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Everything posted by jackanderton

  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.
  15. Price vs. Performance The sense that what you paid versus how much you enjoyed it made it worth doing rather than eating at home. As for how I find these places - a mixture of the usual places mentioned above, plus google, going to the website directly if possible, and word of mouth from friends and family - although I find this the least reliable.
  16. Again - a pretty open ended question - what is your idea of fun? If it's dancing, evening dance classes? If it's board games - a board game club Etc etc If what you meant was - where can I go to socialise where I feel less out of place/less pressure to be drunk - then the answer is a normal down to earth pub where people hold normal conversations, rather than a bar or a club which has a different tempo, and where you have to shout over the music to be heard. Somewhere like the Cobden View in Crookes where you can sit and read, play board games, have a conversation, listen to some folk music, watch the telly, play pool, sit in the garden. Of course - those would have to fit into your idea of fun!
  17. Well yeah, the freshness of the beer is another thing, but it's not like it's gone off by the time Wetherspoons are pouring it. Never going to be an extra £1.40's worth just for the difference between normal and pristine.
  18. Variety is the spice of life but it gets offensive when they vandalise pubs with original features, as most of the time these are simply never coming back once the axe falls.
  19. That was hiding in my list but thanks for the rest - I've heard of the first 5 but not been yet! Excellent stuff
  20. Often the previous owners or the freeholder of the land can raise objections. The reopening of The Blake years back hit trouble because Enterprise Inns raised (unfair) objections that the plan to reopen the place breached a covenant in the title deeds. Thankfully that was overcome with an epiphany of common sense. Also, those interested in opening and running a pub will be happy to do so if the costs are lower across the road. Many will take that option over the often far more costly option of restoring old pubs, as it also gives them carte blanche to decorate the place however they desire (often to our detriment ). As long as pub owners learn to give their new pub character and identity, steer clear of obviously dodgy trends (the kind that London got sick of 10 years ago) and make a homely place to be in, frankly I don't care whether they take over a brothel or pointlessly set up next door to a boarded up pub. The quality of the place itself is what matters. Restoration jobs are nice but having a good pub of any kind on the corner of your street is the main thing.
  21. It's because BrewDog value their core customers so much they - largely correctly - assume they are conformist little fanboys who will buy anything they slap their label on. Opening their own chain of bars is essentially a captive audience. This is why many of their bars even feature a clothes rack so you can get your own checked shirt and fisherman's hat. Conformity - Punk or what!? Nah, seriously though, we live in a world where loyalty is now abused instead of rewarded, and although BrewDog is hateable for all sorts of reasons, they are hardly alone in following this ethos. Punk IPA is £3.99 a pint in my nearest Wetherspoons which seems reasonable if it's your favourite tipple/you are after a good beer for a good price.
  22. Depends what sort of thing you like really doesn't it? I know people over 40 who still prefer loud places to traditional pubs. You should help us out, narrow it down a little! In lieu of any extra info I am forced to be ageist and assume you don't want to be in places with loud music and mainly under 30s: Social day drinking: - Sheffield Tap at the train station. Grand interior and enormous range of drinks. Other than the slightly expensive prices and occasionally crowded bar it's a good all-round option. - Sheaf View - great beer garden, popular with different generations, simple and homely, good likelihood of a seat. - The Francis Newton - Wetherspoons in a modern 'Inn' type building near the botanical gardens - as you'd expect - generic, anodyne and harmless, but a very pleasant view from the beer garden nonetheless. - Devonshire Cat - a very much middle class/middle aged place these days, uninteresting décor and expensive but a very strong selection of drinks - Kelham Island Tavern - famous brewery tap but will likely be rammed Quieter spots: - The Three Tuns - quirky shaped pub with traditional ales and a calmer environment - The Dog & Partridge - a very traditional pub with comfortable surroundings - The Gardeners Rest - away from the bustle in town, traditional glorious pub - The Blake Hotel - if you fancy a walk up a steep hill there's one of the best pubs in the city at the top of it - The Brown Bear - if you're prepared for that timewarp effect that accompanies stepping into lots of Sam Smiths pubs.
  23. Fake, generic and aiming squarely at a towny audience. What could go wrong? Any place serving Guinness Extra Cold (as this place almost certainly will, modus operandi: kill any remaining flavour so it appeals to people terrified of flavours who still want to feel Irish for half an hour) has no business calling itself an Irish bar, or even Irish-themed. Go to Fagans for the live music. It's not an Irish pub but it's a legitimate folk music pub run by a couple who know what they're doing, and the kind of tasteful neighbourhood pub you actually get out in ROI instead of these horrendous cut and paste places.
  24. I'm talking about places that are down-to-earth - a little worn but lived in, comfortable, characterful and homely. They have that certain something pubco's don't understand when they take over, and a lot of paying customers aren't bothered to spend time worrying about the fact that these type of places are a dying breed. Please try and avoid suggesting pubs with too much generic décor or dodgy interior design choices that have ruined the character of a place. Anything that looks like someone has spent too much time pawing through Laura Ashley catalogues, basically. A lot of historic pubs may be historic but too often there's little trace left! These kind of pubs aren't a thing Sheffield struggles with (that'd be Leeds ) but nevertheless, I'd like to be aware of any pubs I may have missed out. Why? So I can pop down there for a drink of course! I don't profess to have an encyclopaedic knowledge, and it'll become clear which areas I visit a lot - but think these are the most special places out there in the city for a drink. Please help fill the gaps if you can think of any others! (Quality/range of beer isn't the be all and end all here - eg. Fagans is an amazing pub but with a crap beer selection) Kelham Island/Neepsend Fat Cat Gardeners Rest Harlequin Shakespeares Wellington City Centre The Bath Hotel Dog & Partridge Fagans Rutland Arms The Brown Bear The Red Deer The Three Tuns University Arms (just about sneaks on) Crookes/Crookesmoor Cobden View The Closed Shop (back up to scratch) Hallamshire House (formerly more homely but still decent) Princess Heeley Brothers Arms Sheaf View The White Lion Highfield Beer Engine (could use a bit more décor but has very snug side rooms) The Cremorne Endcliffe/Greystones Greystones Inn Walkley The Blake Hillsborough The New Barrack A few I considered but didn't quite make the cut: The Grapes, Nottingham House, Fox & Duck, Broomhill Tavern - Are you getting the idea? I must have missed a load elsewhere in the city, surely - please spread the word for your favourite cosy local!
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