Friday, 20 December 2013
25 Westgate Street, Cardiff [map]
Stumble up Womanby Street these days and, before you reach the assorted pleasures of The Gatekeeper and Dempseys, there's beer-and-burgers emporium Urban Tap House.
It was opened in September by Newport microbrewery Tiny Rebel and, as the signage suggests, it's very much from the craft-beer-as-hipster-accessory school.
As you can see, The Photographer's camera - such as it is - doesn't cope well with bright lights. But we forge ahead nonetheless. We are, after all, professionals. (Aside: we're not.)
There's none of yer Carlings and Carlsbergs here. It's all Camden Hells Lager, Dortmunder Union Vier and, er, Dirty Stop Out.
Which is both a delicious smoked oat stout and a harsh-but-fair appraisal of what happens when you drink, let's say for the sake of argument, nine pints of the stuff on an empty stomach. Not that we'd know anything about that sort of thing, you understand.
It's in the same premises as Fire Island (above) used to be. Tiled bar aside, Urban Tap House is, in many ways, very similar to its predecessor - albeit without debts of £1.2m.
There's some sort of cask ales thing going on during our visit, which takes us well out of our comfort zone - who can even guess at what Buxton American Rye entails? But when we discover they're all going for £2.50 a pint, it seems churlish not to get involved.
We may be many things but churlish isn't one of them.
This is one of those arcade machines that houses loads of retro classics, including Space Invaders - here being played absolutely appallingly. The trick, apparently, is to take out the columns of aliens at the ends first.
More tips on 35-year-old videogames coming soon.
Round the side of the bar and you've got these little diner-style booths. Turns out they're not that easy to manoeuvre into following the consumption of a miscellany of cask ales and nine pints of Dirty Stop Out.