J.D. Wetherspoon pub. 5 Castle St, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire AB11 5. Tel: +44 (0)1224 621 365.
* Prices may differ from that shown
I've been in many pubs and clubs in Aberdeen and elsewhere, but Archies is always where we go to start out night. ~~~Archibald Simpsons - Archies~~~ The pub opened in July 1997 and has been a hit in Aberdeen since. It's part of the ever popular Wetherspoons and doesn't let down the reputation.It is set in a wonderful building where you can admire the architecture both inside and out. There are the old pillars, columns, paintings and the fabulous ceilings (ok so you won't admire this is you're on a night out, but still). It's situated on the corner of the main shopping street, Union Street, and the popular Castle Gate so it's usually the first stop on the list when you go out and about. This isn't just a pub for the nights out or for a quiet drink, you can also have a lovely meal here that usually works out quite cheaply (oh the awful service makes up for it). The area next to the bar is extremely spacious and has been left with only a few tables and bar stools in order to accommodate a larger group of people. You might have to stand, but you'll be in amongst a group of other people that also have to stand. One big important point for everyone to note: this pub does not play any music at all! It's perfect for those conversations at the start of the night or for a quiet meal during the day. ~~~The Food~~~ Archies to a wide variety of food and are renowned for their curry and burger days. They'll have a wide selection of these on a particular day for a fixed price. If this doesn't suit, they have the usual menu running alongside that i can pretty much guarantee caters for everyone. I say this because i'm an extremely fussy eater and had to go milk and soya free for a year but still managed to find something i could eat. The prices are reasonable but quite expensive for the service you receive. You can have something as simple as a portion of chips or a sandwich to a three course meal. ~~~Drinks~~~ They are renowned for their drinks in Aberdeen and as i'm a cocktail girl myself, i love it here! They do giant pitchers of cocktails for around £5, depending on which cocktail you want. You usually get 4 decent sized glasses out of these so they are definately a bargain. They do quite a wide variety of cocktails too so they cover everyones tastes and do some rather bizarre ones too! The beer here is fantastic and they've recently been awarded a place in the good beer guide of 2009. They do real ale and have guest ales at various times in the year. They have the other usual drinks such as wine, vodka etc and we've never had problems with drinks feeling watered down like you do in other places. They cater for people who love their alcopops too, usually for around £1 a bottle! ~~~Service~~~ I had a big problem with them a few months ago (when i was milk & soya free) and the staff were less than willing to help. I'd ordered my meal and waited for them to bring it over to the table. It arrived quite quickly, but it was totally the wrong meal and included butter on the plate - i had explained the dietary requirements. They told me they wouldn't cook me another meal because this is what i'd ordered unless i was willing to pay for both meals! Well why would i pay for something that a, i didn't order and b, i couldn't eat. After a good 10 minutes of arguing with the manager they agreed to send me the correct meal, but by this time my friend had finished her meal and it was extremely awkward. Not only that, but i was pretty sure they would spit in my food because i had complained! ~~~Toilets~~~ Every time i see a review on a pub or a club, i always look for information on the toilets! When you're out on a night out and intend on having a fair bit to drink, the last thing you want to do is trek up/down a million stairs and walk a mile to get there. This is Archies downfall. You have to walk through most of the restaurant to get to a door, climb a load of stairs, walk down a corridor and then you'll find the toilets. Not ideal for those who've had a few you have to admit! However, there are advantages to having the toilets this far up and out of the way. They are always clean and always have toilet roll! I think this is because people who have had a bit too much can never find them. They do have a disabled toilet downstairs for those that are unable to use the stairs. ~~~Random Info~~~ All the bits you wonder about but people rarely remember to mention if they aren't relevant to them. The pub has: ♦ A childrens license so you can take your children here for a meal. ♦ Wi-Fi access for all those that require it. ♦ Multiple TV screens for all those football mad fans ♦ To go along with the tv screens they have their subscriptions for sky and setanta. ~~~Verdict~~~ If you want cheap food and drink then this is the place for you! It's clean, tidy and a fantastic atmosphere for most occasions. Despite my problems with the service, i still give this place 5 out of 5. Definitely worth a visit!
