The Woodworkers

It’s hard to believe that less than ten years ago Lavery’s was struggling. And when a small bar struggles it’s bad enough, but somewhere three stories high, on prime city centre rates struggles, you’d be forgiven for cashing in on that big fat asset, particularly as it was slap-bag in the Beforetimes, when property shifted for crazy money.

Praise be that the Lavery family saw into some crystal ball and made all the right moves. Money was spent, lots of money on a smoking section weeks before the smoking ban came in.

When other bars struggled to cope they were way ahead of the game. By the time the competition caught up, they’d rebuilt the loft into a pool hall worthy of grand designs, complete with roof garden.

The money keeps on being spent. They’ve bashed the wall into the now-defunct Guitar Emporium to open the Woodworkers. And what an handsome little bar we’ve got here.

They’ve lucked out with the original flooring - that weathered parquet would require re-mortgaging to recreate in a new build - and the bare brick walls.

But there’s more - plush leather banquettes and panelled wooden walls transport you a million miles away from the shabby chic, lets-get-a-load-of-guff-from-the-auctions ’quirky’ chancers.

It’s a beer bar, with a dozen different guest ales on rotation, available in pints, halfs and thirds, so you can work your way through the list without requiring a stomach pump.

It’s high end stuff as well - everything from Fischer’s Helle to the best of the Williams Brothers, Thornbridge and some heavy hitting whiskeys. They’re served in proper glasswear too, traditional dimpled tankards ala the Rovers Return. There’s also a selection of cooking lager as well, if you’re afraid of beer that tastes of something.

The entertainment reflects the bearded and tattooed clientele, who are rubbing shoulders with the occasional bearded and sensibly dressed real ale aficionado. There’s original live music and some of the towns more left field DJ’s can be found plying their wares at the end of the bar. Most entertainment is free, which is good, as you’re paying premium prices for premium product in a premium bar. It’s not a cheap night out, but it’s definitely an education.

[Photo taken from Woodworkers FB page, link below]

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