After Work Drinks
Thurs 27 April 2006
The bar tucked underneath the Art Gallery seems to have gone through quite a few incarnations ... I first knew it (a few years ago!) as Buonavita - where they served some solid Italian snack food and nice cold beers ... others have known it as Aire on the Square (which I missed altogether) and we can all now get to know it as Terrace.
I am told that not a lot has changed inside since its Aire on the Square days - just a new paint job. The weather isn't quite up to sitting outside just yet (though it is trying!) but the Terrace has the patio heaters out in force - and with big French doors you can sit inside, enjoy the fresh air and benefit from the heaters! I like it.
Which is about where 'like' begins and ends for me, I'm afraid. It wasn't busy at all, when I arrived just after 5. I ambled over to the bar where one barman was serving a customer. Not a problem - I don't mind waiting my turn ... except when there was a second member of staff who, as far as I could tell, was basically standing around not doing anything at all. She looked at me, but didn't bother to come over and ask if I were being served ... When I did get served I had to ask which 'real' beer they had on. The drinks menu lists that they sell a real ale (no name given) and there are a couple of hand pumps behind the bar - but no label, so I had to ask. I was told they had Broadside on, and while I clarified that this was Adnam's Broadside I'm not 100% convinced that we were on the same beer plane.
This is a pet hate of mine. I think that if you are going to work somewhere you should take an interest in what you're selling, even if (or especially if) you're not that interested to begin with. So - if you sell books, take the time to know where stock is, learn a few authors, classics, know what's new ... if you work in a bar ... learn something about the beers, wine and cocktails you sell (yes, that means drink them!). End of rant.
I also thought my pint of Broadside was served a touch too cold. Especially as it was colder than the lagers at my table (hmm, another pet peeve). I've done some research (I've stopped short of ringing Adnam's and asking) and it looks like this beer should be served around the 7-8C mark - maybe I should start taking a thermometer around with me!
The thing which stood out about this venue (me moaning about my pint is hardly new or unusual!) was the rather interesting choice of music: we seemd to be all over the place - the play list ran from Frank Sinatra to the current top 40. To be perfectly honest, a bit of swing as I enjoy my first pint after work - not a problem, even desirable - but not when it's interspersed with some Stone Roses! Quite odd, if nothing else.
So, I've done Terrace and don't really need to go back ... where next?!
1. Terrace, The Headrow (in between/underneath the Art Gallery and the Central Library). I haven't been able to find a phone number.
How to get there: once you've found the Headrow you'll be unable to miss the Art Gallery! Stumble It!