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About jackanderton

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  1. There must be something we can do to stop owners with their oh so superior design preference (which nearly always involves making a pub look like an exhibition room for a Laura Ashley catalogue or an abandoned warehouse) vandalising what should really be protected assets. Some of these pubs have fixtures and fittings that are works of art, fine craftsmanship. Unless you get Grade listing you can't do a thing if some chump comes along and wants to rip the place down and stuff it full of crappy oversized print wallpaper and union jack cushions.
  2. The Ball is probably the definition of mediocrity as far as pubs go. For years it's just sort of been there, a stop gap option. Doesn't really have much character for a neighbourhood pub. Granted, whenever you're trying to please as many people as possible the offering gets watered down. That is the business strategy of The Ball and has been for a long time. Princess / Cobden View / Hallamshire / Closed Shop are by far the best pubs in the area and even if all those closed down tomorrow I'd rather walk to the Blake than waste time among the sticky tables and dog eared menus of The Ball. I spend a fair amount of time around Crookes even after moving out of the area and not once have my friends or I even mentioned The Ball in passing as being a potential option, that's how far out of being remotely appealing a prospect it is to us,
  3. - Bland and uninspired decor leaves it without a distinct identity - Very poor choice of tapped beer at high prices by Sheffield standards - Sky Sports, I suppose, which distinguishes it from other bars in the area, in a good or bad way depending on your point of view Imagine being surrounded by great pubs and amazing beers and then choosing to go there. I bet it will stay pretty busy though, people with no imagination and too much money need somewhere to go as well.
  4. Just had a look. Potentially interesting given the location, the mock graffiti sign outside which conjures up images of all the scuzzy bars in Neukolln district in Berlin, but seems to be disappointingly bland and uninspired looking inside. Vintage filament light bulbs - check lazy print symbol decor - check Can't determine for definite but there seems to be no cask beer and what is on the taps looks distinctly uninteresting too. Hopefully it will gain some character with age (if it doesn't go out of business during the first year) (sorry for all the negativity, but when you've seen so many....)
  5. If they are obsessed with projecting beardy craft credentials they won't do any soft furnishings as that would ruin it for them. Never mind us of course, the actual customers.
  6. No issues with the food or the prices but the environment for me was spoilt with the refurbishment. The decor is too garish and loud, seems to rub off on the behaviour of some in there. Could be a good pub in the right hands.
  7. Sorry yes I was trying not to come across as a curmudgeon.... There's a happy medium though - the concentration of gimmick pale ales, porters and stouts becomes as monotonous as mainstream lager and Green King. Whenever I look at these beer lists there's routinely a lack of red ale, brown ale, English bitter, dark mild, dark lager, wheat beer - its either tropical pale ales of various kinds or maltbomb stouts with gimmick editions. There's no way of saying this without coming across as a stick in the mud, but that's the position I'm in.
  8. Far more to life (and beer) than pale ale, porter and stout, regardless of what gimmicks you throw in.
  9. The trouble with moving the goalposts is that great clunking sound it makes that attracts everyone's attention If you prefer not going to traditional pubs in the city centre then that's your call but it has nothing to do with what is being discussed. Likewise, the choice isn't simply between traditional country pubs and bars as you've framed, there are many in betweens. The luncheon bar Whitelocks you would never find in the sticks, likewise the various Victorian era city pubs dotted about. They all have their own atmosphere and it isn't a binary choice. Sheffield is considerably better for pubs and real ale while Leeds is better for bars, cocktails and craft beer, but at a push you could do one in the other. Uncontroversial opinion I'd have thought.
  10. Haha.. just no... Long term Leeds resident and former long term Sheffield resident here, and that's way, way off the mark. Leeds certainly has a better range of bars but we're doing badly for traditional pubs in comparison to Sheffield. Let's see: Whitelocks 5* The Adelphi 4* The Grove 5* The Angel 5* The Templar 4* The Garden Gate 4* The Chemic 5* The Red Lion 4* The Eagle Tavern (even then not even that great) 3* The Fenton - student pub 4* The Pack Horse - student pub 4* ...The Cross Keys...possibly 4* Nearly all the rest on offer are generic 3* pubs, or worse. I already named 12 5* quality traditional pubs in Sheffield above.
