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.
Miles walked: 0.8
Maybe coming soon: Heswall, Crossens, Southport, Liverpool.