We’d been to the Christmas Market in Brownhills, which was nice, and popped in for a pint. It’s been a few years since we’ve been in, and it’s been refurbed in that time. It’s still a backstreet drinkers pub, with no ale, but the lager was OK and the atmosphere was friendly. There’s still a few panes of the historic William Roberts Brewery glass left too.
A while ago, the pub had a half-hearted makeover that made it worse: it felt even more like a clubhouse. I’m glad to say that’s been fixed: the pub looks smart and feels modern and welcoming, and there’s new outside furniture too. It’s also gained real ale, which is very welcome, and food.
…which is where I was disappointed.
At time of writing, the website says food is served 12:00-20:00, and I’m told if you view on an iPad, it says light bites available up to 14:30. The sign outside says “food every day”.
Either way, having settled down with an (to be fair, excellent) pint, it was dissapointing to be told the kitchen had closed when I tried to order food at 14:01, so we drank up and went back down to the bustling centre of Walsall Wood and the Boatman’s Rest. Shame really, we’d have been set up for the afternoon…
It’s still a nice pub. Great real ale, pretty good (rather than excellent) food. It’s a traditional backstreet pub, out of the way, but popularity has caught up with it, so it can be a struggle getting served or finding a seat, though they do take table reservations.
I’ve always liked the Swan. It’s a traditional community pub in Brownhills, and as I posted here it’s just re-opened. It’s now a free house, so hopefully the new owners will be able to make a decent living and keep the prices realistic.
The new owners have done a cracking job: the interior has been redecorated and looks fresh, but still traditional. There’s cobs (yay!), a good welcome, and a good selection of beer at decent prices, including 2 well-kept cask ales. A very nice pub.
The Hussey Arms has had another refurb. As commented both in my original post and here by Brownhills Bob, it’s had many ups and downs, which is a shame.
Anyway, it’s latest incarnation is Greene King’s Hungry Horse brand, according to the site:
Hungry Horse pubs and restaurants can be found throughout the UK. All of our pubs have an enviable reputation for great value food, a friendly warm welcome (especially for families and kids), and many have facilities such as pool tables and large-screen TVs. So whether you want to watch the football, have a family meal or just enjoy a pint of IPA, Old Speckled Hen, lager or Abbot, choose a Hungry Horse – you’ll always be welcome.
Which is already sounding like mixed blessings to me. It’s not my thing, really.
My take? It’s a large, modern-decorated, Moe’s Family Feedbag type pub. There’s lots of standard pub-food type stuff at very good prices (and it was OK), and a selection of Greene King ales (based on my smaple, well kept). The staff were pleasant enough too.
It’s ‘family freindly’, which set of alarm bells, but there’s a play area to keep kids quiet(er). It was, really, OK. It’s churlish to complain about things that you should be prepared for, and the place has it’s good points. I personally reckon this incarnation might just be successful.