Saturday, 4 August 2012

17 Angel

[Updates, two so far, at end of post]

Visited on 2 June 2012
Here's the photo ...
... and here's the map

Before the Victoria Centre was built, there had been a pub called The Angel more or less in that gap between the Cheshire Building Society and Chatwins bake shop. In the name of progress it was demolished and in its place came the current Angel, which is a downstairs bar with its entrance between the Cheshire and Rymans stationers.

Those Cheshire investors need not worry about goings-on under the Building Society, though, as the Angel is under the stationers. Uniquely, it keeps shopping centre hours, opening from 1000 to 1700 hours and remaining closed on Sundays. Apparently this works for the licensee, and if they’re happy about business, that’s ultimately what matters.

There is plenty of seating with a more or less single room layout, with parts divided off by low partitions and raised up above bar level. The emphasis is on the bar, good value food, and providing non-alcoholic drinks like coffee to those who want them.

What’s a snack or meal cost? Well, a chip butty is less than £2, a burger and chips less than £3, and almost all mains are under £5. And the beer? This includes one cask offering, Oakwell Barnsley Bitter, which is also top value, coming in at under £2 a pint. It’s a darker bitter, which from distant memory is the same style that came out of Oakwell before John Smiths and then Courage obliterated the brew in the 1970s.

Just one of those is plenty for a lunchtime visit. Trade is steady, with shoppers and a core of locals. They must be doing something right, as there is plenty of competition for this market: Asda has a cafe, the bake shop has a sit-down area upstairs, there’s another eatery just round the corner, a fish and chip restaurant a couple of minutes’ walk away and of course the Wetherspoons nearby (review later).

I’m not a great one for drinks of a lunchtime, and live close enough to the town centre not to need to stop off for meals or snacks, so the Angel isn’t really my kind of pub. But the Barnsley Bitter is good, and it’s good value.

[UPDATE1 23 November 1910 hours: the Angel closed briefly during August, although it reopened after the holidays and I assumed this was just a quiet season thing. But now the doors have closed once more and the blackboards outside say "The Angel is closed until further notice".

No other information is available at the moment (if anyone has any, I'd be interested to hear it) and the "until further notice" part sounds ominous]

[UPDATE2 15 February 2013 1700 hours: the front door of the Angel now has a "For Sale" board attached to it. The sale is being run directly by Oakwell Brewery.

The Brewery's website does not mention the sale, the only suggestion of a reduction in the estate being a variance between their "30 community pubs" and "29 pubs" for which there are descriptions.

The sale - showing that the Brewery clearly does not want to look for another tenant or manager - looks like another reduction in the number of Crewe pubs. Bad news]

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