What did we do in the days before we had Archies? It's hard to remember to tell you the truth. Ever since Wetherspoons opened the infamous Archibald Simpsons (Archies for short) in Aberdeen, it's been a fixture on the drinking map of the vast majority of Aberdeen. Its situated in a large old bank on the corner of Union Street and King Street - two of the main streets in the town centre. Definitely prime territory. The previous use of the building ensures that the architecture inside is fantastic - columns, pillars, elaborate ceilings. The new owners have been sympathetic to the original fixtures and have enhanced them by adding some wonderful chandeliers. The first thing that you notice when you enter the pub is the incredible amount of space. There are a few seats to the side but most are round the corner out the way. This makes Archies ideal for meeting large groups of people in i.e. works night outs. No matter how many there are of you - 2 to 92, you can always fit in if you don't mind standing. If you are lucky enough to get a seat you won't want to leave again. Deep leather arm chairs with high sides to block out the crowds and the noise. Oh that's something I should definitely mention. Archies doesn't play music - not a note. It's hard enough in pubs to hear the person next to you over the chatter of everyone else without competing with music as well. They sell a really wide range of drinks and, as it is a Wetherspoons pub, the prices are some of the cheapest around if not the cheapest. They always have a good selection of real ales at cheap prices to keep the boys happy and their alcopops (Breezers etc) are incredibly cheap at sometimes only £1. The bar staff are always friendly no matter how busy the bar. I don't know how they cope as I've seen the bar 4 deep and it's a long bar! Some extra staff would be a help! I've also eaten in Archies and I have to admit I was impressed. My partner and I selected from their "2 for £5" menu that is served every day all day. The food on this menu is plain and simple and, as the name suggests, you get 2 meals for £5. My partner had fish and chips and I had sausage, beans and chips. I was well impressed. I had three huge lovely Yorkshire sausages that were really meaty and herby - not a greasy sausage in sight! The chips were lovely and crispy and there were plenty of beans. I struggled to finish it all. One thing I noticed while we were having lunch was the number of OAPs that were also eating there. I think they get special deals so it is even cheaper for them. Fantastic value for money!! I should explain the title of this op. The only irritating point about Archies are the toilets. They are situated at the back of the pub, up the stairs and down a long corridor. You really have to be prepared to fight your way through the crowds and then the long trudge. Once you get there you find lots of lovely clean toilets so it is worth the trek! They do have a disabled toilet downstairs so you don't have to climb stairs if you aren't able. In summary Archies is an excellent place to meet lots of people for a night out. Lots of space, cheap drinks and you can actually hear yourself think!
While Archibald Simpsons could be considered as quite a nice bar from the outside, once you enter you will realise that there is something missing. Music. That's right, this is a bar with no music. Ever. This means that when it is quiet, it is like sitting in a dentists waiting room. And when it is busy, it resembles something of a busy train station or an airport lounge. The drinks may be cheap too, but this simply entices those, shall we say, of a rather unkempt and smelly fashion to frequent the bar. Oh, and the toilets are also miles away up heaps of stairs, so it is inadvisable for the heavy drinkers who can't quite hold it in!!
The interior of the pub is brilliant, it's an old bank (of the non-chrome nylon carpet era) and has fabulous high ceilings, cornice-work and is just a brilliant looking building. The alcohol is also pretty cheap, with some excellent deals on pretty much everything from selected lagers and beers to alcopops. Generally prices are cheaper than virtually any other pub, and there is also special offers on each month or week. The food isn't too bad, and there's even a curry night with again special deals for your fave balti and a pint (I've never had one personally, but I've been told they're good and great value). Sounds like the kind of pub you should go to every weekend really doesn't it, but the weird thing is I don't. It's got a strange atmosphere. I've been in during the day, either for lunch or mid-afternoon, as well as the evening, through the week or weekend. Sometimes it's packed out and there's a great mix of people and ages, and then other times you can walk in and you would swear that you were in an old man's drinking pub and the music stops when you walk in. Mmmmm.... Bit of a mixed op really, I wouldn't say don't go, but I also wouldn't say 'oh yeah, I go there all the time'. Try it for yourself!
