Darts Rules At Allestree Boozer

In terms of new local boozers, I don’t think you can’t beat a 1960’s shopping precinct to house your project.

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One of the real positives of Micropubs is that they are sprouting up everywhere and often filling up derelict and unused properties whilst breathing life back into an area.


A bit like building houses on brownfield sites, you can see why local authorities are approving most of the applications and it’s hard to argue against it.

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Take the Park Farm Shopping Centre in Allestree, a suburb of Derby for example.

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A bit of sixties planning at its finest means that as shops bite the dust, the idea of a mixed use/retail/commercial development becomes a pipe dream.

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To be fair to this one, it’s still got the likes of the Co-Op, Farmfoods, Iceland, Wilko and a host of independent retailers so is surviving market forces.

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Nonetheless, it’s not a shopping destination and I can’t imagine people travelling for miles to visit; but it has the bonus of chimney pots galore in close proximity.  Well-established houses, bus routes, close to the University and the A38 mean it is in decent location and therefore ripe for a ‘new’ local.

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Step forward 329 – The Pot Hole DE22 2QQ, which is located in Unit 17 of the Park Farm Shopping Centre between a vets and a pizza restaurant.

It’s been around for just over a year now and this was my first visit but it felt like a local boozer to me as it had some classic characters.

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There was a bloke in a full New Balance tracksuit talking about Mervyn King (darts player not the ex-Bank of England guru) and the conversation then moved on to Steve Beaton looking like Magnum PI.

It turns out he was a darts fan and was waxing lyrical about the days the BDO World Championships was held at Jollees in Stoke back in the 1980s (Keith Deller 138 checkout anyone?)

The gaffer and other punters were then talking about football bets coming in with phones being checked for the Southampton/Manchester City scoreline…all normal pub like behaviour, which gave this the feel of a cracking local.

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It also got me thinking…now this might be down to the pubs I drink in or the areas I drink in but I hardly ever hear anyone talking about rugby in boozers.

I know this is World Cup year and the Six Nations is looming but, people only ever seem to talk about football, cricket and darts in the boozers I go into.  Considering rugby is synonymous with beer drinking I don’t see that many lads talking about it – I guess it’s the places I go into!

Worth noting that darts is the second most watched sport on Sky and with Barry Hearn cranking up the prize money, it is great to see a genuine pub game capable of turning you into a millionaire!

Working on Martin’s theory that the pint before looks good I plumped for a very decent King Georges Bitter (Littleover) after seeing a bloke devour it seconds earlier.

There were other pockets of conversation and also – crucially – two toilets!!! A male and female loo means it surely falls into the realms of small boozers as opposed to a Micro…


(Park life)

However, I’m all for shopping centres and precincts renting out premises to boozers as empty shops just lead to a feeling of decay.

This place felt like an established pub and is close enough to houses to ensure lots of locals will pop out for a pint.  It serves good beer, the punters talk about most things apart from beer, like all good pubs should, and there was an atmosphere inside the boozer.

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The gaffer was friendly and it looks like it’s here to stay. What could be better?


13 thoughts on “Darts Rules At Allestree Boozer

  1. I think the main reason they are popping up is because the people who object to premises licences are quite happy with the concept – often truncated hours, no gaming machines, no music, no performance licence, no mainstream products (lager), no promotions, low maximum occupancy. I haven’t studied one of these licences but I bet they are littered with voluntary restrictions. In simple terms there is little or no chance of them changing into a VDE with full hours, for a start it wouldn’t be viable on occupancy alone. Basically it’s giving people what they want, or what they think they want in their neighbourhood.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Vertical Drinking Establishment – Thursday, Friday, Saturday night venue, popular with younger drinkers, mainly lager and cocktails/prosecco. It’s what the people who object to licence applications don’t like, I can’t blame them neither.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Good find and interesting post. Pity Mervyn King wasn’t one and the same. The next televised darts is strictly championship level compared to the last. The social composition of rugby fans would make a decent PhD but differs in Wales, the Scottish Borders and possibly Gloucester to the rest of the UK. Racing might be the next most popular pub topic sport.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Although Merv the banker was purportedly an Aston Villa supporter….Good shout on rugby and its social differences across the whole of the UK. Derbyshire is definitely not a stronghold for the game….Yes, of course Racing and i suspect boxing are well covered ground.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “it’s not a shopping destination and I can’t imagine people travelling for miles to visit”

    True, but, as you said, handy for all the locals to go to whilst shopping (or whilst their better halves shop). 🙂

    “all normal pub like behaviour, which gave this the feel of a cracking local.”

    Yep. A ‘local’ as opposed to a destination pub.

    “A male and female loo means it surely falls into the realms of small boozers as opposed to a Micro…”


    “What could be better?”

    Definitely fulfilling a need. Don’t need much more than that.


    PS – It looks awfully familiar to one you did earlier, but that one had a big boozer across the street.

    Liked by 1 person

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