Saturday 24 February 2024

Fazakerley Failures

On a lovely sunny day I took the train to Fazakerley hoping for some overdue ticks.

I started at the Foresters Inn, but annoyingly it was shut.  I couldn't tell whether it was permanently out of action or simply a late opener.

So I walked westwards towards more targets.  I passed the never ticked Longmoor Social Club, which was also shut but to be fair, a big sign says it doesn't open until two.  And onwards...  But the Prince George was also shut, this one looks more like like an operational pub, perhaps it also opens at two?

Not a good start but just across the road is the Farmers Arms:

At last, a working pub!  A well cared for plain boozer, the inside of this classic sixties construction has been knocked through into one open room.

A steady stream of custom was keeping the place going, not surprising when it's the only open pub in Fazakerley!  The jukebox was mostly drowned out by lively chatter, laughter and the clack of pool balls.

One regular was telling his pals, in the pub and on the phone, about the trials and tribulations of his hospital treatment.  He was wandering about the pub dressed in pyjamas and a dressing gown.  All life is here!

Should I dawdle until two to see if the George opens?  No, I can't be bothered.  It was still shut when I left at 13:40 so I abandoned Fazakerley and strolled on towards Walton Vale. 

Firstly, I wanted a picture of Jaxon's, a good micro I visited just the once, in 2021, and since closed, but there was no trace.  I think it was the shuttered shop front with no sign.

On to a less risky tick, the splendid building that houses the Black Bull:

This is another proper traditional boozer, retaining two sides both pleasingly busy with a mix of customers; punters watching the racing, family groups with young kids, blokes my age chatting and joking, etc.

This is what a real pub looks like.  Busy, cheerful, people coming in and out, even the occasional toddler running around.  Gentle background music (Radio Gaga as I wrote this.) largely drowned by animated conversation.

Some sandwiches appeared on the counter, I resisted the temptation, they might not be for everyone.  I imagine eating someone else's food would be a major faux pas.

My plans have been somewhat broken, but luckily I have a fallback option because despite my survey here only a couple of months ago there remain a number of required ticks in Walton Vale.  So let's head on to a post war classic of a building.

I emerged from the Black Bull into the sunshine to find a sea of flashing blue lights.  Are my plans to be broken again?  The road was closed to cars, with all three emergency services attending a car crash, but pedestrians were free to proceed so I soon reached the Windsor where I took the opportunity to snap a picture without the usual heavy traffic in front:

I remember being in here on a wet Sunday afternoon years ago, enjoying a pint of cask Tetley in a deserted pub.

Once again, a popular busy traditional boozer, and once again gentle background music is mostly masked by cheerful chatter.  The interior looks particularly well cared for, is that fresh paint I can smell?  Brand new or not, everything is beautifully maintained.

I selected a seat by the front windows to drink my third Carling so I could see what was happening in the street.  Soon the crisis was over and traffic flow was restored.

I looked round.  Every table I could see was occupied, so in the 2020s this counts as a busy pub.  They are obviously doing something right here, I hope they continue.

Next, not far away is Joey Orrs:

A very nicely done traditional boozer once again.  This one is perhaps a little more distinctive, decor wise, the dark green wallpaper with leaves and flowers combining with green matchboarding on the walls and counter front to create an excellent style.

There was some kind of buffet food arrangement in the rear of the large open space, I couldn't discern whether this was a function or open to everyone if they paid.

I sat in "Frank's Corner" to enjoy another Carling, hoping that Frank wouldn't turn up and claim his table.  Not quite as busy as the Windsor here, so if he did I could move elsewhere.

I watched the chef prepare a large bowl of chips and sniggered as he ate one before heading out to deliver it to the appropriate customers.  Somewhat to my surprise, it was his lunch and he adjourned to a free table to scoff the giant portion.

I consulted Google to see if I could tick the Orrell Park Bar which is mainly a function suite, and up popped the L9 Sports Bar.  If it exists then this could be a first visit...

The sign outside says L9 Lounge so I think that's the correct name, let's get a brand new tick:

Inside this shop conversion is a rather well done bar.  Rough wood cladding on the walls, with comfortable looking bench seats along the walls, the transformation has been done very well.

This is not a CAMRA-style micro, no cask ale so I had my fifth Carling of the day .  They did appear to have a better than average offer of lagers, such as Cruzcampo.

Ticking over nicely, but not full, so I managed to get a table.

I wonder how long this place has been going.  [Streetview shows it opened after July 2019 and before September 2022.] It is great to see new operations, I hope it does better than Jaxxon's which only lasted a couple of years.  There was a steady stream of people in and out which must bode well for the long term survival.

As with all today's pubs, the sound in here was piped music with chatter on top.

After a shaky start today's research turned out rather well, especially with the new tick in a bar I didn't know existed.

Is Fazakerley really a one pub town now, or was I just unlucky with opening times?

Pub of the day: L9 Lounge because it was an unexpected bonus.
Beer of the day: Carling
Miles walked: 1.8
Maybe coming soon: Bebington


  1. As far as I know, the Foresters and the 'George' are both still open! But you've also walked right past the Avenue Lounge Bar down Longmoor (on the Forester's side; rather diagonal to the Longmoor Social Club). You also never quite made it to Von's Bar (just a few yards beyond the L9 Bar on Moss Lane; same side). Also! After being obliterated during an air raid, the Windsor was re-built and reopened in the late 1940s- I think it was in 1948- defo still a classic and now newly refurbished, either way! Lastly, the Carlton Club has partly reinvented the splendid but former cinema and bingo hall of the same name- although I believe it tends to open for Saturday cabaret's and special functions only. Meanwhile, the ex-Jaxons is going to reopen soon, after a lengthy refurbishment.
    PS. This is the one of the best websites in known existence. A proper treasure- keep it up!! All the best from James.

    1. Oh dear, I didn't do very well on that survey, did I! Very annoying to actually walk past the Avenue Lounge without noticing, and I hadn't even had a drink at that point.