Original post here.
Shire Oak, Brownhills:
The Shire Oak has had a bit of a chequered history in the last year or two, with changes of landlord and very much in need of a refurb, so it’s good to see it open again.
That refurb has been completed, so I took a hobble up to see what’s gone on.
It’s a fairly standard pubco makeover, but it looks smart and clean- the refurb was needed, but a bit of atmosphere has gone (I overheard other customers saying the same). The famously upside-down Fleur de Lys walpaper has gone too, and the seperate bar and lounge have gone; the bar area is still there, which is good, but the only demarcation is a hard floor instead of carpet. Sadly, the current fad for tall tables and stools has made it here too: awkward and uncomfortable. There’s a big focus on food- the lounge area is mostly set out for dining.
There were several ales advertised, but only one available, but it was OK, and there was a fair choice of industrial lager, and some variety in the fridges (BrewDog Punk IPA, for example), but the choice for drivers was a bit limited as far as I could see, which seems odd for a pub on a major road junction with a full car park.
All in all, not a bad pub, and very busy. The staff were pleasant, and the beer OK. I’ll be going back, but I’ll miss the old pub.
Lovely. The star of the evening, I’d last been in here over 10 years ago, when Andy lived nearby. It’s changed a little- the room out back has got bigger, I think, but it’s still a multi-room, traditional pub. It’s a Black Country Taverns pub, and one of the better ones, with atmosphere as well as the usual great beer.
Just over the way from The Bridge, this was a different matter. Traditional, real ale, friendly (to the point of offering free samosas) and a nice place, even with a few kids about for the Bonfire Night celebrations.
Lane Head, Short Heath:
Mixed feelings about this. The locals were a bit hostile, but the landlord friendly. The pub looks nice outside, but inside has suffered a by-the-numbers Punch Taverns makeover. Also there was no ale, as “it didn’t sell”, so we suffered Yardbird– at over 4 quid a pint. Not an awful pub, but not my kind of place.
Traditional drinkers pub, but the rougher type. No ale, no decent lager, so choosing a drink was hard, and not the most welcoming place either. We didn’t linger, as apart from anything else, the loud-looking disco was being set up.
A diversion due to logistical re-jigging saw us here by car, as it’s a bit out of town for public transport. Worth the effort though: lovely, traditional, timbered pub with great beer and atmosphere. A shame we had to move on, especially to The Swan.
Original post here.
Rumours of its demise seemed to have been exaggerated.
The Four Crosses is back open. There’s a lick of paint, but otherwise it is as if it never closed; same landlord, but a new owner of the building. The rumour is that the care home will still be built, which if it went for anything like the asking price, wouldn’t be a surprise.
Whatever, I’m happy to enjoy it. Nice atmosphere, great beer, and good prices too. The Indian food disappeared some time ago, but otherwise all the same. Long may it continue.
A by-the-numbers Marstons feedbag pub, but fairly pleasant for it. A bit soulless, and the beer was a bit lacking IMO, but there was a choice of ale and there were other people just drinking, as well as us. Nothing special, but could be a lot worse.
Andy’s log here.
The start of Short Heath phase 1 of 100 pubs. This is Andy’s manor, and there’s sufficient for 2 visits.
I fist walked into the lounge- Andy was dropping the car at a relative’s nearby- and there was a private party, so I nipped round to the bar. The place looks to have been refurbed recently, and was quite smart and pleasant, and the locals were friendly. Sadly the Trooper ran out, but the HPA was good, and it was a nice place to start the evening.
Andy’s log here.
AKA The Prince Blucher. A magnificent building, with tiled facade, high ceilings, and original etched windows in places. The front room was loud, but the back room was pleasantly quiet. No ale, sadly, but staff friendly enough. Could be a great pub, but currently not my thing.