I am delighted to say I had a genuine first on Thursday afternoon when I entered a pub in Sinfin.
It was a seismic moment as, genuinely, someone brought a shopping trolley into the bar laden with bags and shopping and parked it next to the bar whist having a pint!
Welcome to the weekly shop Sinfin style! There is no Ocado delivery in this part of Derby; the Sinfin bourgeoisie tend to meet in 51 – The Ferrers Arms DE24 3DS whilst comparing this week’s offers at Asda!
I can just imagine the Everards think tank before they brought this boozer.
”So then, where do you think is a good position for a pub?”
“I’ve got the perfect location…. It’s never been done before.”
“You know that big Asda supermarket in Sinfin…let’s tag it onto the end of their car park…it’s a perfect location.”
Disclaimer- I know the MD of Everards and I particularly like their Project William pubs and they do a good line in solid boozers. I think they have been a positive asset to the brewing industry and one of the reasons I like Everards is that they often take on pubs no one else will touch and turn them into a success.
The Brunswick in Derby is one of their big success stories and this little pub in Sinfin is one that appears to be defying the odds.
https://twitter.com/oldmudgie raises some really good points about the detrimental effect on pubs the smoking ban has had. I’m not a smoker but I think the smoking police have had too much of an impact on people’s civil liberties and a glance at this pub will tell you that.
To all intents and purposes Sinfin is a massive working class area. Its demographics are changing but, bizarrely, there are hundreds of houses within walking distance of this pub (across Ada Car Park) and they obviously like a pint with their shopping!
I saw Asda workers, Rolls Royce workers and (really) old boys in there along with young kids with their parents on an alleged shopping spree and it was a proper 1980’s working class pub.
At times, there were more people outside in the sheltered smoking area, bearing in mind it was a filthy afternoon with heavy rain than there were inside, and that wasn’t because the no nonsense barmaid had scared them off!
The pub was clean and smart throughout and well-kept but the barmaid looked as though she was used to throwing people out…I caught her eye and opted for the Keg Tiger (Everards) and never got the impression I was anything other than a day tripper having a pint.
However, when a local walked in with a massive trolley packed to the brim with a weekly shop she stored it at the bar (best blocker ever) and proceeded to order a pint of Tiger too!
It was also most definitely a Derby pub as I met with the boys of 2012 when I paid a visit. I had the choice of being watched by Jeff Hendrick, Jason Shackell or Craig Bryson dependant on which urinal I chose! Nigel Clough was, as you would expect from a manager, offered the overarching view…
I’m not sure it will take off but if every big supermarket had a pub on site then I am pretty sure you would get far more people wanting to do the shopping run on a daily basis!
At 2.30 on a Thursday afternoon it still felt a little edgy so I reckon it’s a ‘proper’ boozer later on, as Asda moves towards closing time.
It was reasonably full with a good turnover of trade for the 45 minutes I was in there and a pub/darts board and sky sports mean it is a good place for the community to meet and have a chat.
It is great to see places like Sinfin with a pub that is thriving and knows its audience. Aside from the shopping trolley lady and I, there weren’t many others drinking Tiger so my decision to stick to the Keg may have been a good one.
I think this is probably the most unlikely venue I’ve seen for a pub but it works. There appears to be a separate park/walkway entrance from the other side of the car park (see picture above) and this is classed as ‘Sinfin District Centre’ so as well as Asda you’ve got a bookies, a chip shop and a funeral parlour….all very apt!
Hats off to Everards. They have clearly invested some cash into the interior of this two-roomed local. The lounge was empty but the bar was ticking over nicely and there was never any chance of trouble with Derby’s best ‘no-nonsense’ barmaid in charge!