Sunday, February 5, 2012

CBP Worst Pub

Considering the fact that pubs are in decline across the nation and have been disappearing at an alarming rate for a number of years, Chester hasn’t been too badly hit. The pub scene remains relatively healthy and in some ways eg. the wider availability of quality ales, is in better shape than it once was. We’re fortunate to have a high number of excellent boozers in the city then, but nevertheless, at the other end of the spectrum there are a few absolute duffers ! These are listed below, starting with the pub fifth from bottom and finishing with Chester’s worst pub:

* dons tin hat *   

5. The Twirl of Hay (No. 14)

If remoteness, terrible keg ale, total lack of atmosphere, poor service and the smell of stale food is your thing, then this boozer is for you. It would be worth taking the trip out to the edge of town. There’s not a lot else for me to say to be honest. This is an arse-achingly uninteresting pub.

4. The Flookersbrook (No. 24)

Hoole has become one of the more affluent parts of the city and this big pub should have been able to capitalise on that. The huge success of ‘the Lodge’ (No. 22) just along the road, proves that there was a demand for a smart modern boozer in the vicinity, serving quality beverages. However, this place is none of those things and I doubt it ever will be. The ale is vile and the interior is cavernous and characterless. Can’t think of a single reason why anyone would want to drink in here, unless of course they’d been barred from everywhere else.

3. The Amber Lounge (No. 107)

This place is completely devoid of character, which is quite an astonishing thing to say about a building that dates from at least the 16th century. Nevertheless, it’s true. So while the ambience or whatever isn’t exactly offensive in any way, the really depressing thing is the wasted potential and the contempt with which the building’s provenance has been treated. An interior design ponce has obviously been let loose in here some time in the mid 90s and armed with a ‘minimalist sensibility’ and a few cans of white paint has vandalised the magnificent Elizabethan structures and fittings. Hopefully, someone with half a brain will restore it all at some point – and will get some decent ale in an’ all. 

2. The Dee Miller (No. 71)

Everyone sympathises with a landlord struggling to make a living under the oppressive regime of a typical PubCo in an alehouse starved of investment. Nevertheless, community boozers MUST serve cask ale (and keep it in good condition) or they might as well not bother – it’s the only product pubs can provide that supermarkets cannot. Cask wasn’t on offer when we visited this desperately run down housing estate pub, nor was any form of courtesy or even a conversation ! Sympathy can only extend so far I’m afraid. This place is doomed to failure unless there are big changes in the way it’s run.  

1. The Amphitheatre Bar (No. 76)

Easy choice. A confluence of bad service, bad attitude, bad atmosphere and bad ale made this place the worst boozer we visited in 2011 by a long way. Oh, and the puke dripping from the ceiling was also a factor. What else would you expect though, from an establishment with a cynical business plan based entirely on selling strong liquor to kids ? Reality bites.

OK, stay tuned next week folks for the one they’ve all been waiting for. It’s the CBP top ten pubs of Chester – might need to do it in two parts though pop-pickers, so next week will be ten down to five, with the top five following on in two weeks time !


  1. Ok, let's see how Adrian and i did

    MOIR (SCORE 2/5!! TWO! I can't believe i did so badly!)
    The Plummers
    Amphitheatre Bar
    That poncy one run by Mr Caines
    Dee Miller
    Dublin Packet

    ADRIAN (SCORE: 0/5)
    Dublin Packet - Whole place stinks of piss
    The Falcon - Why's it cheap ? Cus it' crap.
    Watergate Arms - A Local pub for local people
    Temple Bar/City Arms - No Trainers lads
    Victoria - Why's it so expensive ? God knows.
    Boot - See Falcon for details.


    wow! There's a few surprises there. I didn't expect the Amber Lounge to turn up in the worst 5 judging by what the review said. The review seemed to be more "meh" than "argh".
    I fully share your sentiment regarding the vandalism of an ancient (and it really is ancient - the earliest records as a pub being 1634) pub.

    Just like the Amber Lounge, the Flookersbrook has been there for a while, at least since early 19th century for definite the Ermine can be traced back to 1818m but may have been called something else beforehand).I've never been in there so can't comment.

    The Amphitheatre Bar was one where we had walked in and walked straight out again. Characterless rubbish.

    I can't comment on either the Dee Miller or Twirl of Hey because i've never been there.

    1. Just to clarify one paragraph that was missing a right bracket. It should have said this:
      "Just like the Amber Lounge, the Flookersbrook has been there for a while, at least since early 19th century for definite (the Ermine can be traced back to 1818, but may have been called something else beforehand).I've never been in there so can't comment."

  2. Nice try chaps. It wouldn't do to be predictable now though would it ?

  3. Hi Tarquel

    That had come to mind. Sadly we have no way of knowing that those given are the definitive worst given before our predictions.
    However, i believe yer even if millions wouldn't

  4. 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.

  5. flookersbrook is one of the best live music venues in chester.if u dont like it then go somewhere else,,,simples
    me and gav reg visit from the deep south of yorkshire.

  6. Tarquel - you definatley need your tin hate mate cause you have stirred up one hell of hornets nest. Firstly as the whole country is on it’s knees and as you say pubs are in decline then WHY can it be such a good idea to go round slagging them off?? Secondly the Flookers Brook is a fantastic bar where you receive a warm and friendly welcome and you can relax as it is not full of Knob XXXXs as many of the city centre bars are. This is a venue for live music etc and do not try to be anything more pretentious! Thankfully we live in a country where we are free to have individual tastes and do not have to follow one model. So Tarquel I know you are entitled to your own opinion but your opinion is on this occasion is very wrong!!

  7. No reviews for 13 days, and then 3 reviews come along ALL praising the Flookersbrook within the space of 8 hours and 4 minutes?

    Do all 3(or all 1 of you) work for a bus company?

    1. Agreed. No really reviews though, were they? More like damage limitation for a lost cause.
      This place was on the market for ages. I thought it could have become a sort of Telford's for this end of town, well located for Hoole and the station but sadly t'was not to be.
      Never been in the Amphitheatre Bar and almost certainly never will. The Flookers is easily the worst Chester pub of my experience a) because the ale is crap and b) because it could have been so much better had it fallen into the hands of someone who gives a damn.
      They'd be better off working for a bus company because they sure as shit can't run a pub.

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