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Pubs in Tyne & Wear in general
Member Name: thanatoszane
Pubs in Tyne & Wear in general
Date: 07/08/02, updated on 30/12/04 (644 review reads)
Advantages: Varied nightlife, can be cheap, fun
Disadvantages: lots of places are trendy, can be expensive,
There isn't a top 10 category for pubs and clubs in Newcastle, but I can't actually name Ten GREAT pubs and clubs anyway, so I thought I'd cheat and use the 'in general' section for my favourite seven.
I'm going to stress that my preference is Rock clubs, so there's not really and 'normal' night clubs in here. Newcastle is great for night life - places like Rockshots, Luckies, Baha, Julies 2 and The Boat cater for all tastes. The Empress offers cheap drinks, and there's lots of other places around the Quayside and Bigg Market too.
I'm just going to cover the places I like to go to though.
THE GOOSE AT THE GARDEN
The place I hang out in most of the time is The Goose At The Garden. It's not my favourite place, but it just happens to be on the route between the two bus connections I use on my way home from work.
It's a family pub really, no music, not even a jukebox, and no TV. Just comfy sofas, cheap beer, not-quite-as-cheap shots and food. The food menu used to be REALLY good, but it's changed recently and is slightly more expensive, with less variety. What they do serve is good though.
I wouldn't call this place anything hugely special, the beer is the normal fare and they don't have a huge variety of bottles or shots, but they do have all three varieties of Aftershock :-)
My main reasons for liking this place are it's convenient location near Eldon Gardens, the comfortable seating (although on Saturdays it can be busy and hard to get a seat.) and the fact that it's a nice meeting place both during the day and as a start to a night out. The lack of music means it's a good place to sit and talk.
This is somewhere that I sometimes move on to after The Goose. It's a bar / restaurant during the day and a nightclub from about 8PM each night.
This is another place I go to mostly because of the S
ofas and drinks - they do Pitchers, including Lust, TVR, Between the Sheets and Sex on The Beach. Great stuff, at about £6.99 for a 2 Pint Pitcher. The Pitchers come in nice, easy to pour jugs too, unlike in certain other pubs where you end up with more on the table than you do in your glass!
The food is decent and reasonably priced, but it is only served up until about 7PM. They also serve Costa Coffee - including Baileys Irish Coffee :-) That said, some of the bar staff don't know how to make the stuff!
They have seats outside during the summer.
During the day they offer a table service and allow you to run up a tab. This stops at 6PM, after which you have to be over 18 to get served at the bar, and the place turns into a normal pub in atmosphere.
The service in the place can be good depending on who you get, but some of the staff are a little 'robotic'. I've gotten to know one of them quite well though and he offers me 'special' pitchers with interesting mixes.
I'm convinced that at certain times of the week The Lounge turns into a gay club, I've been approached in there a few times by women propositioning me, which is kind of scary.
The music isn't great in here. They sometimes play rock during the day, but on a night it's dancy stuff, and the TV usually has Big Brother or a soap opera on it rather than sports.
Still, it's nice for food, drinks, and the atmosphere during the day.
To be pedantic, there are 3 branches of Wetherspoons in the Newcastle / Gateshead area. One near Central Station, one on the Quayside and one in the Metro Centre. They all have a similar look and feel, although the prices vary, with the on near Central station being slightly cheaper for food.
The Quayside one seems to have the friendliest bar staff, the one near Central station has a shortage of Pitchers and a rather clumsy person worki
ng for them who tends to drop things and doesn't know how to make most of the shooters!
They do some Pitchers and have an interesting selection of guest ales, although I question the quality and freshness of them. Food from any branch is pretty good, but there can be waits of up to an hour during busy times.
It's another place which is nice as a cheap start to a night out, or as somewhere to meet people. I go there a lot for a bite to eat before going to the cinema, for example.
FRANKIE AND BENNIES
This place is *very* expensive, but it's still nice. There's one near my workplace, and it is often used as the start to a works night out.