Archibald Simpson's (Archies') is on the corner of Union St and Castle St. It's big and old and bright and cheap...probably THE cheapest pub for drinks you'll find in Aberdeen. There's a really friendly atmosphere all the time, and even though you're likely to bump into old man/lecturer types, there's a communal feeling of 'we're all here for the same reason, so let's just get the drinks in' - which is brilliant. It's not a 'trendy' joint, and the decor isn't up to much, but that's not what makes a pub. Always loads of brilliant drinks offers on, and the food is good. To get to the loo you have to climb the height of Everest in stairs, but that's all part of the fun, once you're filled to bursting with alcoholic liquid. Great for pre-club drinks and laughs, and for relaxing after a hard day = big comfy chairs if you can find a free one. There's separate smoking/non-smoking sections too, if you don't like to inhale cancer sticks.
The Wetherspoons Pub at the bottom end of Union Street in Aberdeen, on the corner of Castle Street, is called Archibald Simpsons, known to it's regulars as "Archie's." The pub is distinctive from it's city centre competition for a number of reasons. First, the prices are ridiculously cheap. There are a great range of discounted drinks, meals and deals throughout the week at Archie's. Fancy a pint of Fosters for £1? How about a double nip for £1.50? There are about 6 different spirits available as double measures all day, every day, for only £1.50 All Wetherspoon pubs have a soft drink policy which allows drivers or anybody not drinking to have a choice of a variety of Soft Drinks at reasonable prices. Which means you can even get a Diet Irn Bru - Hurray! The "reasonable prices" bit is perhaps questionable here, with cans on sale at £1, but this is pretty standard. Draft coke and lemonade come in much cheaper, at around 80p a pint. As well as drinks, Archie's has a fabulous pub menu, with equally fabulous prices! If you like Curry, try the Curry Club menu, or go for Burger and a pint for £3. My recommendation would be a Wetherspoon Burger meal - meat or Veggie, both are lovely, and come with chips and onion rings, from less than a fiver. Ordering food can be a pain if you're not used to the system - you have to find a table, make a note of your table number, then go and order at the bar. If your food is going to take a while, you'll always be told in advance. The range of punters who frequent Archie's is hugely diverse. From businessmen at lunchtime, to groups of students who flock in fresh from uni lectures (a handy five minute walk from Marischal College and Aberdeen College) for a cheap tea, or later on, for cheap pre-club drinks. There are staff nights out from all sorts of workplaces, and older couples come in for a quiet drink early evening. There are single men of all ages sitting at the bar looking hopeful, taking solace in being part of a larger circle. It's a roomy pub, so it's rarely packed, although you often won't be able to find a seat on Weekend nights and Tuesday nights - Aberdeen Student nights. One of the great things about Archie's is the "No Smoking" section. This is about the only pub in Aberdeen (or should that read "the world"?) that takes into account their non-smoking alcoholic customers? Although most of the tables for eating are in the non-smoking section, it is not exclusive, so you can just have a drink in that section. Likewise, if you like a ciggie after dinner, there are also tables in the smoking section. A real (every-)customer friendly policy. Okay, now comes the big problem with Archibald Simpsons. The thing which really lets the pub down. I'd be surprised if this oversight hasn't led to some serious accidents in the past. What is this screw up on the part of Wethersponns? Where have they failed to accomodate their loyal customers? In the worst possible place! The toilets in Archie's are up three flights of stairs (okay, one) through a door at the back of the pub, up the stairs along an endless corridor. By which time the only thing you can think about is how you're going to uncross your legs to sit down after bunny hopping this far. A smiling faced chalk drawing picture beams at you "Nearly there!" before you collapse in a heap, not daring to hope that you made it on time without a splash. Apart from that, Archibal Simsposns is the pick of the pubs in Aberdeen. If you're counting your pennies, and don't suffer from Kidney problems, give it a go.