This backstreet Stokey local, buried in the complicated network of residential streets behind Church Street, has been spruced up lately after some time in the doldrums.
It’s a big place, even bigger than it looks from its streetcorner location, and a difficult one to fill. The deepish back room can feel a bit tumbleweedy when it’s not busy, which is often the case early in the week, and the bare-brick decor doesn’t encourage intimacy. As a result, you’re better off staying at the front, close to the big picture windows and the imposing bar.
Still, that shouldn’t disguise its virtues: a couple of ales, worthwhile cocktails, sturdy gastropub grub and staff who are keen to make you feel at home. Worth a second look.