Posts Tagged ‘pubs’

The Lion and Snake toilets dragged past drinkers emptied in the street

July 14, 2020

Super Spreader Saturday, The Lion and Snake in Bailgate full of drunken yobs. It slowly got worse with urinating up the wall.

The following Saturday calmer, two portable toilets against the wall.

Tuesday the toilets padlocked.

No attempt to control drinkers. Not allowed to move from tables. One gets up, walks over to shout at a drinker in Prince of Wales Inn.

An open lorry pulled up in the street. Man in shorts wearing no gloves manhandled one of the toilets into the street, helped by two bar staff neither wearing gloves, both then go back into the pub, one picks up a pint glass from one of the benches, thumb inside the glass. None were wearing face masks.

Toilet dragged into the street is then emptied and cleaned in the street outside a restaurant and food shop. Stench unpleasant.

The same again with the second second toilet, though without help of bar staff.

Liquid from toilet cleaning flowing in the street.

Those who witnessed what happened were shocked and disgusted.

This should not have happened. Toilets should have not been dragged past customers, should not be handled by bar staff not wearing disposable gloves, should not be emptied and cleaned in the street, worse still in front of food retailers and restaurants.

Toilets should have been collected when pub closed, taken back to company to be emptied and cleaned.

This would be bad any time due to risk of disease spread. This at time of coronavirus.

Pub should be closed until further notice.

Action is need by local environmental health officers.

J D Wetherspoon plan to open in June

May 1, 2020

J D Wetherspoon plan to open in June.

Greed writ large. Not an essential business.

No end of lockdown in sight nevertheless J D Wetherspoon plan to open in June, bailed out by taxpayers.

J D Wetherspoon have form.

  • at the start of pandemic refused to pay sick pay to staff if called in sick
  • encouraged people to go out drinking
  • when forced to close told staff to get another job
  • refused to pay suppliers many of which are small craft brewers

One of the main causes of high death rate from covid-19 was the failure to close pubs bars clubs sooner.

To open, J D Wetherspoon would be putting at risk staff and clientele.

J D Wetherspoon staff have put forward a 10-point plan to be implemented before they return to work.

Workers used to fear going on strike for fear of losing their jobs. Now they fear returning to work in fear of losing their lives.

There can be no relaxation of lockdown until daily death toll drops into  tens, currently running at several hundred a day, with UK headed to be the worst country in Europe for deaths from coronavirus.

  • indie specialty coffee shops outside tables
  • local independent businesses
  • restaurants
  • pubs bars clubs

We already see some local businesses open, what can be described as essential, butcher, baker, pharmacy, fruit and vegetable stalls. Wetherspoon is not an essential businesses.

Coffee shops only outside tables spaced 2 metres apart, not meeting with friends. Served take away only, contactless payment, much as it goes against the grain to recommend either, but reduces risk of covid-19 infection, needs must and was standard practice before lockdown. Coffee shops because dwell time short.

Small indie businesses, for example bookshops.

Restaurant next, same rules as coffee shops.

Last and at the earliest next year, pubs, and even then phased,  small indie pubs, binge drinking bars the very last.

For those who wish for a  drink, small craft breweries,  for example Neon Rapture on-line deliveries and off-sales.

At each phase there would have to be a pause to asses.

There would have to be mass testing in place.

  • frontline at risk staff
  • people displaying symptoms
  • random testing

Random testing essential otherwise do not know what is happening within the community. And testing on its own not sufficient, need to test, trace, isolate

J D Wetherpoon by no means the only rogue company.

Zombie tour company tui is offering for May non-existent holidays in Spain.

  • lockdown cannot travel to airport
  • FCO advice no overseas travel indefinite
  • nigh impossible to obtain travel insurance and it will exclude covid-19
  • expired passports not being renewed
  • too risky passing through busy airport packed like sardines on an aircraft for several hours
  • risk of being stranded overseas
  • will have to quarantine for 14 days on return to UK

Spain is in lockdown. If we look to Tenerife, if and when hotels open, it will be for locals, then Spain, with Brits not welcome being one of the worst affected countries.

Fools and their money easily parted. Any who pay for a non-existent holidays will then have problems obtaining a refund when cancelled.

Tim Martin tells J D Wetherspoon workers to get a job

March 24, 2020

First it was forcing staff in to work when they wished to self-isolate under the threat of no pay.

Next it was tell people go out to the pubs.

Latest scandal from Tim Martin, now that Weatherspoon has been forced to close, to tell workers go and find a job.

Wetherspoon is refusing to pay suppliers until reopens. It is one thing not to pay industrial brewers, property companies, it is quite another to refuse to pay small craft brewers.

