Sunday, 28 February 2010

Putting you off your pint

Well, the poll on “What do you personally find offputting in pubs?” has finally closed, with no less than 115 responses, which is by a large margin a record for any poll on this blog apart from the s*****g b*n one.

The results were:

1. Noisy children: 95 (83%)
2= Karaoke: 75 (65%)
2= Wall-to-wall diners: 75 (65%)
4. Big screen sports: 62 (54%)
5. Slow service: 60 (52%)
6. Lack of cleanliness: 59 (51%)
7= Drunk customers: 49 (42%)
7= Unable to smoke indoors: 49 (42%)
7= Unwelcoming regulars: 49 (42%)
10. Warm beer: 44 (38%)
11. Uncomfortable seating: 24 (21%)
12. Dogs: 20 (17%)

I’m not surprised to see “Noisy children” top the poll, as in my experience this must be the biggest no-no in pubs. At opposite ends of the social scale, both “Karaoke” and “Wall-to-wall diners” send out a clear signal that, for many people, this is not their type of pub. It’s good to see “Dogs” at the bottom, as I never really understand the objection to well-behaved dogs in pubs (which I find they almost always are). Surprised to see “Uncomfortable seating” so low, though, as, however good the beer, if I can’t find somewhere comfortable to sit, I won’t stay for another.

As you’ll see, the “mirror image” poll is now up and running. I’ve taken on board some of your suggestions, although surely “good beer” and “good food” should be taken as read. So it didn’t get too big, I rejected the ideas of:

Etched or frosted windows
No food served
Oversize lined glasses

This will be an interesting poll as I really have no idea of how it will turn out. It’s worth drawing your attention to Curmudgeon’s Ideal Pub, written ten years ago, and still largely holding true, although one key point is now impossible because of legislation.


  1. From your antique article.

    "Short skirts on barmaids"

    Oh yes!

    (I see a tone, I lower it)

  2. There is a particularly attractive waitress who works in my local pub and I remember once a couple of guys saying "How did Megan Fox get in here?" ;-)

  3. I know uncomfortable seating is a bugbear of yours-and I tend to agree, but I've noticed it's not really an issue for many people. More interesting, for me, was the low placing of warm beer.

  4. Possibly this means that warm beer is rarely encountered nowadays - I can recall some dreadful examples but haven't had any recently.

  5. On the subject of uncomfortable seating, I went in the Magnet in Stockport (a new multi-beer freehouse) for the first time yesterday. It has been very tastefully renovated, but I couldn't help feeling the "vault" side would be much better for having benches against the wall rather than tables with four chairs at right angles to the wall, and that the "posing tables" on the lounge side where there used to be a comfortable alcove were seriously out of place.


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