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To Close or Not To Close? with Spinko on the Pub Forum

The Head Of Steam, Newcastle Central, Newcastle Upon Tyne

2 Neville Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne

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Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about Head Of Steam

Situated just across the road from Central Station in a particularly unappealing building, this is a first floor bar and live music venue from the eponymous Head of Steam group. The main bar has a simple bare boarded, L-shaped layout, with a similarly shaped servery in the rear right corner. The bar counter has a pleasant detailed decorative frontage whilst the bar back is considerably more restrained. The front section of the room has a partly carpeted seating area with long banquettes, standard chairs and low stools underneath a good collection of breweriana, some mirrors and plenty of photos. The room extends further back to the left of the bar, where a long U-shaped banquette with a jazzy upholstered back can be found, broken in places by the insertion of some small round tables. The walls here have some unattractive wood plank cladding which again have been covered with items of breweriana, lots of photographs and a large image of some sort of unidentified piece of industrial equipment. The whole place seemed to be well kept and smartly presented and I had no trouble settling down on one of the comfy banquettes and enjoying my pint whilst listening to the rather intriguing alternative rock soundtrack. The place was fairly quiet on a Sunday evening, but the few other customers who were in all appeared to be slightly nutty, which is perhaps inevitable at times for a pub with this kind of location. There is also a separate live music venue downstairs with a bottle and can only bar, but this was closed on my visit, so I was unable to explore.
As with most Head of Steam pubs, the ale range was pretty good, with options on this visit comprising Portobello Northern Line Stout, Allendale Yarm Pale, Anarchy Anti Venom, Mordue Five Bridges and Wylam Silver Ghost, with a final pump sporting a turned clip. A strong range of keg and bottled options was also available, with the full range detailed on a large board on the staircase - not the easiest place to try and figure out what you want to drink next. My pint of the Stout was very enjoyable and the lone barman seemed very friendly, if perhaps a little weary of some of his more challenging customers.
I quite liked the feel of this place, which I felt was a well run operation with some good beer and comfortable surrounds, making it a good option for anyone straight off the train. It lacked that bit of character needed to make it an indispensable pub, but I found it to be a solid option and I'd have no problems with a return visit.

On 16th May 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2474 recommendations about 2474 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about Head Of Steam

The main bar is up a flight of stairs and downstairs is used as a music venue. The pub was quiet on our Sunday night visit. There were four handpumps in use, I went for Hadrian and Border Tyneside Light Ale. The music played was at a decent level and staff friendly. Toilets need a refurb.

On 8th August 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2976 recommendations about 2976 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

hondo . left this review about Head Of Steam

Handy for Newcastle train station 4 real ales.

On 21st December 2011 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2693 recommendations about 2637 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Head Of Steam

Very unpromising looking place from the outside, and a bit gloomy and claustrophobic inside too. However, this is made up by a good selection of real ales including a nice pint of Stallion Bitter from the reliable (if lengthily-named) Nick Stafford's Hambleton Ales. Fine for a quick one if waiting for a train, but I wouldn't hang around for a second.

On 12th September 2009 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6090 recommendations about 6090 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

ROB Camra left this review about Head Of Steam

I usually call in here on a Tuesday or Wednesday night when I'm in Newcastle, so I don't know what it's like at weekends. During the week they always seem to have at least one very unusual real ale on so it drags me in like a magnet. It's pretty quiet then as well so you can get a seat if you want or lean on the bar. Not bad at all if you can withstand the student b*llocks being talked about all the time.

On 19th August 2009 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2855 recommendations about 2776 pubs]