Friday, April 1, 2011

No. 24 The Flookersbrook

Visited on 31/3/11. After the Beehive experience, it surely couldn't get any worse. Could it ? Well, no - but it didn't get much better. Formerly called the Ermine (and nicknamed 'the Vermine'), this is a big pub, but just two people were in it when we arrived. They both left immediately. We didn't expect any cask and we weren't pleasantly surprised, but I can't believe we drank keg John Smiths - this is real dedication to the cause, readers ! What puzzles me is how a pub can make any money with no customers ? Again, the 'adornments' suggest this is now a music venue, probably providing one pay day per week as a gathering place for patchouli drenched boneheads.


  1. Just read on CAMRA that comments weren't showing up on here, which would be a shame, but consider this a test...

    Hi. Just joined, love the blog and totally agree about this terrible pub
    and its terrible ale. The sad thing is, it could be a great place if run by someone who gives a shit. No like there's much decent competition in the immediate vicinity.

  2. There are so many things wrong about this post, Tarquel. The first is that you are suggesting by the tone of your blog, that the pub was a dreadful place that merely changed it's name. This either demonstrates a thorough lack of knowledge about the place, or you are being deliberately disingenuous just to suit your argument. You obviously have a problem with venues which play rock music - having slated The Beehive in your opening statement. And obviously have a problem with people who follow rock music - hence the (rather blinkered) label of 'patchouli drenched boneheads'. Please feel free to clearly identify yourself if you ever go in there, on a busy night (and NOT the night before pay-day, you arrogant cretin)so that we 'boneheads' can discuss your rather vile comments with you. Any local of Hoole will tell you, Lee Brooker has done a cracking job with the place. Anyone with genuine local knowledge that is. But, hey, by your own admittance, you are arrogant. I'd like to add ignorant...

  3. patchouli drenched boneheads.?...what a idiot you are i have drank in there on many occasion..had a great night every time Lee the landlord is a top bloke.. and the people there very can see some top bands and have a great rock night as well.. you are a complete idiot for making comments like that before you have even met the why don,t you come down there one night..and find out if we are boneheads you fool ..

  4. Ok. Let me have my 2p's worth. In frank openness I'll submit that I am friends with Robb (above) and know the Flookers well. I'll also be honest about what I think of the place...

    Firstly, you are correct about it being empty much of the time (from what I've seen while passing) and I tend to only go once in a blue moon now as I've found it getting more and more expensive (I tend to drink pepsi or cider and there are places in the centre of town where its almost £1 CHEAPER per pint.)

    The decor is perfect for its clientelle. It's a rock bar and if you're a rocker or a biker who has never been there before you instantly feel at home and get the impression that its your kind of place and that the owner knows his stuff and it isnt for show.
    Onto Lee Brooker, I dont know him all that well but every time ive seen him he's said hello and he seems a decent bloke. For me, thats a good landlord. I get the impression it wouldnt matter if id known him for two minutes or two decades he'd still say 'hiya'. Id say, just on the decor alone, that he 'gives a shit'.
    I'd be careful about criticising how things look, especially as you have a badly sized image of a closed down Peacock pub as your blogs background. This is mine: (see? just takes a little thought)

    There are some things that can be improved upon; the lowering of prices, outside heating, a place inside to sit and chat with your mates when a bands on so you can be heard. But it also has a lot going for it; mostly good bands, welcoming staff, a niche group of customers, and a place rock fans can call their own. This is vital as Chester has done everything they can to push rockers out of the city altogether in the last 30yrs.
    I can't say when I'll next go there (money being tight etc) but I've never regretted going there.

    So, before you go all 'indignant and camp' and start waving your handbag about and saying "bitch, please!"... try to be constructive with your reviews. List both good and bad. Be fair, not prejudicial. That way we can take your review seriously and make your account worth noting, instead of thinking you're just having a mince around town whinging at stuff in general.

    'Patchouli drenched boneheads' just shows how out of touch you are with the people, and establishment, on which you base this review.

  5. Dear Tarquel (lol)

    I find your comments rather insulting to A) Lee Brooker who does an amazing job running this pub & organising live bands twice a week plus the monthly hells bells rock disco. B) us the drinkers who are NOT boneheads. Please feel free to attend the pub esp on a friday or saturday night and introduce yourself to us boneheads!!!!!

  6. Dear sir having visited The Flookersbrook many times (I don't frequent it enough to call myself a regular) I would have to disagree with you on a lot of points, but I will leave most of them to the regulars to point out. What I would like to say from my point of view as someone who suffers with a disability that severely restricts my options to enjoy a night out with live music, I find The Flookersbrook a lot more enjoyable than your insult of a review indicates,the staff and regulars are a more than friendly, patient and understanding selection of colourful characters than most of the more trendy pubs/wine bars in Chester that I have visited and I enjoy viewing the various memorabilia on show around the establishment. It has easy access for me to enter and exit and I have enjoyed myself immensely the times I have visited there, the last being an amazing set by a group called Pink Floyd-ish who packed out the venue. Why you have decided on this character assassination on a great place to visit and enjoy I just don't know. Shame on you sir.

