Some pubs are talked about in hushed tones, almost reverentially, and I reckon 585 – The Rowditch Inn DE22 3LL is one of those places.
One of the last men standing on the Uttoxeter Road on the outskirts of Derby it has built up a reputation as a place for cracking beer and a strong core of locals.
You know a place is old skool when it opens at 7pm every night and a couple of hours on a Saturday and Sunday afternoon before back open at 7pm again.
(Steve & Jan – Rowditch dream team)
However, today is apparently the last day of trading under Jan and Steve, as it is set to close its doors for good.
Yep, another pub set to bite the dust and the adage that a pub is only as good as its gaffers is so true here.
I spoke to Colston Crawford – the beer columnist for the Derby Evening Telegraph and all round top bloke – and he said it was a must visit boozer.
Jan and Steve had a good schooling at The Cooper’s in Burton before taking over the Rowditch and brewing their own St Stephen’s beer, which apparently is Derby’s equivalent of Bathams.
So, I rolled up at The Rowditch last Tuesday after the announcement was made and found a steady stream of punters, all of whom knew the duo behind the bar and spoke like old friends.
There were three small drinking areas and a proper pub garden that could well have been the most chilled one in the history of pub gardens.
I asked for a pint of St Stephens but Steve said he hadn’t appreciated just how much demand there would be for it post lockdown and it wasn’t on.
“It’s just like the old days when we first started and had to buy beer in…we’ve got a strong one and a standard one from Dancing Duck,” he said.
There were a group of around eight people leaving and I sat in the main bar area for a while with a couple of old boys and one who wasn’t unfriendly but not in the mood for any chat.
If I was going to sum up this place it would be like being in someone’s house. It had that feel to it that only comes after years of TLC and being comfortable with yor punters.
A feller was giving Jan some good natured stick about “smiling too much” and he preferred her “withering stare” before heading out to the beer garden.
There were about ten people out here and I sat near to the cheeky chappie from inside who spoke to his pals about strong curry and then started reading his Basra book.
One of the fellers he was talking too was rolling his own and then he also started reading a book and it was like sitting quietly in a back garden on a summer’s evening.
A slightly younger lad was also lauding the merits of chicken Madras before he stared into space and didn’t read a book.
The Ay Up (Dancing Duck) was excellent and I can’t imagine there has ever been a bad pint pulled at this place .
A bar full of breweriania, memories and stories that have gone forever…another one bites the dust.