Just a few odds and ends in town today. I started in the Shipping Forecast:
Four handpumps but no clips, so I had a Guinness which came with a shamrock in the head. I resisted the temptation to tell the barman that when I spent a week in Ireland last year this never happened.
Just a handful of customers in, most of them in a chatty (But not annoyingly noisy) group at one table.
Nothing much seems to have changed in here since my last visit which was in 2010, the industrial vibe remaining in the pleasant interior. A bit lacking in atmosphere with so few customers, but I imagine it's more fun later. I wonder if I ought to try the Hold, a music venue downstairs sometime? I think I can use the excuse that it is "not a pub".
Quite a bit bigger than the branch in Prescot, and with a wider range of beers, I think. I chose long term favourite Erdinger, which cost me £6. Only after I sat down I noticed a pump for Delirium, I'm not sure I could handle a pint of their Tremens, or maybe it's Delirium Red? I could see the appropriate glasses in the rack above the pump.
I suppose I should have chosen a Spanish beer really, they had Victoria Malaga and two more I couldn't read from my seat, but as I say, Erdinger has long been a favourite of mine, their Dunkel even more so but you don't see that very often (Ship and Mitre of course being one local outlet.)
The decor in here includes bare brick, wooden matchboarding, and a genuine tiled floor - I thought for a moment the floor might be vinyl with a tiled pattern but no. I sat on a wooden bench seat, a church pew perhaps. Is this Spanish style? I've not done very many bars in Spain so I can't really say. It's nice, anyway.
Two other customers, painters judging by their trousers, chatted with the barman, and then headed back to work leaving me as the only customer.
Later, a group of three came in, the barman knew them and soon provided a jug of sangria, to start their get together.
I called in at the gents on my way out and found a fiver on the floor. Should I pocket it? Oooh, a moral dilemma! I "did the right thing" and handed it to the barman, who said he didn't know what to do with it. I said "if he comes back for it, give it to him, otherwise put it in your tips jar," which I think is probably the best answer!
Next, Fitzgeralds where I forgot to take a picture, here's one from last November:
Just a few minutes after opening (14:30 according to Google) there was no one in this one room Irish pub. I was trying to remember what it was like in 2003 last time I was in here, when it was the Marlborough, a plain pub with no Irish styling, but I can't really recall that far back!
Now, it's very well decorated, not with "plastic Paddy" tat but with an impressive array of black and white photos of famous Irish people, ranging from James Joyce to Sinead O'Connor. I could mostly recognise the actors and musicians, but not the sports stars.
No one came in while I enjoyed my Guinness, this rather fine place deserves to do better in my opinion.
Just next door is the Jacaranda, will it be open on a Thursday arvo? No.
Back down to Hanover Street, then, and the Empire:
"Only" five years since I visited this one, and it remains a plain comfortable one room corner house. Just two other customers as I arrived, so not doing very well at half three on a Thursday. Two more came in as I sank another Guinness.
The decor in here is rather busy, with every inch of wall covered with pictures, shipping signage, gig posters, and so on. Gosh, An Evening with Pink Floyd at the Empire Theatre. If only I could go back in time...
There's a small "stage" at the end of the room, so I guess live music must be on offer, I bet it's fun in here then.
I listened to the music: "You're as smooth as Tennessee whiskey" went the song. What an insult to the lady! Their whiskey is about as smooth as sandpaper. Ouch!!
Beer of the day: Erdinger
Miles walked: 1.2
Maybe coming soon: Southport, Wavertree, Everton, Rice Lane, Edge Hill