The quality of the food served is very high, although their options for vegetarians is limited. The main attraction is the range of drinks on offer - they have a huge variety of wines, spirits, lickers and bottles, several beers on tap, and even some nice non-alcoholic options. They also have a good cocktail list and bar staff who know how to mix drinks with flair, and happen to be friendly with it.
The music is old-fashioned stuff intended to give an American atmosphere, as is the decor. It kind of works. It isn't really my style, but you get the feel that it's a high quality place, and it makes the prices slightly less 'ouch'.
There is another Frankie and Bennies in Newcastle itself, which isn't quite as well decorated as the one near where I work - still seems nice though.
Now we go from a quality theme place to somewhere described as the night club worlds version of McDonalds.
Rock@The Arena, and the other arena nights, such as Mayfair and Snakebite are intended as replacements for the old Mayfair which was demolished a couple of years back.
On a Friday and Saturday night, the Foyer of the Telewest Arena is opened up as a 'night club' basically, this means that part of it is used a
s a dance floor, there's a DJ, some tables and chairs and the bar is opened up. It's hardly atmospheric, but there's good music, beer (in plastic beer glasses or bottles) and somewhere to dance or sit and chat to people with decent taste in music :-p
A couple of times a month they have either a themed night (themes such as Devils and Angels) and sometimes they bring in some bouncy castles. This can be fun, but it can also be painful - huge, fat, drunk men climbing up a giraffes neck and dive-bombing you when you're my size hurts! Jumping up and down to 'Bounce' (Bounce! pogo-pogo-pogo!) on a bouncy castle makes it worth it though!
There's an entry fee for The Arena, but if you have a Rock Pass you get reduced fees for a year, free entry to some nights, free drinks on others, and a free T-Shirt.
They're heavy on security here - bag searches on entry are frequent, and the bouncers slightly paranoid. I guess that's a good thing, but I have had paracetamol and an un-opened bottle of Lucozade confiscated from my bag before, which was embarrassing at the time!
I don't go as often as I'd like to, but when I do it's always a good laugh.
Cuba Cuba is another place that I don't go to as often as I'd like. It's a rock / metal club with a great atmosphere.
In the past it was mostly teeny-goths that went there, but in the past year or so that seems to have changed and it is a much better place to go - the music is better, and there isn't so much 'I'm gother than thou' going on.
Drinks are priced reasonably for a club, there are a couple of bars, the dance floor is reasonable and there's plenty of seating.
The entrance fee isn't too bad - between £3 and £5 depending on which night you go.
Now we come to my favourite bar... Trillians Rock Bar. They have live music several nights a w
eek, from little known bands such as Fist to tribute bands such as Maiden England, and the occasional once well known group, or part of group - an ex Guns N Roses guy performed here a couple of months ago.
The atmosphere in this place is great - dark, loud, and friendly. The live gigs are always good, and the DJ nights are cool too - the DJs actually listen to requests! There's a juxebox, but it's not worth putting any money in, your choices are unlikely to come on unless you stay all day, so many people feed it.
They do some great cocktails and shooters, and the choice of bottled drinks is good too. My favourites are Pink Pussy and Screaming Orgasm. You'll be screaming to order mind - the music is LOUD. There are some beers on tap, but not many.
They do have a food menu, and the food is of reasonably quality for the price, although I do prefer to eat somewhere else then come here as it isn't anything special.
Drinks wise, shooters and pints seem quite cheap, but bottles are expensive. Still, for a night out taking in good music and having a laugh with friends it's reasonable. Some gigs are free, others have an entrance fee, but if you turn up early enough you can escape having to pay :-)
I'd say this is my favourite pub / bar - it's open till 1am on a Friday and Saturday, and they have a huge screen on one wall showing sports. Great for the F1 :-)
So.... that's a list of the Pubs and Clubs I frequent, warts and all. Trillians and The Lounge are my favourites, Wetherspoons and The Goose are cool for just dropping in during the day, and Cuba and the Arena are great for nights out. If you're ever in Newcastle, drop in!