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Bar Essentials: The Old Post Office

Liverpool Confidential's lowdown on pubs and bars that we've found ourselves in this week

Published on September 22nd 2010.

Bar Essentials: The Old Post Office

What’s the story?
THIS is an old time boozer in every sense: the builing is early Victorian and drink has been served here since way before even the oldest regular was born.

It is hidden away anyway, but in recent times it has been buried almost completely by the clutter of roadworks and commercial developments. The Grosvenor and Primark and Bling Bling projects have all resulted in School Lane being used more as practice for crane drivers reverse parking and making that whining noise. Or was that just Yoko singing in the newly refurbished Bluecoat over the road?

Fortunately the road signs and Primark lorries haven’t scared off the regulars. Come lunchtime, you’ll still be hard pushed to bag a seat.

This used to be a Post Office, aptly enough. Nowadays it’s run by Stan and Marie Jones, whose previous pubs include The Goat, on Great Howard Street, and the much-loved and missed Vernon Arms on Dale Street.

Why go there?
The sizzling steak menu is a good reason as any, plus the specials which often include a lamb shank roast dinner and curries. And for around a fiver you can’t go far wrong.

The Liverpool Confidential team can in particular recommend the steak and scampi mixed grill but don’t however advise lifting the hot plate (which is the temperature of the sun) with bare hands.

As well as the good food, the pub’s also within a chewing-gum's throw of Church Street and its (rapidly relocating) shops, making it an ideal spot to recharge the old batteries post-shop, before making your way home post-pint, Post Office.

What’s yours?
If the place were to have one criticism, it would surely be the distinct lack of cask ales. However Marie informs us: “With the amount of vans and lorries going up and down School Lane, the vibrations would make the beer go off in the cellar.” Another interesting repercussion, in every sense, of the Big Dig.

But, in a way, the most admirable thing about the OPO is the lack of fancy beers - the lack of ostentatious yuppies. The lack of tossers. They sell shedloads of Carling. And Tetleys. And unpretentious and simple John Smiths.

Don’t fret spirit lovers, there’s also a popular doubles bar, Marie assuring us that an afternoon double vodka or two is particularly popular.

Who goes there?
There’s a loyal base of older regulars who have been the backbone down the years, all eating lunch at a leisurely pace or travelling into town “because it’s a drinking environment that they feel safe in”, says Marie. Don’t also be surprised to see the odd manager type from neighbouring Next or M&S, an arty type or two from the Bluecoat, and a few men in hard hats.

“We don’t do any. The pub’s too small”, says Marie. But surely a pub needs karaoke and live music to be half decent? This is, of course, a load of old rhubarb. What’s the saying? You make your own entertainment. Or is that luck? However that all goes out the window on St Paddy's night, and if you’re after karaoke, get yourself down to Woody’s. Our words, not Marie’s.

What’s the crack?
There may not be the “famous” faces you'll find at “concept bars” with bouncers elsewhere in town, or the unnecessarily loud students found everywhere else, but The Old Post Office is a warm and welcoming city centre watering hole to get lost in.

The Old Post Office gets our stamp (sorry) of approval. And for those still mourning The Vernon Arms, Stan is putting the finishing touches to a book about his and Marie’s time there, no doubt relaying fascinating tales of Militant politics, magistrates and men of renown.

Liverpool Confidential's operative left his wallet in there and he swears it was returned with more money in than when he left it. But then it is an Old Post Office.

The Old Post Office, School Lane, Liverpool 1. Tel: 0151 707 8880

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23 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Le JardinJuly 15th 2008.

(which you no doubt referred to as "der pyanna baah") on Peters Lane, the Old Poey was indeed a great pub with an interesting, sociable and eclectic clientele. They've all been successively driven away over the years by the footie, the steamy atmosphere and the sight of hordes of gormless chumps in t-shirts trying to eat with cutlery.

DigJuly 15th 2008.

Harborrow has a candy floss van.

DigJuly 15th 2008.

Simple answer Leon. If you don't like it don't go there. That's why tv's have remote controls and buttons. If you don't like what you're watching you can turn over and watch something else! I have experienced Mathew Street on a Saturday night and hate it with a vengeance. So guess what I do now. Yep you guessed it. I don't go there any more!

Confidential teamJuly 15th 2008.