Wetherspoon is by no means the only bad employer.

Pubcos are forcing tied pubs to pay rent even though the pubs are closed and have no income.

Making kitchen is an essential work, nevertheless Wren Kitchens forcing workers into work putting workers and their families at risk.

There should be no bail out of Weatherperson, industrial brewers, pubcos. Bail outs should be for people and local indie businesses.

Tim Martin encourages piss heads to visit J D Wetherspoon

March 20, 2020

Piss heads packed in pubs, and Tim Martin boss of and J D Wetherspoon encouraging them to do so.

The same Tim Martin who forced sick workers into work by threatening not to pay them.

We have no immunity to coronavirus, there is no vaccine (earliest 18 months away). Our only defence, wash our hands with soap and water, social distancing.

Pepsi Trump has blood on his hands. On Tuesday we were two weeks behind Italy, one week behind Spain. China bought us time and we squandered it.

Italy has now passed the death toll for China.

Huff and puff is not going to make coronavirus go away.

All mass gatherings and sporting events should have been banned at least two weeks ago. Schools should have been closed at least a week ago.

Across Europe, borders are closed, airports closed, cities in lockdown.

In UK, the piss heads pack into pubs and clubs, muscle-bound morons into gyms.

Shopping malls, pubs, clubs, bars, gyms should be closed. Maybe add nail bars and hairdressers to the list.

Our borders should be closed. At very minimum temperature screening at airports.

London, where number of cases growing the fastest, placed in lockdown.

We should be testing 25,000 people a day.

Sheffield deserted, like a ghost city. Many places closed, those that are open closing early, others their doors locked with a warning on the door not to enter for fear of coronavirus.

Those that are open, coffee shops, restaurants, prominent displayed what precautions they are taking. One coffee shop, hand sanitiser on entry, notice advising to use before enter.

Nowhere accepting cash. Credit card only, contactless.

In coffee shops various measures, for example as I saw last week in Nottingham, only serve in takeaway cups, no reusable cups.

And they are willing to discuss the measures they are taking.

For those open, business down by at least 80% and struggling to remain in business. Will remain open as long as they can.

Sheffield the only city I have seen taking coronavirus seriously.

What I also found in Sheffield, anger, anger at Pepsi Trump for failure to act. Failure to close sporting events, failure to close schools, failure to close pubs, bars, clubs, gyms. Failure to lockdown London.

Update: I wrote this earlier. Overtaken by events. Subsequent Pepsi Trump closes pubs, clubs, gyms etc. But should for pubs have been with immediate effect, or very latest 1800, as pubs tonight will be full of piss heads. Restaurants, coffee shops were not a problem. A pity closures did not take place a week ago.

Lunch at Butcher & Beast

February 15, 2020

Never go anywhere on St Valentine’s Day, at least not eat out.

I made that mistake once, ate with friends at an Indian restaurant. It was so awful, so tacky.

I thought maybe lunchtime would be ok in a village pub.

Pub was busy, lucky to find a table, but then the pub tiny.

Pub full of dogs.

Menu far too many items, which is never a good sign.

I had decided on gammon steak, but as rump streak only a pound more decided on rump steak.

Asked the young lad serving of the soup. He did not know. He went and checked. Tomato and basil

Ordered the tomato soup. A long wait, soup never came, steak arrived, followed by a bowl of chips.

Steak was ok, worth paying three times what would pay Wetherspoon on Tuesday (if add in the beer)? No, on a good day, Wetherspoon better, on a bad day worse.

Not in the same league as steak in Athens. But then that was around 30 euros.

Onion rings were cold, peas almost cold, mushroom, tomato and chips hot.

The last part of my streak tough and grisly. I shared with two cocker spaniels, making friends for life.

Beer bitter, I would far have preferred a decent craft beer. Never confuse hops with bitter.

A choice of around half a dozen real ales. Far better than most pubs which serve the output of chemical plants owned international conglomerates. Better than the average Wetherspoon, look closer and note most of the real ales are from conglomerates.

Poor though compared with a good tap room. For example BearHeadz or Growlers & Cans.

White van chiller van pulled up and offloaded as finished meal (well actually a large lorry). Across the road an excellent butcher. That pub sources from a catering supplier, says all you need to know about the pub. I then popped across the road to the butcher. I will cook something far better than the pub served.

We are currently at risk of coronavirus. No soap in the toilet to wash hands.

Sirloin steak The Queen Hotel

June 12, 2018

Visits to The Queen Hotel are more and more infrequent, each rare occasion is worse than before.

The good staff from when it opened have long gone.  The food is terrible.

I was surprised to find The Little Beer Corporation on tap. Maybe they had surplus beer Wetherspoon picked up on the cheap.

