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Beer of the Week (w/e 26th June 2022) with Bucking Fastard on the Pub Forum

The Clarendon, Sunderland

143 High Street East

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Pub SignMan left this review about Butcher's Arms

This is quite an attractive traditional pub located down one of the back streets that run through the port area. Until recently, the Bull Street Brewery was located next door and their beers could often be found on the bar here, but sadly the brewery closed down last year and on my visit, there was no real ale available at all due to some repair work being undertaken on the lines. The barman advised that ale would be back on by the following week, but sadly I would be several hundred miles away by then, so I took a deep breath and ordered a pint of Caffrey’s (£2.00) instead.
The pub has a single room layout with smart floorboards throughout. The servery is to the rear right and has a counter made from old drawer fronts and an enormous pub mirror on the bar back, flanked by some wooden plank panelling and various bits of breweriana. Padded benches can be found under the part-obscured front windows and chunky pews run down the left hand side of the room. There is a nice raised stone fireplace to the front right with a small stove inside and a marvellous art deco mirror above. The walls are mostly covered with white patterned wallpaper, with more plank panels to the rear and some bookshelf wallpaper also apparent. A few more tables and chairs can be found beyond the bar and several TV screens were on, showing a loud pop music channel or muted live football and I also noticed a juke box. A large window to the rear gives excellent views out across the Wear, although my visit in the hours of darkness meant I couldn’t enjoy this to the full. The place clearly retains traces of its former traditional appearance but sadly this has been encroached by a few too many modern distractions and I didn’t feel particularly settled in here.
I’m not entirely sure how much bad luck was to blame for the disappointment I felt at this visit and how much was down to the fact that the pub isn’t up to much. Obviously the lack of beer in a Good Beer Guide listed venue was pretty unlucky, but that wasn’t the only negative with this place. If some decent beer could be guaranteed, I would consider a return, but I suspect it would nevertheless only be for a flying visit.

On 18th February 2016 - rating: 5
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