Original Post Here
Over 10 years on, it’s time for a repost.
I observed then that it had had a variable past; once part of the Firkin chain, and a succession of landlords, and then short periods of closure. It’s now open, lightly refurbed, and great. It’s still got character, the landlord is friendly (giving us paper towels after we got caught ina rainstorm on the walk up), and the beer is sublime, both in condition and choice. There’s a variety of ages, or at least there was when we visited late afternoon/early evening- I suspect the customer profile would get younger later.
Previous post here.
Look, I’m probably going to upset people, including myself, here.
don’t like The Fountain. Often don’t like The Fountain.
There’s so much to love. It’s traditional, it’s Victorian, and it’s a free house now, even if the excellent beers from my favourite brewery still form the base of the range. The beer is excellent, and there’s cobs. The music is OK and usually at a sane volume. The staff are all lovely, and there’s sometimes a pubcat.
So what’s wrong?
Every time I visit, unless it’s a very quiet time, there’s one or more group of obnoxious customers. The middle-class closet rascist bar-blocking group, standing in the way all the time. The hipster types talking bollocks about the Spanish revolution, the hipster parents turning the place into a creche-cum-playground.
It ruins it. I think maybe there’s a bit of “victim of it’s own success” here.
Just within sight of Morris Miner and named after his official name, this is a new micropub (it opened a week ago) in a old photography shop on Brownhills High St.
Brownhills does have good pubs, but the only ones right near the centre are the Shoulder of Mutton or Smithy’s Forge. I quite like the Shoulder, but there’s no ale there, and the nearby Smithy’s Forge is a fairly dreadful family feedbag, so the best chance of a decent pint of ale has either been Backyard’s taproom or The Swan. The taproom has limited hours, and the Swan, while excellent, is a walk out of town, so a the new micro is very welcome, being very close to the bus.
Inside, it’s typical micropub, but a bit larger than some. Unsurprisingly there’s Backyard beer on, and I think I overheard the landlord say he’s intending to keep one on permanently. That and the HPA were in excellent condition. There’s music, but it’s bearable and not loud, rather like The Turtle’s Head. No food beyond snacks and cobs.
All in all, very pleasant. I’d held off visiting last week as I thought it might be rammed, and it was just pleasantly busy (but filling up) as I left.
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 revisit of a revisit: Last post here, original here.
This gets another repost because it’s been refurbed. This did set off alarm bells- I was fearing a pubco makeover and associated loss of character,but my fears were unfounded. There’s been a bit of re-ulpholstery, some new chairs, and repainting and revarnishing, but the pub retains it’s character and soul- it’ still the same Trough, just smartened up a bit. There’s still ale and rock music, too.
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.
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.
Just around the corner from The Pretty Bricks, we’d passed this plenty of times, so it was time for a visit. Suprisingly large inside, it had the atmosphere of a working man’s club or snooker club to me, but it was clean, bright, and the barmaid was pleasant. No ale, or lager I’d want to drink, sadly, so ended up with Guinness.
Disturbingly the chosen meet-up place for a recent BNP march, we approached this a bit warily, but all was peaceful inside. Landlord was amiable, too. No ale, despite the signage outside, and the pint of Worthington was vinegary, but changed without question. The (loud) Karaoke was just starting up, so we left pretty quickly. Not a great, or plush pub, but we were welcomed in.