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When you’re out in Lancaster, there’s pretty much only one place to end up. The mighty Sugarhouse on Sugar Alley. But what do you do before you find yourself in Lancaster’s finest? You could sit in your kitchen like every other night, drinking Carlsberg and playing ring of fire. Or alternatively take a trip to a couple of pubs before embarrassing yourself to all of your friends.
Before Desmond, there were actually a couple more pubs near Sugar to choose from. The Juke Joint always looked interesting, but thanks to its curious opening times I was unfortunately never able to visit. The king of pre-drinks – The Green Ayre – was also ravished by the floods. So en route to Sugar, make sure you light a candle outside. We’ll miss you Bottom Spoons.
All of the places on this route were in fact submerged by those infamous December puddles, but The Bobbin didn’t take too long to reopen. I’ll be honest, it was a bit of a dive before the forced refurbishment, but it was an endearing dive, it had quite an attraction. It had a decent range of ales, and whilst it was reminiscent of a backstreet boozer, it was a good backstreet boozer. Hardly a place you’d take someone if you wanted to impress them, but good for a pint or two nonetheless.
The refurbishment has definitely made The Bobbin smarter, but it still attracts the same people as before so it’s arguably a bit of a mismatch. The Bobbin has always been a rockers’ pub, occasionally hosting some loud bands, especially during the Lancaster Music Festival. It’s a shame that the flood hit The Bobbin, and whilst the turnaround was quick to reopen it, you can’t help but feel it’s lost a little bit of its charm.
Ah, the Yorkie. The closest pub to Sugar is quite similar to The Bobbin in many respects, stocking a decent amount of ales as well as attracting both locals and students. It’s smaller than the aforementioned pub, but actually spans two floors, the upper of which frequently stages different themed nights and events. The ales are plentiful and a fair price, and the Yorkie always seem to have something by the Coniston brewery on tap which is always a treat, including the Bluebird Bitter.
Most pubs have a pool table; the Yorkie has a foosball table, which is only 20p a play and serves as great entertainment. Additionally there’s a jukebox, which is perfect if you’re there for a couple of hours with some friends. Like The Bobbin, the Yorkie unfortunately suffered in the floods but reopened fairly quickly without a major overhaul. You couldn’t really ask for a better pub yards from the Sugar doors.
There’s no doubt what the finest pub is in Lancaster. The ales are top classes, such as the incredibly hoppy Blue VK. Incredibly enough, The Killers also play there every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night. It’s staggering, it truly is.