“ Address: Trinity Street / Hanley / Stoke-On-Trent / ST1 1HJ / Telephone: 44 (0)1782 206032 „
Fat Cats is one of those places that is always the suggestion as the meeting place should you be going out on a night on the town, whether you are meeting for lunch before going into town for a little retail therapy or whether you just want to have a catch up over a nice coffee.
The Cafe Bar is situated in the Heart of Stoke on Trent, just as you are on your way out of the town of Hanley. The building itself used to be an old telephone exchange, therefore from the outside, it is not really that attractive to look at and you wouldn't associate it with being a bar of any kind. Its an old looking building that you could imagine being some office or the like.
Fat Cat Cafe Bars are a chain that currently consist of eleven cafe bars across the country, including: Bangor, Cardiff, Chester, Derby, Leicester, Lladudno, London, Northampton, Nottingham, Stoke on Trent and Wrexham. The first bar was opened in Bangor in 1992. Over the years the Fat Cat Bar in Stoke on Trent has gone from a bar that hardly no one ever went in, to a Bar that has a highly reputable profile within the area. We have seen it go from a huge room to an extremely modern and welcoming place.
When you first walk into Fat Cats, to be honest I get the impression that I am walking into a place that is going to be a Weatherspoons, it is over to floors and you walk initialy into an entrance hall that either leads you upstairs to another room or to the toilets. When you walk directly in front of you you walk into the main dining area.
It greats you with open arms, an attractively lit and well stock bars faces you with very friendly staff that are on hand behind the bar. The seating area is ful of booths around the room, with a few tables around the middles of the room and plenty of leather couches to relax on if you are going for a drink after work. The decor is different, on one of the wall, it has been cemented and has huge pebbles that have be inserted into the cement, it is a fantastic effect however must have taken ages to do.
Whenever I go into Fat Cats, I always head for a booth and I am disappointed if I am unable to get one. They are more cosy and private and most of all comfortable. You are normally served at your table, whether you are ordering just drinks or if you are staying for food. Most of the time, we say we will meet for coffee, but whenever the waiter come up to our table I find it hard to say can I have a coffee please and out come the words, can I have a pint of Cider. LOL.
The food within Fat Cats is very good, it has quite a comprehensive menu, not what I was expecting to be honest, I thought it was just going to basket meals or something like that, however they cater for everyone's tastes. On my last visit I had the Sirloin Steak with egg, served with Sauteed Potatoes. It didn;t take too long to arrive, around 20 minutes, and it ws very well presented. The steak I had asked to be cooked medium, which was cookd to perfection, neither under or over cooked and it was a really nice piece of meat. The potatoes however I would not have called them Saute Potatoes, they were more like baby boiled potatoes and hadn't got a great deal of flavour to them, which was a disappointment as I was really looking forward to them.
In the summer they have a very small beer garden which is basically a balcony that has been decked out with a couple of palm trees here and there. It is pleasant, but there is nothing really to look at whilst you are out there only old buildings.
During the evening Fat Cats livens up and they events on many nights during the week, including Monday NIght as student night and they will have live local performances on. They do also offer student discount with a Cat Lovin Card. Friday Night they open the basement lounge bar which is seated our with sofa's around the room. I went a Hed Kandi night here once so have only been in this room once. To be honest I saw plenty of the room as the night was a bit of a flop and not many turned out for what actually was a good night. This was going back years though and when it first opened, before it had established its reputation. Saturday Night, they have the resident DJ, and it turns into a bar as opposed to Cafe and is only until 2am with free admission. I tend to bypass this on a Saturday night anyway and i am not a great lover of the nightlife in Hanley anyway.
Its a great little bar for a quiet chilled out drink and a catch up but not for me at the weekend I'm afraid.