Saturday 1 June 2024

Allerton Road

Today I headed to Allerton Road, where I might be able to get a new tick or two.  I started at the Blackburne Arms Allerton:

I ordered a pint of Tetley.  "Mug OK?" asked the barman.  He reported he'd had a group of people in last night who had objected to the dimples.  I told him I slightly preferred a straight glass but it wasn't important, the beer still tastes the same. 

A pleasant shop conversion, nothing like the main branch in town.  Modern styling including a steel staircase and the usual exposed air conditioning ducts.

I haven't had a pint of Tetley Bitter for years, it was very good.  Where is it brewed now? 

They are aiming more at the diners here, with cutlery on every table, but I was welcome to order a pint at the bar and sit at one of the tables in a comfy chair (Some tables have bench seats, but not this one.)  There is also space upstairs which I didn't look at.

At one on a Saturday trade was slow, with only about three other customers, I suppose it's still early.  More came in as I enjoyed my ale.

Just a couple of doors down is the Allerton, but the shutters were down.

Is it still operational, I wonder?  Google says it opens at twelve on a Saturday, clearly it didn't today.  So that's my second new tick of the day failed.

So, over the road where I skipped the John Brodie because I was there last November.  Next door is the Allerton Oak:

I've not been in here since 2000, so I think we can say it's overdue.  Back then it was called New York and had an American theme, pleasantly done.  The only things I can remember is that it was peaceful after being deafened in what was then Yates' next door, and there was a long rotating shaft along the ceiling with multiple blades providing an unusual and effective fan for the whole room.

Moving back to 2024, there were only two other customers in the nicely decorated room, and there's also a mezzanine with lots of tables, but a velvet rope prevented access to the stairs.

I was surprised to discover a pint of Carling costs 50p more at the weekend.  Is this common, I wonder?  Ninety nine times out of a hundred I wouldn't know, I only discovered it here because the barmaid told me the price and then corrected herself with "no, wait, it's Saturday".

This is a down market pub but in line with the 2020s norms, it is clean, tidy and well looked after, with not a hint of the scruffiness one might have found in this sort of place twenty years ago.  Well done, keep it up.

I looked around, could I be the youngest person in the pub?  (Not if you count the barmaid who is significantly younger than I.)

Next, the Square.  This one is either closed or I walked straight past it.  My scribbled pre-flight notes already said "Not a pub? May be closed" so I won't be panicking about this failure.

On to the Penny Lane:

Previously known as the Penny Lane Wine Bar, I was last here in 2018, when I seem to recall it was a little tired.  I also noted that no one was drinking wine.  In 2024 the outside and the multi room interior are very well done and maintained.

The Beatle memorabilia on the wall seems to include some handwritten lyrics to Penny Lane, complete with crossings out.  Surely a fake or reproduction, I would have thought if genuine it would be worth six figures at least.

I had a pint of Penny Lane lager here, I wonder who brews it.   The tap badge is silent on that subject, and doesn't give a strength either.  More flavoursome than my usual Carling, and a somewhat paler colour.  I noticed they also sell a Glen Affric brew called Bevvie Across The Mersey, I don't often see beers from this Birkenhead brewery when I'm out and about.

Now, along the world famous Penny Lane to the Dovedale Towers:

The wonderful interior here, all "fake" I think, but great fun, is looking a little tired in places and the seat I sat on was certainly in need of re-covering.

The two handpumps were not in use, so I had a pint of one of my favourite "common keg beers" Beavertown's Neck Oil.  I noticed they also had two other less often seen beers from the same brewery.

A steady trickle of customers approached the counter, but not enough to keep the four bar staff busy.

I perused the menu; breakfast looks good (Served until three, maybe I should have one!) and after that the pub standards include fish and chips, £15.50.  I'm always a little suspicious of a place that serves fish and chips with "pea puree", this is just affectation in a failed attempt to seem POSH, I'm sure everyone knows what mushy peas are.

One more?  Back on Allerton Road, or is it Smithdown Road by now, is Arthur Guinness:

Formerly Jalons, Grog House, and Dirty Nellies, this place doesn't seem to have changed to any great extent under its latest name although I've not been here since 2018, two names ago. 

A pleasant multi-area boozer with a subtle Irish theme, a lot busier than all my previous ticks with a couple of large pub crawl groups (The one with a number of young ladies departed as I arrived, I'm sorry to report) and plenty of other customers.

Given the name, I could only have Guinness here, of course.

The background music moved on to an instrumental version of Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.  I'm ashamed to admit I'm only familiar with this rock classic thanks to the Simpsons!  I really must add it to my "record" (or CD, download, etc) collection. 

Time for home I think...

Pub of the day: Allerton Oak
Beer of the day: Tetley Bitter 
Miles walked: 1.6
Maybe coming soon: Cantril Farm, Bebington

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