Please Don't Pass Me By (A Disgrace)

Automatic is Bury’s premier bar. Note, I say bar and not restaurant-all will become clear later. Now some beer bloggers struggle to tell the difference between a pub and a bar and write lengthy discourses on the subject. I have no such problem: if there is no bar rail to tie your whippet to and your feet don’t stick to the carpet, it’s plainly a bar.

So on that basis, Automatic is clearly a bar. It’s a bar that does food and does well out of it, having a prime location on Market Street. However, obviously, it does have plenty of customers who just go in for a drink, particularly at weekends when the music decibel gets cranked up.

A while ago it raised its game vis a via beer range and put on a couple of casks. Thereby attracting a different clientele and further widening its customer base. The local CAMRA branch were impressed and duly nominated it for inclusion in the 2011 GBG. This despite concerns that there was a potential problem with it-apart from possible throughput and that is their attitude to non-diners.

At weekends, if they had (or were expecting) a lot of diners, they would refuse seats to people who simply wanted a drink. I personally find this against the spirit of the GBG, but there aren’t any rules against it. It was rumoured that this policy was spreading to weekdays and having experienced it firsthand, I can confirm this.

A weekday evening at 2030 hours and the joint was just over half full. A quick check revealed Itchen Valley on the pumps. Pints of said beer were duly procured. However, our plans to sit amongst the glitterati and well-heeled lasses of Bury were scuppered when we told that seating was only available to diners. And there was a sign up to reinforce the fact.

Now this seems daft to me. There were plenty of tables free and any rush of diners, if they were going to have one, was over. Most diners were actually finishing up, as typified by Joe Stalin (radiant in his gold Lurex suit) who was on his way to do the fandango. So an offer for drinkers to stand at the bar or sit isolated on the sofa at the back is unnecessary and not likely to endear the place to me.

Get it sorted.


Tandleman said…
And contrary to what the manager said to the local CAMRA Branch. If it is the case and continues to be so, then you can propose it be deleted from the guide at the next branch meeting. A photo of the sign will be good too.
Bailey said…
Tsk. I'd vote with my feet on this one.

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