It was around 2005 when I was introduced to the Smithfield (Hotel). Inside it was all red carpet, an oddly placed pool table, wobbly chairs and short-tempered dogs.
It did have a vast array of casks and was a massively charming boozer.
Then it closed rather suddenly.
It reopened in about August of 2014 and as the photos on its then twitter account @smithfieldmcr1 shows it was very purple inside.
Sadly during its overly long closure it had lost its footing on the beer scene, over-taken by the likes of Crown & Kettle, Castle, Fringe Bar and slightly further away, the Angel and the Marble Arch.
Still, it had cask beers, but these were not consistently available and the decor had really stripped away most of its original charm to the point that it felt worse than any generic place you’d find in Printworks or on Deansgate Locks. Still pubs can only be as good as what you bring to them yourself and it was ok when I was in there, if rather depressingly quiet most of the time.
Then out of the blue like Mr. Benn’s shopkeeper, another twitter account appeared @TheSmithfieldNQ and it appeared that BlackJack, who’s beers were ever-present in the Purple incarnation, had taken it over.
After a ‘soft’ launch last Thursday it opened properly on the 18th of June (yesterday as I type).
The Burton Arms is somewhat over shadowed by the other pubs nearby.
The Heineken sign – the Emmanuel Goldstein of the ‘craft’ beer pub.
Keg lines, more drip trays required, possibly numbers too.
It was very busy last night – possibly due to the buzz of the launch, it was commented that (made up statistic alert…) probably 80% of the people in there had never been to the place in its previous colour schemes.
Still a bit of work needed doing, papering, painting, a way of drying your hands in the men’s toilets, possibly some pictures on the bare white walls.
You get the feeling these days that because the beer scene (errghh, sorry) is perceived to be moving fast that new pubs and even new breweries are open far sooner than they should.
But the beer, the crowds and the dart board is there (no pool table yet, maybe downstairs when that is complete?) and it was a good night.
I’ll leave you with this motto…
Thanks for reading.