Onward and upward to my last “Merseyside” tick in what the GBG calls Wavertree*, but you might think of McCartneyville as you approach the myriad delights of Penny Lane.

Unique bus shelter/bistro/inspiration for a duff album


This is practically heaven for me, entering a part of the UK I’ve never been to before, about to tick the last pub in a GBG chapter, and having to avoid bumping into blokes wearing Liverpool shirts with “Candy” on the front.

Yes, it was 1990 lads

Even the fact the last tick was called “Handyman Supermarket” couldn’t knock the spring from my step as I passed what I’d long thought to be mythical places like TriBeCa and Dafna’s Cheesecake Factory, places immortalised on unreleased outtakes from the White Album.

Look up !

The odd tremendous church too, in the middle of a really mixed area.

St Barnabas

Just before the Handyman I spied a rare Proper Pub amid the sea of bars and bistros. There must have been a hundred students in the garden, presumably all carrying out research on the decline of the traditional pub.

Summer has arrived

Being naturally curious, I crossed the ornate threshold.



WhatPub has little to say about the Brookhouse, bar its popularity with students and lack of real ale, which was clearly the big drawing point with the punters.  Not that I could have got to the bar anyway, with fifty scallies in front of me.

I had a minute ’till the Handyman opened at 3, and admired one of the more unusual pub frontages in the UK.  Until Hungry Horse nick the idea.

Design classic

You’ll be expecting me to slag off the Supermarket when you see the interior.

High tables, distressed walls
Music room

But I loved it.  Just like the combination of craft and music at Rock & Roll Brewhouse in Brum or Cambridge’s own Blue Moon, it all felt natural rather than forced.

I will even refrain from docking a half point for the jug on this occasion.

Why do craft places serve beer in handles ?
Note Coors Light for hipsters

Because their own Pale was sublime, the best of the month so far (NBSS 4).

Shows the lacings well

Only downside; I was the only customer, but the pleasant young barman happily chatted Brass Castle over a shared admiration for Bad Kitty (not a drug) and seemed relieved I wasn’t nicking the rare LPs at the back.

Such a great LP

And with that, Merseyside was finished.


Do you want to know a secret ?  The Handyman might very well be my favourite pub in the whole chapter.


*But WhatPub insists on placing in Allerton, to annoy tickers who like neat GBG spreadsheets


22 thoughts on “PENNY LANE, GBG GAIN

      1. Ah, dear old Pubs Galore, it’s a well-updated site, but lacks spark for my money.

        It’s quaintly ironic perhaps, that a pub and beer site should be administered with apparently Plymouth Brethren-like solemnity.


  1. Interestingly, I too found the Handymans much more to my taste than I expected when I visited last June. I couldn’t put my finger on what the magic ingredient was.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nothing feels “forced”, and it’s a lot more than good beer and indie music; there’s load of places that are theoretically similar in central Liverpool that don’t work for me.


  2. Did you learn the history of the building? Was it an actual supermarket at some point, or is that all just part of the look they’ve created for this bar? I do wonder (with that big sign out front) if they don’t occasionally get people stepping in there having assumed it was a proper supermarket!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apologies Mark, I never bother with history (“istree” in Liverpool); it used to be a hardware supermarket, and hasn’t bee mucked about with much.

      I don’t think you’d confuse it with a Tesco Express ! In contrast, our former pharmacy has reopened immediately as “Pharmacie” a trendy café (no craft beer yet) which has confused the local gentlefolk.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I believe the Handymans Supermarket was a local landmark for many years, the goto hardware shop for the area. You can see it in its old guise on streetview in 2008 and 2015.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done on toppling another county with some brutish opening times. Looks like a cracker to finish. Should have been there this weekend but had a wedding to go to. Penny Lane rings a bell…,

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “but you might think of McCartneyville”

    Is that a Stone’s lips thingy on the Penny Lane sign?

    “and having to avoid bumping into blokes wearing Liverpool shirts with “Candy” on the front.”

    I don’t think I want to know.

    “Even the fact the last tick was called “Handyman Supermarket” ”

    Crikey. That’s a pub? Thought it was a place for screws (now, now), nails and the like.

    “like TriBeCa ”

    I thought that was in New York?

    “The odd tremendous church too, in the middle of a really mixed area.”

    What… not only Catholics and Protestants but atheists, wiccans and the like?

    “presumably all carrying out research on the decline of the traditional pub.”

    Always go with a good excuse. 🙂


    From my limited knowledge I understand there’s many an ornate pub in Liverpool.

    “I will even refrain from docking a half point for the jug on this occasion.”

    Blimey. You were in a good mood. Was it too much sun?

    “And with that, Merseyside was finished.”


    “The Handyman might very well be my favourite pub in the whole chapter.”

    Sigh, which I will need to read from the beginning.
    (looking forward to the ‘take off your party dress’ one) 🙂


    PS – Another bloody week of falling behind. Curse my wife and her good cooking!


  5. A long time since I’ve supped in the Brook House. Way back when I lived there I seem to recall, unlike everything around it sold Tetley Drum Bitter as they called keg then. So it has form.

    Don’t remember the hardware store as a hardware store or anything else but did wake up in Penny Lane bus sheds on the top of a 79A once.

    They are long gone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The best nights are the ones when you can’t remember how you got home. I’m told.

      The young lad in the Supermarket may well have said it had another use more recently and the hardware goes back a bit. I rarely remember history lessons 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s