  7. I can't comment on the other pubs, but can certainly give you a review of Flookers Brook. While it doesn't appeal to those who have a snobbish attitude towards our city's public houses, it does to those who appreciate live music, reasonably priced beverages and a good atmosphere. The staff are friendly and always polite, it has a covered smoking area for those who need it and there is very very rarely any trouble like you see in some of the pubs in the city centre. As well as being a place for music lovers it's family friendly, comfortable and welcoming. As for it's lack of "real ale", it's not specifically a real ale pub, the majority of it's patronage go there simply because the like it. I found your comments highly offensive, I am a professional woman who frequents Flookers Brook on a regular basis, I can assure you I am not a " patchouli drenched bonehead".

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  9. As a resident of Nottingham I can't claim to be a regular of this venue (and indeed have only visited it once) but such blinkered reviews cause more damage to community pubs than any "patchouli drenched boneheads".

    I have been to every single pub you have reviewed and have been the only customer in The Brewery Tap, had bland insipid cask Marstons "Banks" Tetley (brewed in Wolverhampton, although its progeny is mentioned nowhere on the pumpclip showing that even the brewery are so embarrassed by this excuse for a once great ale that they actually lie about it) in The Ship Victory, been charged a fortune for a pint of Tim Taylor's Landlord in the Bear and Billet and been surrounded by utter meatheads in the appalling Town Crier. Would I visit them again? Yes, of course but then I will unquestionably be visiting Flookersbrook again next time I step off the train.

    The issue with your subjective opinions is that you appear to think that all pubs should be designed to suit you, yet the very things you berate this pub for are things I have experienced in other pubs you eulogise about (albeit I agree with your appraisal of B&B and SV). The point of any pub is to cater to its clientele - and F'Brook palpably positions itself as a music venue primarily for rock fans and as far as I can see does it well and that is a good thing in a town that is as musically starved as Chester. I accept to some that aiming at one genre can appear to be inflexible (but then if you want flexibility, Telford's offers that and proves it by being wedged right up its own arse) but nevertheless in an era where identikit pubco pubs are closing at an alarming rate, the management should be applauded for seizing the initiative and attempting to fill a niche otherwise absent in Chester.

    There are plenty of places to dribble your Gruttenfuck's Old Ballbag over a game of dominoes but merely patronising such places on a Thursday won't keep them open. Posting ill-informed, biased (based on your own tastes) reviews is another knife in the heart of a community (albeit one you don't appear to understand) and if the people that frequent this pub (and indeed the welcoming and friendly management) weren't made of sterner stuff, such reviews could certainly drive people to the supermarket for can's of "smoothflow".

    (I should note I like real ale. I like a game of arrers. I'm not a metalhead. I just like to see pubs do well and approach them with a more balanced view - and it's always nice to come across people that actually do care like the management and staff of this pub.)

  10. i`ll keep mine plain and simple......Nonce.

  11. After reading your very narrow minded veiw of this pub and us 'boneheads', my turn.
    ee at the Flookers Brook is one of the most hard working landlords that I know. Being in a band and playing the venue on several occasions we have got to know him well. The patrons of the pub are freindly, the staff helpful and polite and the landlord gives more than a 'shit' about the place.
    The fact that this 'rock' pub regularly pulls in people from North Wales and Cheshire says something about the fact that this niche market isn't being catered for elsewhere.
    As for your comment about us 'patchouli drenched boneheads'....well in your tweeds and slippers with your probably rather lovely smoking pipe, we probably do seem a little scary, well in fact we are not! You want to see idiots and drunken fights try one of the other more 'regular' establishments, because you certainly will not see it at this place. The customers there are music fans, who go there for the atmosphere, the music and the chance to have some down time from suits that are worn in the work. Oh and Patchouli??? please have you left the eighties yet, even the 'boneheads' move with the times....

  12. I have visited Flookers brook on many occasions, not just in the evenings, but also during the day with my three children for lunch, not only is there great atmosphere there but Lee and his wife are very friendly to all. There has never been any trouble in there unlike the city center pubs, and as a woman I feel safe going in there on my own to wait for friends. If whether somewhere serves 'real ale' is more important that whether the patrons feel welcome, safe and comfortable, then you are a very narrow minded person indeed, maybe before you write blogs in future you should visit somewhere more than once and on different nights/times of day, and actually find out what the locals think, you'd then get a more informed view of things!!!

  13. Well Tarquel (what kind of a name is that anyway?) what an odious judgemental sad human being you appear to be.

    Ive known Lee for more years than I care to remember and I can tell you no other publican gives as much heart and soul to his 'job' than he does. You see this is more than a job to him, but I guess you wouldn't understand the love of music and 'giving people what they want'.

    I also know most of Lee's regulars who you so charmingly title patchouli drenched boneheads. How original and insightful of oyu. Have you actually spoken to any of these people?, asked what they do for a living?. I can guarentee, you would be surprised (the word Bonehead is now taking ona new target).

