I headed into town to mop up a few targets in the London Road area, starting with the Bullring:
This is a rather impressive high ceilinged room with skylights, I wonder what it was before it was a pub.
"I'm sorry, it's bottles only" said the barmaid as I perused the fonts, "we're closing tomorrow" she added. Mixed feelings for me, on the plus side I got here just in time for a farewell drink - last time was December 2017 - but every closure is bad news.
I sat in a comfortable booth to drink my bottle of Corona. Only two other customers at two on a Thursday, no wonder it's dying.
Although you could describe the decor as plain, it is certainly clean and tidy, looking quite good with the sun shining through the skylights. The shower that dampened my walk has obviously passed.
Next, I'm hoping for a new tick or two, so I wandered into the so-called Fabric District (No, I'd never heard of it either) an area of tatty warehouses and new student flats. After a couple of wrong turns I circled round and found Melodic Bar:
I entered what is basically a lean-to at the side of a large warehouse, but very nicely done. Two taps on the counter, eventually after a barrel change and then a non functioning card machine I enjoyed a very tasty pint of something pale and fruity - I think it was from local brewer Carnival but I forgot to note it down.
As I was being served some more customers entered, but they were on coffee/tea which I suspect is the majority of sales in the afternoon. Oat milk? I've never tried it.
Another man came in, but he was a DJ for the internet radio station they run from here. Now that's another hobby of mine, I wonder if I can have a go? I suspect my musical taste might not align with the theme of the station if the rather bland background music here is the station's output. And I was never any good at it, anyway, although certainly better than the bloke on at the moment. I'll have to give the station a listen when I get home and see if I can offer them anything.
I considered my surroundings: This is probably the best lean-to I've ever drunk in!
Next door, actually inside the warehouse, is HopScotch, a whisky bar, but they don't open until four so perhaps I'll have to come back later as it's only twenty past three now.
On along London Road which soon becomes Prescot Street, to the Old Fort:
Last visited in 2007, this place hasn't changed much since then, although certainly a redecoration or two has happened in the intervening years since it looks immaculate inside.
Going back further, I recall a much more traditional/historic two sided pub in 1999, where I think I had cask Cain's.
Only three or four other customers were in at four on a Thursday. I had imagined that a pub across the road from the Royal Liverpool Hospital would be full of nurses and doctors after their shifts and escapee patients as well, but I guess I'm living in the Carry On Nurse era, sixty or more years ago!
Now that's unusual: The dartboard is mounted on a tripod in the middle of the back room. Doesn't that double the number of seats in the firing line?
Let's go back to the Fabric District where HopScotch should be open now:
And it is. I descended the steep staircase and entered a very well done cellar bar.
Here, something very rare occurred: Having asked the landlady what lambics they had on offer we got talking and before I knew what was happening I had spent my entire drink (An Oude Geuze) chatting to Beck and Matt (They arrived home from their honeymoon at three this morning I think she said.) about world travel, pubs in Liverpool, trains, craft beer, my pub guide, and various other topics. What an enjoyable pub visit! We shared a taste of a Pina Collada beer from Azvex (Where they had their wedding reception), it was very coconut and pineapple but to my mind needed a bit more beer flavour.
My review might be biased by the friendly reception but I think this is a great bar which deserves to do well. Sadly no one else came in while I was here. Hopefully it'll be busier once the new students find it. I didn't even start on their fantastic range of whiskies which is, after all, the main reason the place exists.
Time for home. Two new ticks, one closure.
Beer of the day: Oude Geuze
Miles walked: 1.9
Maybe coming soon: Wavertree, Bold Heath, Clock Face, Sutton