Visited on 27/10/11. The logical next step after finding your way up the back passage to ‘Duttons’ is to pop into ‘the Living Room’ via the rear entrance. (Apologies - even I’m getting bored with this now !) I remember this place as a late night bar cum ‘discotheque’ – but that was about twenty years ago. Jesuz, I can even remember it as ‘Joe’s Wine Bar’. Them were the days*. Anyhow, it looks as if it’s been refurbished recently - and guess what ? Lo and friggin’ behold, it’s been gastrofied. Upstairs where all the dancing, groping and fighting took place, there’s now a neat array of tables. Rocket munchers everywhere. “Can I help you sir ?”, an overpolite waitress enquired. “I doubt it”, I replied as I descended the stairs. Apparently there’s a 3rd floor to this place which is set to be a nightclub – the grand opening will be attended by, and get this, a Stoke City first team footballer AND all his mates. That’s THE Stoke City. Yep. This ‘exclusive’ came from the world’s most annoying barman - a twenty-something oik who we tried to engage in conversation. He responded by slagging off the ale in ‘Duttons’ (which was actually ok) before declaring that they didn’t serve cask ale themselves. Furthermore he insisted that keg ale was better in any case. This was an education. We drank the keg. It was shite. He then started doing all that cretinous cocktail bar bottle juggling stuff, despite the fact that nobody was actually buying any cocktails. The tit. A Stoke City player though ? Impressive.
* The superb but now sadly defunct Chester City fanzine, 'the Onion Bag' once described Joe's Wine Bar as follows: '...features 'wall to wall' seafood smells' & '...is a haven for the purple-headed womb warrior'. Indeed.