    Before making unjust and uncalled for accusations, take the time to get your facts straight and be very careful what you call people on public never know a solicitor may be reading (get the hint?) more thing I suggest you grow up.

  14. Read this for what it is. An anonymous, ill informed review.

    Many pubs are empty for a few minutes at various points during the day.

  15. I have visited Flookers Brook only once, to attend a reunion do last year. Having got into the habit of not going out (for... 'cough' years) some of us were initially a bit dubious of going, however, the whole night was a fantastic experience. Not just from seeing old friends but also from the warm welcome we received from the regulars and staff; it was an extremely busy night there yet Lee took time to say 'hi' to us all. As you described for another pub that YOU liked Tarquel, Flookers Brook has friendly staff, good conversation and GREAT atmosphere, i would definitely recommend it, and have done, to anyone who enjoys this scene. Each to their own Tarquel, we all have varying tastes and opinions but what i find so offensive is that your own admitted arrogance has led you think that it's acceptable to make such nasty and bigoted remarks. A more apt title for you:- the Chester Bigoted Bollocks Project!!

  16. What a small narrow minded individual you appear to be. If you do not like non real ale pubs, rock pubs, pubs with live music, then do not do a review as you will never have anything positive to say. It is just insulting and potentially jeaopdises individuals and business.

  17. As a fairly regular visitor to flookersbrook i take great exception to being called a bonehead and as for your reference to patchouli it shows you are out of date and ignorant.As far as there only being two people in the pub at the time you visited it begs the question of how you can judge the type of people that go there?I can tell you that although mainly it is a rock pub there are also many locals that go there and all get on well.I suggest that you do a bit more research and possibly talk to people before publishing such a ridiculous review.As for the two customers you say promptly left on your arrival I cant say I blame them.

  18. Ah, The Flookersbrook, AKA Brooker's Rock Bar.

    Well, as the name suggests, this is a Mecca for those with an affinity to rock and/or motorbikes. It is an inclusive as opposed to exclusive venue, where you will find yourself welcomed with a smile and a friendly greeting whether it be your first visit or your thousandth visit, by the landlord/lady, staff and patrons alike. Going there on the first Saturday of each month you will find yourself enveloped in a wonderful alive atmosphere of new and old metal music, hosted by their resident DJ who is more than accommodating regards requests! He also runs a competition where if you have your three tunes played in a row, you win a free drink.

    Upon entering Brooker's, you are immediately in a large comfortable area which has comfy settees for those who wish to chat and also a pool table. Further on, there is a large area which amply accommodates the rock disco and also live bands that frequent this priceless gem of a venue in Chester. There is ample space for dancing, and sitting and chatting. Outside, there is a covered smoking area.

    The landlord/lady of this establishment in Chester's oh too straight city are dedicated to their pub and their clientelle. It is a real diamond in the rough, and has no doorstaff, simply because it doesn't need it! That speaks volumes.

    If rock music is not your cup of tea, you will find yourself equally welcome at this pub to sit and drink with soft lights and the choice of your music (internet juke box) on evenings when live music isn't played.

    This pub must be truly experienced. It's a lifestyle, not a fashion statement.

  19. Great music, Great People, Great Nights, Great Venue and Great Landlord.. if you don't get it then you must be simple!!

  20. Tarquel, i am a regular of Flookersbrook - you have never met me, yet you see fit to label me with an offensive, ill-judged insult. Let me return the complement - you sound like an ignorant, pretentious, fruit with a daft name. Stick to your real ale pubs, they need your sort more than we do. The pub has a music policy aimed at a particular, yet not exclusive, breed of rock music fans & bikers. The atmosphere is safe, welcoming, and friendly, unlike many of the trendy bars in the city centre. If thats not for you, and the music is not to your taste, thats fine... slip on your arran sweater & jog on to your Albanian folk nights at the Ye Olde Fox & Gynacologist. Any city needs a diverse array of pubs, catering for all tastes - Flookers happens to be a rock music venue and a great one at that. If i don't like 'Asian dub reggae', i wouldn't visit a pub that played it, and would feel ill-advised to offer an opinion as to whether it was a good one or not. Perhaps your tastes are ill-equipped to judge certain pubs, and we have to question your suitabilty to conduct such a review.

  21. Dear Tarquel,

    I frequent Flookersbrook - AKA Brooker's Rock Bar, therefore I must be a patchouli drenched bonehead.

    Oh, sorry, no I'm not! I'm a forty-something professional woman who has graduated from university twice (both times self-funded), and the only perfume I wear is by Yves St.Laurent.

    However, I happen to like rock music, and I also like to be able to enjoy nights out in a friendly, safe and non-judgemental environment, so that's why I choose to go to Brooker's. And I don't even live in Chester!

    Don't get me wrong, it's not perfect. I'd love it if they sold real ales and ciders, but they don't. It's hardly worth lambasting the place for! And as for the two patrons who left when you and your companion entered, perhaps they were trying to tell you something!!!

  22. I went there once, about a year ago. Woman behind the bar was very aloof, as if she didn't want me in there at all. Few stares from locals. Had my pint and got off.