We headed here at about 8pm on a Tuesday, expecting it to be closed. Every other time we’ve been past it’s been either closed or there was a fee on the door to get in, normally an automatic disqualification (Ok, we also went past on our February blowout, but they wisely refused us entry). None of us had visited this since it was Bertie’s back in the day.
From the front door you walk along a narrow passage lined with rugby press clippings etc, only to find yourself beneath the unexpectedly large vaulted ceiling that must be one of the main archways under George IV Bridge. It’s a pretty long room with a lower area sporting a pool table (or two?) at the entrance end and a few steps up into the main bar area itself. The ceiling is clad with corrugated steel throughout, giving it a bomb shelter appearance, but most of that is then covered in framed rugby and maybe hurling shirts. There are sneaky mirrors at the far end which initially gives the impression that the room is even bigger. Numerous large booths with fitted leather seats and frosted glass dividers give it some pub-like features. It’s certainly an interesting space.
For the second time in one night we were the only punters, in fact the staff even seemed a little surprised to see us. I’ve no doubt it gets busier, hence the fee on the door later in the evenings to keep the riff-raff out.
It was great to hear Dinosaur Jr. and Rage Against The Machine on the stereo, you don’t get them very often; they remind me of good times. There was also The Cure, early Green Day, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and the White Stripes. We were enjoying all of the above until one of the members of staff changed it over to some random “R&B” of the modern variety (i.e. with no actual rhythm or blues qualities).
Something that hasn’t changed since the Bertie’s days, the ceiling can get a bit drippy due to condensation on the cold stone/steel mass of the bridge above. We noticed one or two drips, but once the bodies start piling in later in the evening and the air gets a bit more humid, I anticipate that getting more pronounced.
Only kegs on tap: Guinness, Tennent’s Lager, Weihenstephaner, Heverlee, Carling, Riegeler (Pils?), Fuerstenberg, Caledonia Best, Magners and Orchard cider. There were various bottled beers including a few German imports.
The unexpected German contingent in the beer selection was probably because they had decided to support Germany in the World Cup. You may also have noticed all the German flags in the photo above.
The round cost £25.15 for 3 pints, a bottle of Corona, a coke and 5 bags of crisps. That seems pretty pricey in retrospect, or maybe my notes are wrong. Even assuming £1 for a bag of crisps, £2.50 for the coke and £3.50 for the Corona, that’s still £4.72 per pint. There’s that, and yet Gav managed to blag a free cup of tea somehow.
Nothing but crisps, nuts etc.
Pool table, dance floor, big screen for sport.
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