Apr 2013


My two favourite pubs in Liverpool are the Dispensary, with undoubtably the best (not the biggest note) beer selection/quality, and the Caledonia, which has a fabulous laid back vibe, good beer and brilliant music - a proper community pub. Completely out of the blue on Wednesday Admiral Taverns told Laura, the landlady, that the pub was being sold and she had a month to get out (it's her home as well as her workplace).

The Caledonia has been a fabulous addition to the real ale drinking spots in Liverpool over the last few years, since Laura took it on - after leaving the Lady of Mann. The Cali went from being a no-go zone for the average punter to a must see for both real ale and for music fans. The home from home for both the Loose Moose String Band (Liverpool Beer Festival stalwarts) and me! Of course the pub and its patrons get more out of the band than me, but humour me - I need a place to relax with me Kindle and a pint.

Admiral Taverns have covered themselves in something but it's certainly not glory. They have shown themselves not to be Admiral and also not to be interested in Taverns, so a name change may be in order. If they want some suggestions they can get in touch, I have a few memorable words they could feel free to use.

With the help of various fans of the Cali in the community CAMRA, while not always being fully behind the pub in my opinion (e.g. dropping the music pub award this year - which the Cali won last year), have now tried to help save the status of the building - so that it should stay as a pub and not become just another Starbucks or Costa.

It may well be too late to help Laura stay in the Cali (who after all has less than four weeks to be looking for a new place to live and work), but who knows she may get a chance at a later date to come back if the pub remains a pub.

I wish Laura every success wherever she ends up, and I hope she can quickly rebuild her business - if it's nearby and has similar regulations regarding live music I am sure most the customers, musicians, clubs & societies etc that currently enjoy her hospitality will move en masse with her. Let's hope too that that pub can ultimately be kept as a pub, a good pub and a community asset.

If you're a Twitter user follow the story with #savethecaledonia and vent your spleen to @Admiral_Taverns