  "Johnny Black" was a favourite of mine when I lived in Pittsburgh.

I decided to go home, and here I hit a major snag:  The next three trains were cancelled.  Under these circumstances I would normally take a bus instead, but they're all on strike, so I had to join the taxi queue, which unsurprisingly under these circumstances was rather long.

Pub of the day: Captain Alexander, for the lovely beer.
Miles walked: 1.2
Maybe coming soon: Southport, Crossens, Heswall

Thursday, 4 August 2022

A Few in the City Centre

I headed out aiming for a few overdue ticks around Lime Street station, plus one new one, the Dough Bar:

It looked a bit deserted as I approached and I wondered if perhaps it was shut out of term time, but I climbed the steps and pushed on the door and it opened.  The large interior was deserted, and I startled the barmaid who probably wasn't expecting to see anyone.

A good selection of about a dozen craft beers on tap, I chose Paulaner for a change.  Irritatingly, I only spotted the Clwb Tropica tap after I'd ordered.

I'm not sure how to define the style in here.  The wooden tables are almost rustic, whereas the metal chairs are more industrial.  And at one end there are some leather sofas.  Well done, anyway, I really like it.

I don't think my one pint will sort out the pay of one bar staff and one kitchen staff.  Come on folks, I can't save the hospitality industry on my own!  The moment I'd written that, two more customers came in.  They sat down and perused the menus, so probably a lot more profit than I provided.  Tourists perhaps, they seemed to be waiting for a non-existent waitress.  No; one went up and ordered.

As I left my 1,401st pub, two more customers entered.

Next, inside the famous Adelphi Hotel is Wave:

Not very impressive looking at the side entrance, this is a very well done hotel bar once you get in.  The decor in the large split level room is rather fine, with lots of polished brass railings.

A least a dozen customers were in here, so it's doing a lot better than the Dough Bar, but still very empty and the two or three staff were hardly stretched.  Much quieter than on my 2013 visit, but all the customers were older than me, same as last time.

My Guinness was only £2.45, it being happy hour.  In a few week's time I'll be enjoying "proper" Guinness, in Ireland.  Does it really taste better there, or is it all in my head?  I bet it's more than £2.45!

Next, along Ranelagh Street are a number of bars.  I have ticked all of them this year except for Ranelagh's Tavern:

Sadly, the unexpected choice of cask ales I enjoyed back in 2017 has gone, so it was another Guinness for me in this rather fun shop conversion.  Plenty of customers, all my age or older, were maintaining a hubbub of chatter, competing with the background music.

The decor here differs from my notes from '17, the floor is now dark, not sure if it's real wood or vinyl, whereas it was pale wood before.  The counter is built of rough timber, as is the bar back.  

I read the Carling beer mat on my table; it boasts of being brewed in Burton-on-Trent using 100% British barley.  I'll have to stop referring to it as Canadian, I suppose.  Shouldn't it say Burton Upon Trent?  Wikipedia research was inconclusive, both names seem acceptable, so I'll have to allow it.

Electronics aside:  On the wall are three "lanterns" with flickering LED lamps in them.  That's simple, you can buy flickering LEDs easily.  But wait, they are all three flickering in synchrony, how's that done I wonder?  Must be a special feed just to those lamps I guess.

On to Charlotte Street now, and once again there are many pubs recently ticked (Including Wetherspoon's last night - The Wobbly Bob was great) and just one overdue, Nelly Foley's:

No real change to the appearance here since 2017, it remains a well done Irish bar.

The rather objectionable music, including a song about joining the IRA and blowing up the British, that I noted last time I was here has been replaced by silence, although the live music from further down the street was clearly audible.

Quite a few customers were keeping the place busy but on a Thursday afternoon there was plenty of room for more.

I wondered, as it's not even four o'clock yet, should I tick another one?  Obviously, the answer is yes:  Can it really be five years since I drank in the "new" McHale's after they'd moved across Lime Street?  According to the database, it is five years to the day, so I headed to McHales Irish American Bar:

This really is a tiny boozer, pretty busy with older customers, the majority of the dozen tables were occupied.

The barmaid made a bit of a palaver out of pouring my Guinness, she announced that it has to settle for 90 seconds before topping up.  "It'll be great when you finally get it", opined a bar fly at the far end of the counter.  She asked if I wanted a shamrock in it, I said yes but she failed to produce one.  Never mind, it was a good pint.  Will I get a shamrock in Dublin?

I remember the older McHale's, along with the Shamrock next door, they were classic boozers.  I think they shared gents out back so maybe technically only one pub?  They closed when that side of Lime Street was redeveloped, with McHale's being granted a space on the other side of the road.

Certainly the most lively pub of the day, with a constant stream of people in and out, and chatter mostly beating the background music.

There's a tap on the counter offering "Caines Lager", what on earth is that?  It's not Cain's, is it?

In conclusion, four ticks five years old and one new one is a good score which I will hope to match in future trips.  The really desirable targets are dependent on the bus strike ending.

It only occurred to me when I got home that today was a case of very bad planning:  I should save a cluster of ticks close to the station for a wet winter day, and walk further afield in nice weather like today's.  Oh well, too late now.

Pub of the day: Too difficult to choose one.
Miles walked: 0.8
Maybe coming soon: Heswall, Crossens, Southport, Liverpool.