Tuesday, 11 September 2012

34 Victoria

[Update at end of post]

Visited On 26 June 2012
Here's the photo ...

... and here's the map

From West Street and its remaining two pubs, it’s a middling walk to Hightown, land of closed shops, and then over the road to the Victoria, yet another pub that has spent some time out of use recently, and another that is advertising for someone to run it. It’s huge inside, but on this evening most of the space is taken up with hardly anyone at all, apart from a couple on the pool table.

This is in a raised area at the street corner end of the bar. There are several seating bays which correspond more or less with the window layout, a stage at the other end of the pub, and a lot of standing space. There is a handpump on the bar, but it has no clip and is, once more, merely an ornament. So guess what? Yes, here it comes.

NO CASK BEER

Well, I’ve had two pints of allegedly smooth bitter so far, so let’s have a change. I’ll have a Guinness. This is poured, and after some cash changes hands, the barman piles off. I can’t blame him – there’s stuff all work for him to do. So I take a sip of the supposedly predictable dark nitro-keg and discover that the lack of effort applied by staff at the Victoria extends to not cleaning the lines regularly.

This is one rank bad pint of Guinness, although not quite as nasty as the one I had to suffer at the Raven on Brookhouse. And it tells me why there are very few takers this evening – plus, of course, this place is less than five minutes’ walk from the Gaffers Row (Wetherspoons) where this evening’s survey will conclude (review to follow) where the prices are keener, the choice better, and the beer less nasty.

Where the Victoria makes money is in its weekend trade – for which read Thursday to Sunday – into which it fits live music, student nights, and the inevitable karaoke. Otherwise it’s pretty dead. Like right now. And if you’re going to insult the punters by serving a barely drinkable pint to them – particularly unforgiveable when all you’re flogging is nitro-keg – you shouldn’t be surprised if they go elsewhere.

And you also shouldn’t be surprised if you’re Admiral Taverns (yes, it’s them again) and you can’t find anyone daft enough to take this place on. The Victoria is a strong contender for a place in Crewe’s list of worst pubs. Away to the Wetherspoons for something to wash away the nasty taste of that iffy pint of Guinness with something coming out of a proper beer container.

[UPDATE 18 September: since visiting the Victoria, the pub has put out an advert proclaiming a Marston's Pedigree offer. This caused the thought to enter that some consideration was being given to raising their game. But, soon afterwards, the advert vanished, so the return visit was cancelled. And the place is still host to another advert, a large Admiral Taverns one, asking if anyone wants to run it. Not a good sign]

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