Ah, those were the days of the journo all-day booze up. Marie at the Old Post Office will not have thanked us for ordering one diet coke and two J20s yesterday. We just can't take it any more. Not before 4pm anyway.

francesJuly 15th 2008.

My fave pub in the whole of Liverpool, if I want to go and have a drink and read the paper I feel quite happy going in there on my own and not worry about a load of old blokes staring or a group of cheeky lads chatting you up - there's not many pubs a young lady can say that about! Plus the mixed grill is scrumptious and when they do have the football on there's a great atmosphere - civilised, loads of banter and great fun.The postie is my second home!

Hornby F. LoweJuly 15th 2008.

Remember when School Lane was a treasury of specialist shops? Whatever happened to Whitty's Sports? I sold live fishing bait and air guns.

AnonymousJuly 15th 2008.

Why can't we buy Double Diamond any more?

Old School LaneJuly 15th 2008.

Are you implying that the Chorley cake Harborow sells sports merchandise in pubs? I thought he had an ice cream van.

Fur coat and no knockersJuly 15th 2008.

Don't worry, Dig, I think Old Poey is a bit slow.

Tori BlareJuly 15th 2008.

I must say, you all drink a lot Confidential team!????Talking of which, didn't Harborrow sell crab sticks in the Post Office?He had a basket full of fishy stuff.

Bitter TetleymanJuly 15th 2008.

Aye but remember when you could drink and smoke in the back room, before it was made 'Diners Only'? Many a lively debare in there!

Cyber ControllerJuly 15th 2008.

What's wrong with the Post Office? It's a nice pub for the city centre. There aren't many as unpretentious as it, that's for sure. Where do you go then, Old Pooey regular and me and Dig will come and sort you out?

DigJuly 15th 2008.

My comment was a joke Ex Old Poey Regular. I was comparing tattoed skin heads shouting and swearing to lesbians drinking in The Lisbon. Like I said, just a joke tho. Nowt wrong with Lisbon or Old Post Office for that matter. We have a wealth of bars and pubs in Liverpool. Something for everybody. If you don't like a place then don't go there. simple as that. I enjoy the variety we have. I'm just as happy in The Swan as I am in Alma De Cuba.

AnonymousJuly 15th 2008.

Don't forget that the Post Office is a great place to watch the footy!

PatJuly 15th 2008.

Where do you go than Ex-Old Poey? Let's at least have some suggestions from yourself instead of criticism which is based on no decent argument

BevinBoyJuly 15th 2008.

Until decent ale is stocked, I'll regretfully go elsewhere. Nice pub though.

leon kayJuly 15th 2008.

When are you lot at Liverpool Confidential going to start giving some serious critism to this city of ours .I went to that Liverpool 1 today and I have to say is a great dissapointment Greggs ,Peacocks ,Pret a mange whare you cant even smoke outside ,and all the other boring fatuos pissholes that make up retail .The Duke has turned this city into a place like anyother city boring yawnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn I coud go on but I think that pastie is repeating on me. Long live the POST Office and anything else that remotley smells and feels like our city

DigJuly 15th 2008.

Re; Ex-Old Poey Regular. I think you have The Old Post Office mixed up with The Lisbon.

Dandy PatJuly 15th 2008.

thought he was appearing in a travelling circus?

Old school laneJuly 15th 2008.

The Post Office has many uses, I think you will find. As a civilised boozer in the city centre it is without peer. No dodgy "businessman" flashing their cash, no orange ladies...incidentally did anyone hear Jason Harborow on the radio last night talking about vanity and cosmetic treeterments, by thee 'eck?

Cyber ControllerJuly 15th 2008.

Ah yes, cat got your tongue, Mr Poey?

Ex-Old Poey RegularJuly 15th 2008.

Oh really, Dig? Do they have have big screen footie in there as well these days? No wonder pubs are closing down at such a rate!

Penny MitchellMay 10th 2012.

Visiting my home town one lunch time with a sceptical friend we stumbled on this pub. We only went in to see what was happening cos it seemed to be the only city centre pub that was full! So what was happening. Just the warmest welcome, excellent food and wonderful owner with the best stories. If you are reading this and havent been and want a genuine down to earth, honest reflection of liverpool warmth and humour.. I urge you to have a go. My friend is now a convert and me..well I am proud!! thanks so much.

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