“See this?” said the new gaffer with a smile raising her middle finger to the barmaid. “This one is for you!”
If I could bottle what is special about estate pubs then this little exchange summed it up perfectly. Slightly chaotic, always lively and a place not for the faint-hearted, these boozers are the lifeblood of communities.
I know Mrs BB wouldn’t agree with me here but pubs that welcome you in but “aren’t very keen on noise and want you to eat” aren’t my idea of pub utopia.
I liken a good estate pub to a changing room at cricket or football (probably add in other sports but these two are the most important as all readers of this blog now). By this I mean there is pretty much non-stop ‘bantz’ and ruthless, acerbic p*** taking of the no holds barred variety.
And so it was in 625 – The Robin DE3 9HD which is slap bang in the middle of a hosing estate in Mickleover, a big Derbyshire suburb just off the A38.
My last Mickleover post was about a new micro – read it here – and in the comments section Mick Ellover (may not be his real name) alerted me to The Robin and said it was “the last pub built by the old Derby brewery Offilers, before they were taken over by Bass Charrington around 1965.”
A two-bar pub I headed left to the dart-board and pool table (closed off) and saw a couple of ladies putting together makeshift posters about only punters being able to use the car park.
(Highly amusing barmaids)
I got chatting and decided on THE keg offering of 2021 – half a pint of John Smith’s Smooth – which the barmaid pulled through the pumps in a jug before serving in a classic half pint jug!
It’s what could be described as a tight beer range with all three pump clips turned round but the JSS was very drinkable.
Oh look, a beermat…
She apologised for the glass but I wasn’t fussed and the other artist got chatting about whether I’d been in here before.
I asked her if she was knew and she said no but the gaffer was “over there, the ugly F*****!” The gaffer then responded with the line at the top of the post and the laughter started.
They were on a mission to keep the car park for punters and were lively, funny and perfect to be running a pub like this.
I left with a “come back again soon” ringing in my ears and half an hour in a pub on a Thursday afternoon with a funny gaffer and barmaids who were very friendly and experienced mean this place will be rammed of a weekend I reckon.
A big Derby suburb with lots of chimney pots mean this place has plenty of potential to carry on and lively boozers like this are alive and kicking.