My meal was not good, service terrible, the usual drunks blocking the bar.

Once again I remind myself why I avoid pubs, frequent instead coffee shops and restaurants.

Wetherspoon News (summer 2018) had two bullshit articles.  One from Tim Martin praising LavAzza as quality coffee, the other from head of Camra talking complete bullshit on why pubs are closing (no mention of pubcos).

There are only two places to eat in Aldershot, Caffe Macchiato and Indonesia street food restaurant.

There is nowhere in Aldershot for coffee.

Death of the pub and the rise of coffee shops

January 1, 2018

Has the pub had its day, can it be replaced with something better?

According to a snippet on ITV News at the tail end of last year looking at the reopening of a pub, closed for a year, now reopened owned by the community, 29 pubs a week are closing.

If this figure is correct, and not simply regurgitating old statistics, then rate of pub closures as was several years ago. Actually the closure rate accelerating, four years ago it was 26 pubs a week.

Why? Why are pubs closing at an accelerating rate?

Pubcos are one cause of pub closure. These are property owning companies, zombie companies that make no money, can barely service their debt by screwing pub landlords and selling off assets, have large property holdings in pubs. They charge unaffordable rents, landlords are forced to buy drinks through the pubco well in excess of market rate, the landlord goes bankrupt, along comes the next mug to be fleeced of their life savings, or the pub if occupying a prime site sold off for redevelopment.

Pubcos are the classic example of extend and pretend. The banks keep them afloat. Kept afloat they can be listed on the balance sheet as an asset, when in reality they should be on the opposite side and would be if allowed to go bankrupt. There is no realistic possibility of loan repayment.

We also have an example of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Pubs were owned by breweries. The pub forced to buy from the brewery. The punter left with little or no choice, price hikes, especially if the brewery maintains a local monopoly.

The breweries were stripped of their pubs.

What should have happened, landlords bought the pubs, ran as independent businesses free of the brewery tie. Unfortunately this did not happen. Property developers, the pubcos, borrowed heavily and bought the pubs.

For a brewery, a common interest with the pub in doing well. The more beer the pub sells, the more beer the brewery sells.

For the pubco, no common interest. If the pub closes, find another fool to part from their money or sell off for redevelopment.

Pubcos though are only part of the story.

Too many pubs are badly run, very badly run. They are not pleasant places to be. Noisy, dirty, moronic music blasting out, widescreen TV, pub quizzes, drunken loud mouth idiots, rude and bored bar staff wishing they were elsewhere, serving disgusting rubbish from a global conglomerate chemical factory.

Too many examples could be given. But to list a few. A pub that served excellent, if expensive meals, changes to serving disgusting food but still overpriced; a pub where it was possible to sit in the back courtyard, relax over lunch, clueless new landlord takes over, insults the chef, chef leaves, where once excellent food, choice now burger burger or burger, illegal structures built in the courtyard, goes down market, noise and nuisance alienates neighbours and local council; historic pubs, heritage buildings, destroyed by inappropriate developments; a pub where is was pleasant to sit by the river, until smokers took over — the list is endless.

I have not named the pubs, but others could easily write similar lists, and some will know the pubs I am talking about.

Why have no lessons been learnt from Tim Martin and Wetherspoon? I am no fan of Wetherspoon, or the food they serve, but at least they try, they serve real ale. A pity they insult coffee drinkers and serve LavAzza coffee, even worse from a  machine.

But have the audacity to say pubs badly run, and the pissed trolls emerge from under their bar stools to add their ill-informed two-penny worth. And this included an abusive Camra regional official. A bit like being in a pub.

What we are seeing is an example of postcapitalism. The economy goes one of two ways.

  1. Serfs working for apps, eg Deliveroo and Uber, low paid part time temporary soul destroying McShit jobs, eg bar work, companies like Wagamama and the coffee chains.
  2. Open coops, collaborative commons, sharing society.

If pubs are to have a future, and looking at the current crisis, this is doubtful, pubcos have to be stripped of their pubs, as was the breweries, run free of tie, run as open coops, and far better managed than too many are currently.

Indie coffee shops are rapidly becoming the third place, the place to be to relax, not work, not home.

A well run indie artisan coffee shop, pleasant ambience, clean, art on the walls, live music, acoustic, jazz, classical, people sat chatting with friends, or sat reading a book or working on a laptop, craft beer, quality food and wine, books to browse, and of course serving excellent speciality coffee. And for lone females, added advantage of not being sexually harassed.

It is somewhat ironic, more likely to find craft beer, wine worth drinking, in a coffee shop than in a pub.

