Lairy AND grand - New Brighton's new pub
I went to New Brighton's new and only Wetherspoon pub for the first time recently.
It was a late doors visit, following a long shift at work then having to go home, make dinner and have a shower. Got into the Spoons at 10.45pm.
Good cheap wine. Spoons are very good for wine-drinkers, compared to the crap selection most pubs stock.
The new pub, down the front, is called The Master Mariner, though I'm sure everyone will call it Wetherspoons or the Spoons.
It's on two levels with rather loud, youth-orientated music upstairs - rubbish modern R'n'B and boy bands, definitely not my sort of thing. I'm a Jackson Brown, Roddy Frame, Paul Weller sort of guy.
The awful loud music wasn't the only distraction while I was there. There were several VERY loud young men and young women on the upper deck. They were vexatious to my spirit with all their whooping and hysterical laughter.
Perhaps I should explain ...I was there on my own, just in for a couple of relaxing late glasses of wine while I rewrote my latest poem, called 'Admire the Glossy Thing' - a satirical piece about PR bores giving presentations at business meetings.
The noise was too much for me in the upstairs bar so I stepped out onto the large balcony for a fag and to continue working on the poem.
I couldn't help noticing there was no shelter from the rain on the balcony - not that it was actually raining at the time.
And nor is there any shelter from the wind or rain in the ground floor smoking terrace. That's a bit of a shame - as New Brighton is the second windiest place on Earth, after Chicago.
Overall, the new pub is both grand and flashy, with hints of sinfulness mixed in with warm humanity. So, very New Brighton then!
Apparently there was a cap on the money for finishing off the refurb of this site as a Spoons - because work on the kitchen proved to be very costly.
That might explain why some of the tables in the bar areas have the textured look of second hand stock - which is not what you expect in a venue opened very recently.
And why there is no shelter from the rain and wind for smokers yet ... surely an omission?
My prediction is that the place will be a hit, but will be more popular with young people than older folk - which is rather the opposite of what Wetherspoon pubs are usually like.
I shall doubtless pop in there a few times...
But mainly I will stick to Tallulah's Bar and the Perch - much more my style.