Before you even get in the door, you can tell this place is a bit different. The sign outside reads “Pals, are you gonnae pish aboot aw day, or are you coming in?” Inside, we were welcomed with a big smile and a “hello” from the bar staff.
It’s quite a small wedge-shaped pub, but they make good use of the space with an upstairs section overlooking the bar (pictured at the foot of the page). There are old film posters and film-inspired artwork on the walls, quirky ornaments, framed tongue-in-cheek rules (or maybe they were serious, in which case anyone named John might want to get there early), and a general retro loucheness. It sounds a bit mad, but is instantly likeable.
You have to see it for yourself. It’s unique in the West End I think for the personal touches, friendliness and for not taking itself too seriously. I’ve only been in for one pint and already it’s a new favourite.
On cask they had Harviestoun Schiehallion, Stewart’s 80/- and Orkney Dark Island. On keg was Tennent’s Lager, Belhaven Best, Strongbow, Stella Artois, Budweiser Budvar, Red Stripe and Guinness. Lots of bottles too, and not just the usual big names: Little Creatures Pale Ale, Williams Brothers Joker IPA and Fraoch, West St Mungo, Orkney Dark Island, Timmermans Framboise, Chimay, and others I can’t make out in the photo, or don’t feel like mentioning cos they’re fairly common.
Our round was £15 for 4 pints, so about £3.75 per pint, though likely the one Guinness skewed that slightly upwards.
Perhaps the only drawback of the place, there’s nothing to eat but crisps etc. Och well, you can’t win them all.
Another pub with games and books, excellent. Two weeks in a row now we’ve found Operation in a pub, this time Simpsons Operation. It’s much harder than the one from last week as the holes are smaller.
There’s some interesting original artwork in the toilets, of all places. Pictured on the right is something titled “Apowakawaka (Aquila Lupus)”, a “huge winged wolf with its savage beak and talons is said to once have been held sacred by native North American people around the Great Lakes area” etc. I presume this is pure fiction, not actually any North American legend, as googling “Apowakawaka” brings up nothing, and the rest of the description gently pokes fun at the Amish. There are more like this, for example a 6ft sabre toothed bear on the cubicle door, a “Horned Nagapie” (bush baby/lamb hybrid) and other such chimera, all painted (or printed?) onto the walls directly, and all with their own humorous back story. There’s no mention of the artist anywhere. You have to see the rest to appreciate them, I thought I’d best not just put them all up online. I’ll need to take the missus along and get her to tell us about what’s in the ladies toilets.
The music on the stereo on this occasion featured The Cure, Jamiroqai, and other late 80s/90s goodness. They have regular DJs too and even the occasional sitarist (not satirist). I don’t know where they’d put them, maybe tucked in under the stairs or something.
There was a TV on with football showing, but it’s easy enough to find a spot where you can’t see the telly if you don’t want to.