“ Address: Unit 4 / Riverhead / Frederick Ward Way / Grimsby DN31 1XZ „
In 2002 I was just finishing secondary school and going out into town (underage, I know). This was the year that the Riverhead was developed in Grimsby and numerous pubs and clubs were added to lacking nightlife. Over the years, most of the other pubs and clubs have been shut down, mostly due to underage drinking but Lloyds no.1 aka Ice Barque is the one place that has stayed open the whole time. I even worked there for a very short period of time quite some years ago now.
Ice Barque is easy to see in the town center, either from one entrance of Freshney Place Shopping Center or from the bus station. The pub is large with a glass front which makes it stand out quite well. From the outside, Ice Barque looks nice but the windows can cause problems especially on nights out when people start fights. As soon as you enter the pub, you can see the bar straight ahead and the numerous tables and chairs. There are two raised areas downstairs, one which is used for a dance floor at night times. There is also a set of stairs which leads to a balcony area which has additional seating and another bar. During the day time, this does well as a restaurant but there are also plenty of day time drinkers to be found in there.
Generally, I will come here to eat nowadays rather than for nights out. I don't go home to Grimsby very much anymore but this is always somewhere that is cheap and you know what you're going to get when it comes to food. You can choose to either sit at a normal table or there are comfier sofas and tables if you wish to be a bit more relaxed. The menu at Ice Barque has changed so many times over the past 10 years but there are always some good offers on food.
Food needs to be ordered from the bar, so you can get your drinks at the same time. Once you have ordered, you will be given a receipt and told a rough time for how long your food is going to be. I have found that general waiting times are between 10-25 minutes depending on what you order and when you're visiting. Saturday day times for example are much busier than during the week so you can expect a slightly longer waiting time.
Here you can get 2 meals for £5.99. The choice of meal here isn't very extensive but what else can you expect for that price. On this offer, you can get things like ham, eggs and chips, a superfood salad, chilli con carne or sausages, chips and beans as well as a couple of other choices. While this menu isn't great, there is a full menu available. Ice Barque also offer different themed nights like curry club on a Thursday, steak club on a Tuesday and a Sunday club where a Sunday dinner is on offer. These club deals all include a meal and a drink for a set price where a couple of different meals are available.
The full menu obviously offers a much wider range of food. Here, you can get meals such as burgers, wraps, salads, pasta dishes, numerous meat dishes and sandwiches as well as many other things. On the full menu, you can expect to spend anywhere from £3 to £10 depending on what you order. The BBQ chicken melt is one of my favourite meals to have when eating out here. With this meal, you can a chicken breast, smothered in BBQ sauce, topped with cheese and bacon with sides of chips and peas. Last time I had this it cost about £6.50 and the meal is extremely filling and tasty.
A children's menu is also available although I have obviously never eaten from this! Something else that I love about eating here are the desserts. There is a lot of choice on the desserts menu which is something you don't normally see in a chain pub. I'm always torn about what I want for dessert but the chocolate fudge cake or Belgian waffles with ice cream are really nice. I do think that Wetherspoons in general offer a great menu for pub food and slightly better than other cheap chains.
It has been a while since I have been here for a night out but I know that over the weekend, Ice Barque is open until about 2am instead of the usual 11pm. I know this because of working there more than anything. Drinks are averagely priced with spirits and a mixer costing roughly £2. I tend not to drink anything else while I'm out other than vodka and coke so cannot comment on prices of other drinks. However, for something like a coke, you can look to spend about £1.50. The drinks don't seem to be any more expensive than other pubs which is why the bar always gets so busy on weekends. I did used to really enjoy nights out here but maybe that was because there wasn't much else on offer after the other pubs on the Riverside closed down.
Overall, Ice Barque is a good Wetherspoons pub and one of the better ones in my opinion. The seating areas are always clean and tidy so you don't feel as though you're eating in a mess. The staff are mostly pleasant, more so in the day time when it isn't so busy. The food is cheap and cheerful and you get what you pay for.
Lloyd's no.1 is better know in Grimsby as "new Lloyd's" simply because we have a rock put which is referred to as old Lloyd's, how this came about I don't know but they've been nicknamed way before I can remember. New Lloyd's is located on the river head which at one point was bursting with life with lots of night clubs at another restaurant also however the ever increasing annoying under age children managed to get a few shut down due to their stupidity. I believe that new Lloyd's has managed to stay open through the recession in Grimsby unlike other places simply because it is apart of the whetherspoons chain. Due to the dwindling night club life in Grimsby new Lloyd's is often rammed because there is hardly anywhere else to go.