  11. That's interesting to learn. Presumably the owners don't tinker with the venue too much, in the same kind of way Greene King like to.
  12. Would agree with the comments regarding Beer Engine. There are some nice shaped pub rooms but it's like all the potential pub character has been whitewashed. The décor is a little too bland and the beer a little too dear. I still rate it highly though. My top 3 would be) 1) Fagans - partly sentimental but it is the quintessential family-run pub. Warm welcome, simple fresh food, total lack of the generic and the mass produced. Great homely atmosphere when the music is on and is just as pleasant whether it's quiet going on dead or bustling busy. 2) Red Deer - always amazing atmosphere, friendly staff and locals. Cosy seats, plenty to do. A younger crowd but still feels like Sheffield 3) Fat Cat - you can't really look past it can you? Immune to gentrification and happy in its own shoes. Great value and some really nice rooms. The kind of pub every town needs but sadly many towns are missing. -- Close runs: 4) Cobden View - a true neighbourhood pub with loads of amenities and events and local characters 5) Shakespeares - I laughed when I read someone above describe it as a 'hole', but it just shows it takes all sorts. It's a traditional characterful tavern with a great choice of beers both simple and fancy at fair prices. Down to earth, carefully rickety and old, and like a lot of great pubs has cosy bits and spacious bits. 6) Bath Hotel - I don't like Thornbridge for its political associations or the position of the dartboard, but this has always been a great place and it retains a lot of its historic character. They don't make them like this anymore. 7) White Lion - One of the most atmospheric pubs in the city. Snugs, partitions, lots of events, amazing preserved interior. What's not to love? 8 ) Sheaf View - Great pub, the instant feel that those involved love and appreciate pubgoing. A great balance, being traditional and simple without pretending it's Beamish (like a lot of Sam Smiths pubs do) 9) The Blake - simplicity defined 10) The Harlequin - they could improve the bar area which lacks a bit of structure and character but the food and drink is fantastic and it has an atmosphere you can't bottle, much as you'd wish to. 11) Rutland Arms - wish this pub could be bigger as its a hike to anywhere else if you can't get a seat, but nevertheless it drums up a hell of an atmosphere 12) The Three Tuns - it does have an interesting shape outside but it is a bit pokey inside, and not in the characterful way you'd think. Nevertheless I find it a peaceful boozer during the day and quite an atmospheric one at night.
  13. Brown Bear - £2 a pint for Sam Smiths Old Brewery Bitter Shakespeares - £2.50 for Stancill Barnsley bitter Both atmospheric traditional pubs...then onto...oooh... One of the awful city centre Wetherspoons - I'd probably favour the Benjamin Huntsman over the Bankers Draft - yikes that place is depressing - but this is the cheapest nights out topic, and you can still get beer in spoons for £1.99 a pint/can/bottle. Sometimes they flog craft beer under 'Managers Special' for £1.49 - keep an eye out! But yeah, one of the good things about Sheffield is being able to still have a full night out on £15-£20.
  14. The last regime in the Brown Bear was run with a grimace. I have no problem with a clean pub but they used to clean the entire room after virtually each customer left. It felt like being in a café - sterile. Be interested to see if it's run by someone with a clue - It's still a great place - if you want to listen to real conversation from people who have led interesting, totally different lives to most people post-pit closures this is still the place to come. As for Sam Smiths beers - they do seem to split opinion but the old brewery is as good a cask bitter as any, the stout is the best price vs. performance in the country and their wheatbeer is exceptional value and comes somewhere near to being a credible Hefeweizen. The fruit beers and stronger stuff in bottles have a good reputation too. People tend to slag off Sam Smiths beers because their various lagers - Alpine, Taddy, Pure Brewed, Double Four, Organic are all bad. Taddy probably being the only one you could have more than 1 of in one sitting. Viva The Brown Bear. A calm cheap refuge from the city centre.
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