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Thread: Why are Wetherspoons Pubs like Marmite??

  1. #11
    Still about Mobyduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aqualung View Post
    I reckon the beer is more consistent in Spoons than other pubs, a lot of pubs don't even sell real ale at all and so I think they should be included in the equation. Over the last few years I have only had poor pints in three Spoons and I'm happy to name and shame. The Toll Gate in London N8, the Gilpin's Bell in London N9 and the Admiral Byng in Potters Bar.
    My nearest spoons is The Prince Arthur (JD Wetherspoon). Iv,e had some decent pints there over the space of the last ten years but these have been out weighed by at best very average and worse very poor pints.Maybe this is just an example of a below average spoons but I don't bother any more ,I'm not wealthy in any sense of the word ,in fact quite the opposite, but I would sooner spend £3.50 on a decent pint in a pub I am comfortable in, than pay £1.99 and play Russian roulette with the beer however interesting the beer choice may sound.I don't count pubs that don't sell real ale in my particular equation as they don't interest me and I wouldn't knowingly enter one in normal circumstances. I take your point about the GBG feedback form and will use it.
    I still hate Marmite.
    "Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer."
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  2. #12
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    Wetherspoons are usually better than the average pub in the vicinity, wherever you go. However they vary too much. For example in Leeds, the Stick or Twist is a server of amazing real ale and has a great beer patio. However if these sorts of things bother you (they don't me), the clientele is a bit rough and ready. The Wetherspoons in Leeds that everyone gravitates towards, the Cutthbert Brodrick, has appalling real ale but a more sedate crowd and view over Millennium Square.

    Manchester is the same. The Paramount is amazing for real ale. The one on Piccadilly Gardens is appalling, but it is on the route to town from Piccadilly Station so it doesn't have to bother. You quite often get plastic containers here too.

    I think the iron test for me about Wethers is whether is has to try in order to do well. If it doesn't, it'll be shite. The problem is you need to know the area or the town to know if the Wetherspoons has to try.

  3. #13
    This Space For Hire Aqualung's Avatar
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    I have never been to Fleet apart from through it on the train.

    I remember visiting the Spoons next to Manchester Piccadilly back in the nineties and it was a total disaster!

    I'm not sure that them having to try harder in a given area is relevant.

    I find the pricing policy really annoying. Today in the George at Wansted I had a pint of the Harviestouns beer that I can't remember how to spell Schihallion or something that cost £2.30 and in the Walnut Tree in Leytonstone the Franklins Grumpy Governor was £1.99. In my opinion the Walnut Tree is at the top of it's game at the moment as the staff seem to be on the ball and there always seems to be a full or nearly full range of beers.
    The George in comparison seemed somewhat shambolic even though it wasn't that busy.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aqualung View Post
    I have never been to Fleet apart from through it on the train.
    Believe me that's the best thing to do,keep going.
    "Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer."
    -W.C.Fields

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aqualung View Post
    I have never been to Fleet apart from through it on the train.

    I remember visiting the Spoons next to Manchester Piccadilly back in the nineties and it was a total disaster!

    I'm not sure that them having to try harder in a given area is relevant.

    I find the pricing policy really annoying. Today in the George at Wansted I had a pint of the Harviestouns beer that I can't remember how to spell Schihallion or something that cost £2.30 and in the Walnut Tree in Leytonstone the Franklins Grumpy Governor was £1.99. In my opinion the Walnut Tree is at the top of it's game at the moment as the staff seem to be on the ball and there always seems to be a full or nearly full range of beers.
    The George in comparison seemed somewhat shambolic even though it wasn't that busy.
    The Piccadilly one is always a disaster. In a way it's a real shame for Mr Martin because it ought to be one of his flagship establishments that he probably gets the most passing customers in, being as it is right here to 2nd busiest railway station.

    But of course as we know these sorts of pubs don't need to try hard because they will get custom whatever.

    Mr Martin needs to consider however that these passibng custom will use this to establish a view of his other establishments. Were I him, I'd make this one the best, not the worst.

  6. #16
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    Just to add, The Paramount in Manchester is one of his best. Always about 9 ales on, one is always a very strong bugger, which satisfies me.

  7. #17
    Pussy Galore No 1 Oggwyn Trench's Avatar
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    Not that many around here , two in Telford , two in Shrewsbury , of the two in Telford the William Withering has the best selection and quality of beer but has a stupid queueing system at busy times , the Thomas Bottfield is like a big cafe with beer during the day and on a weekend night it can be four deep at the bar and a very very long wait and usually only the GK IPA , Abbott and Pedi as the ale choice .

    The two in Shrewsbury are better but the Shrewsbury Hotel has the usual chronic lack of staff and Montgomerys Tower although well staffed just doesnt feel like a pub , both have a decent choice of beer and the qualitys good , but lots of much better pubs very near , in fact i am off there this afternoon
    Theres a Man with a Mullet going Mad with a Mallet in Millets !

  8. #18
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    One issue is that they set themselves up as being 'better', which leads to annoyance when they are not. Any chain/brewery/group with that many outlets is bound to have some which are not quite up to scratch at any given time although, to be fair, 'Spoons are probably more often above average (whatever that is) than most others.

    No corporate-directed manager will ever be able to top the really exceptional private guvnor, but they are few and far between. Actually, the food in 'Spoons parallels the pubs themselves: you know that you will get something reasonably consumable at a fair price and it will be available, but it will never win a Michelin star.

    So I don't mind Wetherspoons (and I like Marmite).
    On leaving the bar, I felt a strong blow to the back of my head. Turning round, I discovered it was the pavement

  9. #19
    The Beerhunter. RogerB's Avatar
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    Having been to around 170 of the things, I suppose I can say that I am quite happy to pay ‘Spoons avisit, even idf it is for my customary breakfast and pint before a long session around town.

    The major plus point is that they are (for the most part) consistet with their beer and food and you know exactly what you are getting. It’s fair to say that they have also opened new doors for me in that by knocking out cheap ales, I was able to experiment in what was a largely untapped area for me without breaking my wallet. They probably did more to turn me into a fully fledged ale man than anything else. The same can be said for curries in that until 3 or 4 years ago I would never have touched one but their curry club was an affordable learning curve. Now I love curries.

    As for the premisies, there are ‘Spoons with plenty of character (revitalized pubs, converted banks etc) and some that are just aesthetically dull but they do have a justified reputation for their overall cleanliness and have the resources to tart up any of their branches that need a bit of TLC. I also thuink they do listen to any constructive comments and action them where possible.

    They have set a benchmark and have the ability to influence the market and I reckion that without ‘Spoons we would probably be pushing towards a £5 pint by now. That said, they can destroy neighbouring established pubs that are unable to compete for one reason or another. I am keeping a specific eye on Whitstable where the ‘Spoons opened last year to much controversy. In the 10+ years that I have been doing an annual pub crawl around d the town I have not known one pub to close. I can think of a couple that are now possibly threatened by the new ‘Spoons existence and will be interested to see how things pan out.

    I hate Marmite.

  10. #20
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    I reckon there are a few Wetherspoons that have kept other local pubs open by providing a focal point for a crawl and making a town viable to have a few pints in. Eccles springs to mind. I'll be interested in seeing if Walkden is the same as well - although given its catchment area it's a town that has relatively few pubs.

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