New Lloyd's is the first club on the river head located on the far right side if you are stood looking at it from the bus station. The full front is glassed making it easy to see through from afar, this has both it's advantages and disadvantages. When on a night out you can see if it's busy and worth going in, but if a fight breaks out it's easy for these to get smashed. Inside is large and open planned with high tables, low tables, sofa seating, a raised dance floor with a completely mirrored side. On the raised sofa seating area are stairs, these lead to a balcony where a second bar and seating area can be found. To me this is set out for the night life even in the day, this to me is an alternate meal to places such as mcdonalds, pizza hut and so on. I do like to come in here and have afternoon lunch and catch up with friends but when going in you can tell straight away that it is a night club whereas the yarborough hotel (whetherspoons) is clearly a pub that serves mainly food. In here there is no distinction as where to eat and where to sit and have a drink,it's simply just grab a table anywhere and any side.
===Seating and menu===
In the daytime seating is also set out on the dance floor and to my knowledge this is the only seating that gets moved for the night time. I either sit up here is there is space or where the sofa's are. This is because the sofa's are really deep and comfy and the seating on the dance floor is wide set and spacious with of course the huge mirrored side in which I can stare at my self as I eat (yummy.) Sometimes The reasons I don't sit on the other tables is because it makes me wonder if someone has been sick on it the night before etc. The menu is pretty standard and is the same as all whetherspoons menu's. The meals are not very varied, they have pasta, pizza, some meat dishes, salads and some curry,when I say some I mean they have 2. The prices in here are really great for a filling meal which is why I chose it over the fast food options. In here you can get a chicken salad wrap and chips for just £3.49 it makes for a cheaper, healthier and more filling alternative to fast food.
===Ordering and prices===
When ordering your food you have to go up to the bar, because this is a pub also the many regulars here get seen to first at the bar and then stand there having a chat whilst you wait to order something that obviously cost more than their drink. I don't mind going up to the bar and ordering because it's nowhere fancy. If you work at a whetherspoons then you can get discount but my friend is a manager within house of Fraser and she also gets discount, not too sure how this works, but it does so if you get any discount cards it would be handy to ask at the bar if yours is valid for whetherspoons. The food prices are really cheap, the smaller meals such as raps, salads and burgers all range between £3-£5 and in this meal you get a side order of chips are salad. Pasta, pizza, curries range from about £5- £8 and the meat dishes are from £5-£10 depending what you have ordered.
=== Food and service===
I've had a variety of meals the most recent being the bacon carbonara with a side order of garlic bread. The pasta was a little burnt around the edges, the carbonara sauce wasn't a lot, it's as if they put as little on as possible, the bacon was mainly fat and the garlic bread was burnt. This was not the best meal I have had here I must say. However I have had their mixed grill here which is my all time fav meal but here it came with an excessive amount of peas, I don't even like peas. The meats were moist but I didn't even get asked how I wanted my steak cooked, but it was a little over cooked to how I usually like it anyway, it was nice but the meats seemed really small and very fatty. The best thing I've had here is the wrap and the curry, the curries aren't spices which is great for me. but the wraps are really fresh and big bits of chicken in them. overall I'd say that they serve the smaller simpler meals better than the bigger meals. The bar staff are ok in the day time, they do take their time to get to you which can be frustrating. Also when you pay separately they decided to bring you meals out separately and in can be 15 minutes before all meals have even arrived.
As far as I am aware This is open until the early hours on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. These are the days that it is open until 2/3am. Tuesday in Grimsby are most popular because this is the student night here, even though it is called a student night anyone can go there is just means that the prices are cheaper and more affordable for people with less money, although they seem to of not noticed that people go out on a Tuesday rather than a weekend where it is more expensive, because it is cheaper. I used to go out here a lot between the ages of 18-19 because it was a new thing to me but these days I don't even like going out so I cannot say the exact prices. However a spirit and mixer is £2 shots are £1 etc.
Because there are now only 3 nightclubs in Grimsby town centre this makes it a very popular place to go out which attracts all kinds of people from chavy/slutty/alternate and just weirdo's, everyone goes in here, much to my distaste they play chart/dance music. This isn't for me but when I'm drinking it doesn't bother me anyway I just dance along. Outside they offer a seating area and a separate smoking area. This smoking area is small compared to the amount of people that actually get crammed in this space. The dance floor is big enough to get a couple of hundred dancing at once which makes for a great atmosphere. The balcony and second bar is opened which I'm not sure is a good idea because things can be throw from it. The toilets in this place are really big, in the girls they have built it how it is on purpose, it has a full length mirror with a seating area in it, there are over 10 cubicals and it has a double cubical. weird as it is some weird people like to pee together. it's gross and weird but we've all used it. On a night time this won't be stocked up which is annoying and looks quite trampy by the end of the night. They also has a small set of toilets up on the balcony.
Overall I like to go in here to grab a quick meal and catch up with mates over a bottle of wine or 2 in the evening, the night life here no longer appeals to me due to it simply not being my scene any more, lot of younger people are out now and I'd rather be curled up in bed with a film.