Original post here
A sad visit on our way back home; The Imperial closed later this evening, with J D Wetherspoon citing it as a commercial decision.
The Imperial has been there since 1997 or so, and I remember a bet with my other half that it would be there more than x years, (where x was either five or 10, we cannot recall). It lasted nearly 20 in the end, and despite it being just a ‘spoons, I will be sorry to see it go. handy for the bus station (especially as the toilets there are closed at night 🙂 ), and a little quieter than the nearby St Matthew’s Hall, it always seemed to be doing an OK trade to me. I just hope some new use can be found for the building.
A by-the-numbers chain pub. Nothing awful but nothing great either: typical chainpub menu, cheapish drinks, central location. Staff pleasant, but otherwise nothing of note at all.
We’d got lost looking for something, and were tired from the previous day’s walking, so a brief pistop with soft drinks. Another Greene King pub that they hadn’t fucked up, which was nice, Pleasant staff, food looked good, nice atmosphere. Can’t comment on the beer.
Fullers pubs are not common in my part of the world, with the Old Joint Stock being the sole one nearby, and our only other experience being The Mad Hatter in that London.
Fullers do a nice job of chain pub: tidy enough, good food, good beer, and this was the case here: we visited twice, eating once, and both visits were pleasant. Even the televised sport didn’t intrude, and the staff were great.
Corporation St, Birmingham City Centre:
It’s a ‘spoons. A busy ‘spoons. Move along, nothing to see here, but handy for the bus.
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.
Another by-the-numbers food pub, this time a Fayre & Square. Pretty quiet when we arrived at getting on for 10pm, it’s after the family feedbag market, and is very typically a feedbag pub, with owner Greene King’s beer in evidence. A bit soulless again, but not actually unpleasant, and convenient for my bus and Andy’s walk home.
Andy’s log here.
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.
This was a traditional pub, overlooking the bay, as per it’s Google Maps description. I suppose it still is, but it’s been hit with the Greene King pubco stick of Old English Inns.
By no means bad, but it’s got the middle-class-green, the over-polished lanterns outside, and the pubco-slick but trying to be pally food menu. As it was, the food was OK, but a little expensive and not exceptional, the beer not bad at all, and the staff were fine; it just lacked atmosphere a bit.
A by-the-numbers family feedbag spoons-a-like. Not too bad considering, with OK beer, and pretty decent food and staff. No atmosphere, of course, but perfectly acceptable.
Andy’s log here.