Warehouse Speciality Blends is known for its wine, The Underdog for craft beer,  Taylor Made for its cocktails,  Just Made 33 for its food. All serve speciality coffee, either roast their own beans or source from a reputable roastery, take a pride in their coffee.

Atlantis Cafe is a coffee shop in Liopetri, a one horse town, difficult to get to, where tumbleweed blowing through would not look out of place, a coffee shop with a pleasant ambience, where people relax, chat with their friends, play backgammon, that is busy until late. In the tourist areas, the slum bars attract the drunks, the bottom end of the tourist market, stay open until late, but are not busy, many are facing closure. The tourist industry spiralling downwards, the situation in the Middle East granting a temporary reprieve.

Atlantis Cafe, middle of nowhere, is busier than the tourist bars.

Coffee shops in Europe were the places of intellectual dialogue, political and philosophical discourse, haunts of artists. This did not happen in the English ale house, violent political discourse would have rapidly led to blood being shed.  The amount of alcohol consumed leading to retarded offspring.

When was the last time you saw bouncers on the door or a fight break out in a coffee shop?

What if a pub closes, a building that has historic value, is registered locally as a building of historic value, its community value recognised by registering as an Asset of Community Value (though it is difficult to claim a pub an Asset of Community Value when a myth it ever was), sits empty for several months, is stripped bare, restored to how it was as an historic building, reopens as an artisan coffee shop by people who are passionate about coffee, maybe in the evening a restaurant, where the emphasis is on ambience, service, good food, serves craft beer, wine, a venue that hosts cultural events, live music, book discussions and book signings, poetry reading, serves as a gallery for local artists, have we lost anything, or has the community and the local economy gained?

The Swan

July 17, 2016
Red Arrows fly past over The Swan

Red Arrows fly past over The Swan

How to screw people, charge to sit in the garden during Farnborough Airshow.

Once the Airshow had finished, it was possible to walk into the garden.

The Swan used to be a rough pub. It was refurbished, an excellent job done, barely recognisable.

Then it closed, was refurbished again.  The second refurbishment has destroyed The Swan.

Prices are extortionate. £4-50 for a pint of beer. The barman admitted, complaints all day about the high prices.

No sooner had I sat down in the garden, asked to move please sit at another table.

Later asked to move yet again.

A burger, was quite good.

A second beer.

Now asked to leave the garden, a private party.

The private party did not use the garden.

A small terrace, used to be decking. It too has been destroyed.

Sitting on the terrace, smell of cooking food drifts across the terrace.

All the time I was there, the terrace almost empty, the pub empty, the garden all but empty.

This Is Fucking Vandalism, London’s History And Culture Are Being Destroyed In The Name Of Greed

April 20, 2015

the void

black-capsAround 150 people joined a protest outside The Black Cap public house in Camden yesterday after it closed suddenly and without warning last week.  The long running LGBT venue opened in the 1960s, surviving throughout the days when gay people faced prosecution.  Now it is falling victim to rampant gentrification that respects neither culture or history and seeks only to make as much money as possible for greedy property developers.

Speaking at the protest drag artist Titti La Camp, a former performer at the pub, said 10 gay venues had closed in central London since the current Tory government weren’t elected.  In an all too familiar story, those trying to save The Black Cap believe it is likely to be converted into yet more luxury flats that nobody local can afford.

camden-marketsA few hundred yards away a large part of Camden Market is currently a building site, awaiting being converted…

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Unfit to run a pub and yet keeps licence

April 9, 2015
Councillor Bruce Thomas runs La Fontaine pub in Aldershot

Councillor Bruce Thomas runs La Fontaine pub in Aldershot

To run a pub one has to demonstrate a fit and proper person to hold a licence.

The track record of Bruce Thomas would indicate not.

Bruce Thomas would appear to have demonstrated that he not a fit person to hold a pub licence, as this was what was found on numerous raids by licensing officials:

  • out-of-hours drinking
  • out-of-hours music
  • music audible outside of premises
  • smoking on premises
  • disorderly and antisocial behaviour of pub customers
  • customers served whilst drunk
  • Bruce Thomas drunk and incapable of even answering questions

On Tuesday, the licencing committee met.

It beggars belief they allowed him to keep his licence.

Could it be because he is a local councillor and it is the council looking after their own?

Yes they have tightened up the conditions for the pub, and that is good news, but absolutely no way should Bruce Thomas be allowed to retain a pub licence.

What sort of a message does this send out?

It beggars belief Bruce Thomas was allowed to keep his licence.

How long will it be before the licencing committee is again considering fit and proper person to run a pub?

If nothing else, Bruce Thomas has a drink problem, over which everyone appears to be in denial. He should not be anywhere near a drink.