Saturday 29 December 2012

Halcyon days in Poynton?

I wrote here about how Wetherspoon’s had bought the former Kings Bar and Lounge in Poynton and were busy working on it with a view to opening on Tuesday 18 December, reverting to the pub’s original name of the Kingfisher. Well, that deadline was achieved, so I popped in to have a look.

It originally opened as a Greenall’s pub in 1959, and has the typical sprawling, low-built style of estate pubs of that era. There’s a plaque inside the door with some information about the pub’s history. Untypically for the Wetherspoon’s estate, it has a small car park, maybe with about 20 spaces, which was completely full shortly after noon.

I never visited it in its previous incarnation, so I don’t know if the layout has changed at all, but it’s largely open-plan, with a long bar counter down the right-hand side, a raised seating area to the left, and an odd windowless area with a skylight full of chairs and tables right in the middle. The toilets, in typical Wetherspoon fashion, are upstairs, which I doubt was an original feature.

The food and drink are the standard Wetherspoon offer, with ten handpumps on the bar and guest beers of up to 6.0% priced at £2.09. Interestingly, in view of my previous posting, amongst the beers on the bar was Harviestoun Schiehallion craft lager on keg. Some, but not all, of the food prices were a little higher than Stockport and Didsbury.

The interior design is unashamedly modernistic, and to my eye more resembles a modern upmarket McDonalds than a traditional pub. The colour scheme is predominantly pastel, the floors are bare wood or lino with geometric patterns, and many of the chairs are tubular steel rather than wood. The only bench seating is one stretch right at the far end, and there’s no shortage of high-level posing tables. It was also, on this particular visit, heated to an uncomfortable level, with a fierce downdraught of hot air right in front of the bar counter.

There’s an extensive discussion on the Poynton web forum here, and some photos here which give a reasonable impression of the interior. Like all Spoons, it does what it says on the can, and no doubt they have researched the potential marketplace thoroughly and it will prove a success. However, as a place to have a drink or a meal, I didn’t personally find it remotely congenial. Other Spoons, such as the Gateway, have a much more “pubby” feel to them.


  1. It's a huge switch around from the previous central circular bar, and the toilets did indeed used to be downstairs. I know of pubs smaller than the new smoking shed.

  2. If they've totally changed the internal layout they've done some impressively quick work.

  3. Lord Egbert Nobacon29 December 2012 at 14:05

    " Beers at up to 6.0% priced at £2.09."
    Hello craft brewers, are you listening ?
    The future of the British pub is safe in 'Spoons hands.

  4. Egbert, the pub may be safe in 'Spoons' hands, but I'd bet brewing ain't...

  5. Lord Egbert Nobacon30 December 2012 at 09:15

    @ Sid - without all the hundreds of 'Spoons where would all those breweries sell their stuff ?
    Tim Martin has done more for the preservation of real ale in the UK than anyone else.
    Huzzah !

  6. Ohh no, not another Wetherspoons thread! :-) Don't think this pub is targetted at you Mudgie... Poynton has always struggled a little real ale wise and I think this is a positive step forwards. If it's anything like Macclesfield, all the pubs together create a very nice real ale scene.

  7. @Rob: Yes, I know it's not targeted at me. But even by Spoons' standards it's spectacularly "unpubby". I agree it will greatly improve the rather poor pub scene in Poynton, though.

    @Nev: glad someone got it ;-)

  8. Professor Pie-Tin1 January 2013 at 16:13

    Despite my moniker I really am quite thick.
    You'll have to explain the pun to me because I still don't get it.

  9. The phrase is generally used in a nostalgic sense to mean "a happy time in the past that is not going to come again", but "Halcyon" is in fact another term for "Kingfisher". There's an explanation of its origins here.

  10. Professor Pie-Tin2 January 2013 at 09:52

    Cheers feller.
    I doubt Stphen Hawking would have got that one never mind someone like me who's as thick as the back of a bull's bollocks.


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