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Monday, 16 May 2016

The North Western, Liverpool

The North Western, Lime Street
Anyone travelling through Liverpool's Lime Street Station has now the choice of using the new station bar: the North Western. JD Wetherspoon has taken over the former Head of Steam, refurbishing and expanding it to a high standard; it cost £2 million, a staff member told me. The pub is in part of the impressive old North Western Hotel building, which was closed for 60 years. The pub shows off features of the old hotel to great effect, such as the existing columns in the main room, wood panels and the great hall at the far end of the pub. Chandeliers and a staircase with individually-lit steps suggest an air of 1930s glamour, and the front windows all have a fine view of St George's Hall across the road.

The usual Wetherpoon's offer of food from opening time until 11.00pm is particularly useful to those travelling very early or late, with tea and coffee available if needed. In beer terms, there is the usual range of lagers, bottled craft beers and a choice of twelve real ales. In addition to the regular beers, Greene King Abbott, Ruddles Best and Sharp's Doom Bar, the guest beers on our visit were: Coach House Dick Turpin, Everards Original, Moorhouse's Black Cat mild, Naylor's Spring Loaded, Nelson Midshipman Mild, Phoenix Arizona, Springhead Roaring Meg, Titanic Lifeboat and Wychwood Hobgoblin.

The great hall
There are three separate rooms downstairs, while the upstairs houses a balcony drinking area and a rooftop beer garden. The pub has become very popular with travellers, for whom there is a train times screen, and with local drinkers on a night out. Conveniently, the rear entrance opens straight on to the station concourse.

The pub is at 7 Lime Street, Liverpool, L1 1RJ. Tel: 0151 709 6825. It opens at 6.00am, except Sunday (8.00am), and closes at midnight except Friday and Saturday (1.00am).

This is part of a series of articles that I am writing for the CAMRA column in our local paper, the Southport Visiter. Previous reviews are here.

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