Football Pubs #2: The Vine

It doesn’t take much to restore my faith in football and an evening in West Bromwich did just that yesterday.

Over 24 and half thousand people watched the 24th best football team in the country take on the 38th best football team in the country on a Friday night even though it was live on the TV.

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A cracking game, lots of action, no aggro and fans having a drink with each other in pubs, which is how it should be every game, made for a great evening

Not only were there a lot of people there for a second tier game but there is also a proper atmosphere at football with plenty of incessant singing as opposed to the odd sporadic chant.

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I went along with my pal who is a Baggies fan and was responsible for me attending around three stag parties last year as he tore the backside out of that part of marriage!

However, as an added bonus, we managed to pop into a classic football boozer beforehand that had a cracking atmosphere.

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375 – The Vine B70 6RD is in Roebuck Street, which is about ten minutes’ walk away from the ground so in prime position for matchdays.

Of course, like lots of old stadiums, the pubs nearby have gone bump so it is good to see one surviving and clearly making enough cash on matchdays with quick fire grill food to ensure it ticks over.

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It’ a bit of a Tardis and once we’d got past security it was a great to see a proper old boozer at the front with three small rooms and then a big extension out the back and some terrific Indian grub.

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I have to say the Golden Glow (Holden’s) was in great form and that is fairly unusual for a football pub near the ground but there were plenty of people on it.

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A chilled out but vibrant atmosphere with Blues and Albion shirts intermingling nicely and everyone appeared to be here for either the Chicken Tikka skewer kebabs which we had and were excellent although the kick sneaked up on you and forced me to have another pint!

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By the time we left at around 5pm on a Friday, albeit before a match, this place was heaving and they have clearly spent a bit of cash on making it feel like a fans pub, but not neglected the quality of their beer.

It was the same post match too, as we decided to pop in at around 10pm.

(post match debate)

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The atmosphere was lively but friendly and the sort of place you’d like to go for a drink and some food.

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As football pubs go, this must be one of the top boozers in the country and I am pretty sure even Paul WME would agree!

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33 thoughts on “Football Pubs #2: The Vine

  1. Hard luck on the result; you’ll be fine.

    Was that your first time in the Vine, BeerMat ? You were wise to get there early. I’ve been a few times before City night matches at the Hawthorns and you can’t get in at 6pm.

    Offering one beer means it’s great beer, too. A classic, despite the expansion of the indoor Barbeque a decade ago (it used to be classically shabby).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Victoria in Clayton, Manchester, only opens for City home games, when it can sell up to 1,000 pints before and after the match. All keg, of course. Maybe Martin should pay a visit next time he’s at the Etihad 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I didn’t know about the Victoria. Tempted now, though quoted opening times (Sat only) disregard fact that City never play on a Saturday these days !

      There’s a clutch of flat roof pubs just south of the entrance to the South Stand (MaryD’s Beamish bar) which are full of City fans watching the game on big screens, but they apparently open all week too. Think I’ll stick to the central Manchester Proper Pubs.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. How come the 22nd best team in the country is averaging over 30,000 at home games? 35,888 when we recently stuffed West Brom at Elland Rd. Looks a decent pub,and shows what can be done with a little creativity, but I consciously avoid pubs on football match days.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Probably not. Same as with most things the Mancunian deviance comes into play and they count every town within 30mins drive as being Greater Manchester, which it isn’t. Manchester itself is relatively small (google it). Mind you Leeds could count West Yorkshire as being Greater Leeds (which it is, I suppose), but it wouldn’t die right and would be disrespectful to the many towns and cities that surround us.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s only because much of the BBC is located in Manchester now. They only mention what they see. Mind you, many BBC employees live in and around Hebden Bridge as it’s on the railway network. Prices around that area went sky high when BBC relocated to Manchester.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes Beermat, as you predicted I’m a fan of the Vine – very handy from the Metro and the food is a major attraction although I haven’t braved it on a match day. I like the fact it still has properly pubby snug areas at the front of the building, and it certainly stretches back a surprisingly long way. Beer has always been good whenever I’ve visited. If you happen to return sometime, the Cricketers on the other side of Kenrick Park might also be worth a look as another Desi-style establishment.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s certainly unique isnt it? Shabby back street boozer with several little rooms & then out of no where a desi pub/resturant/indoor grill/bbq attached at the back. I’ve been several times, in fact I ate here only just a few weeks back. Although a visit to the vine does make a match day more wholesome I tend to visit (not all that frequently admittedly) on non match days. Beer quality tends to be decent to average, but for a desi pub you’d have to say it’s far superior to other desi style pubs serving real ale – which is a hard find in itself, tends to lend itself to just lager most likely Carling/Cobra. For me, a visit to the Vine, the food will be the centre piece, the ale, if they haven’t run out, is the added bonus. I quite enjoy that its away fan friendly too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Spot on! It hit the spot perfectly for me and my pal and as he’s a Baggies man and I’m a Blues fan it was perfect. Enjoyed the atmosphere before and afterwards and the beer was terrific on this occasion.
      More and more pubs near to grounds are biting the dust so good to see them survive in some way, shape or form.


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