Wednesday, 15 January 2014

An Echo of Liverpool pubs

An interesting article in yesterday's Liverpool Echo lists the top 24 pubs in Liverpool as chosen by the readers, and I'd have little argument with most of them.

I'd certainly disagree with the Casa, which is by no stretch of the imagination a pub: it is a venue with a bar that doesn't sell real ale, and at best I'd call it a licensed community centre. It was set up in its current form by the Liverpool dockers after their strike in the mid-1990s. I remember it as the Casablanca, a dive of a night club where I used to go almost every weekend more than 30 years ago. I met a beautiful girl called Jeannie there and we went out for a while, but that's another story: it is definitely not a place where I could imagine brief encounters happening now. Close encounters of the militant kind, more like.

Ma Egerton and friends
Ma Egerton's was a keg-only pub the last time I went in there, but that was decades ago. It was once popular with the stars that appeared at the Empire Theatre next door, and many of their pictures still adorn the walls, some with Ma Egerton herself, but those glory days are long gone.

Bier is a new pub just off Bold Street and is the only place on the list I haven't been into yet. Strangely, the Stork in Price Street is listed. Strange because, while it's certainly a good pub, it's not in Liverpool - it's over the water in Birkenhead. Readers made several sensible suggestions about omissions in the comments below the article, and I particularly agree with whoever said the Grapes on Roscoe Street should have been included.

The article is here, and includes a brief description of each pub and a gallery of pictures. If you just want the names, here they are.
  •  The Dispensary - Renshaw Street
  • The Belvedere - Sugnall Street, Liverpool            
  • Ye Cracke - Rice Street, Liverpool
  • The Caledonia - Catharine Street
  • The Pilgrim - Pilgrim Street
  • The Fly In The Loaf - Hardman Street
  • The Ship & Mitre - Dale Street
  • The Swan - Wood Street           
  • Baltic Fleet - 33A Wapping
  • The Grapes -  Mathew Street
  • The Globe - Cases Street
  • The Stork - Price Street, Birkenhead
  • Peter Kavanagh’s - Egerton Street
  • The Casa -  Hope Street
  • Bier - Newington Temple
  • The Roscoe Head - Roscoe St
  • The Excelsior - Dale St
  • Ma Egerton's - Pudsey St
  • Thomas Rigby's - Dale St
  • Liverpool One Bridewell - Campbell Square, Argyle Street
  • The Railway - Tithebarn Street
  • Ye Hole In The Wall - Hackins Hey
  • The Lion - Moorfields
  • The Albert Hotel - Lark Lane


  1. I've not been in myself for about twenty years but I thought the Philharmonic might have made the list.

  2. Is Ma Egerton's the pub round the back of the Empire? I remember going in there before rock concerts back in the 70s. It was called something else back then.

  3. I went in a pub in Liverpoool once on quiz night. |The first question was "What you looking at?"

    Further questions included "Do you want a passport or driving licence" and "Do you want some drugs?"

  4. Ma Egertons (previously the Eagle many moons back) was refurbished about 12 months ago and does now have at least one real ale available. It's still mainly used by Empire Theatre/Carling Academy punters and people waiting for a train. The 'little' Grapes on Knight St should be on this list but let's keep that a secret for us discerning drinkers.

  5. I should also add that the Grapes on Mathew St is a dreadful boozer these days. It stinks and the real ale is foul. Shame, as it has historic significance. The White Star is a far better pub in every respect.

  6. So many of my old haunts Nev. And a few of ours. Liverpool has changed less pub wise than many places.

  7. CL: I trust you answered correctly.

    Tom: I agree about the Grapes in Mathew Street, and the White Star. The Grapes on the corner of Roscoe Street Street is something of a hidden gem, although I do remember going in there a very long time ago and being served keg Higsons from an electric pump hidden behind a handpump.

    TM: yes, we're lucky in Liverpool in that so many decent pubs remain and are unspoilt. Lots of memories too.


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