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Punchbowl, York

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user reviews of the Punchbowl, York

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Called-in for coffee (before 9am) which is very good value at 79p! Beer range seemed unimaginative, so didn't return in the evening. It would be unfair to give a rating on this basis.
wobblybob - 25 Apr 2015 20:36
Just the usual for a Wetherspoons really, nothing particularly good or bad to say about the place. The staff were quick and polite and the drinks were cheaper than the competition. If that's what you're after, I guess you could do worse.
EnfieldTaaaanBlud - 1 Aug 2014 12:21
After the Bay Horse we moved onto this Large, older style spoons just before you enter Micklegate

There were door staff on as it was race day but inside it was pretty calm and with plenty of staff getting a drink was no bother.

8 hand pumps with 5 guest ales on I opted for a brew from the local York Brewery which was Yorkshire Terrier, nicely poured and a very good pint.

Large garden where a lot of the punters were positioned, due to the cracking weather and being able to smoke.

Stayed for 1 pint and then moved on.
lezford - 18 Jul 2014 17:24
I quite like a lot of Wetherspoons but sadly this isn't one of them We only went as the pubs on our evening's list didn't do food. Beer choice was severly lacking as was the quality.
Steamer1 - 16 Jun 2013 17:19
Went in here a few times and left me with mixed feelings: full of oap when it's steak club, full of students when curry club. Selection of real ales isn't big but the rotation is good. And there 's always a 'local' provided. Some of the beers when I was there: 'They think it's all over', 'Englands Pride', 'Pale Rider', 'Swedish Blonde'.
Hommel - 1 Jul 2012 21:06
It says a lot about a place when the only pub that was showing the Six Nations in York that I could find that wasn�t a complete dive with this Wetherspoons pub. In fact, I had to ask for it to be put on but the bar man was more than obliging, especially as it was advertised on the outside window. Other than that, a much of a muchness Wetherspoons. The bar staff were more helpful than I expected though, the food was acceptable and there was a good selection of ales. However, watching the Six Nations without sound in a pub without any atmosphere was a bit of a let-down. Supposedly, they do not have sound on TV's in Wetherpoons pubs as company policy. A shame but at least I was able to have a conversation with the handful of other people who were there to watch the game without having to shout.
LennyBanter - 14 Mar 2012 18:01
Visited with my family, including my 14/16 year old children, however we were informed in no uncertain terms that company policy meant that as we were not ordering food, we could not stay and have a drink. I am aware that under UK law, anyone who is 16 may have a beer or wine with any meal they have, yet we were not allowed to buy our children a coffee as we were not eating and only popped in for one quick drink at teatime.
Company policy may be one thing, but to be spoken to in the manner we were by the surly barmaid, who made me feel as though I should know the policy of this company left a lot to be desired. The experience did not leave a good impression of Wetherspoons which was a shame.
SouthYorkshireman - 29 Oct 2011 19:37
A bit more upmarket than is typically the norm for a Wetherspoons. Tried everyone of the 7 ales on offer. All in immaculate condition. Barstaff were very friendly. Busy on a Saturday night, but not overly busy.
dynamiteninja - 3 Oct 2011 16:53
Tried to overcharge me and sullen acknowledgement of such afterwards does not leave me with a good impression. Beer was average
oftenscore6 - 21 Aug 2010 22:17
n8wrx - 25 Apr 2010 19:18
Popped in a couple of times on a recent visit to York with family. Typical Wetherspoons decor and value, and as you'd expect not exactly historic in feel, despite proximity to City Walls. Excellent beer quality and selection, free WiFi and friendly staff. Handy for nearby Premier Inn where we stayed, and breakfast is half the price.
spikefromsurrey - 15 Apr 2010 20:59
Not bad at all- very good for a spoons, with good atmosphere. Beer & food pretty good.
stymaster - 21 Feb 2010 23:11
One of the most un-Wetherspoons JDW's I've been in. On the edge of the city walls this is possibly the smallest Spoons I've visited. Low ceiling & dark wood I imagine it could feel claustrophobic when busy. I tried a Thorne Pale Ale which was OK. Approximately 6 guests altogether. Despite its small size in their November newsletter they claim that they sold 5075 pints (they didn't state the time period). This apparently ranks them at 187th of over 700 JDW's. The Postern Gate (York's other JDW & much larger) sold 4805 in the same period.
happytyskie - 30 Dec 2009 20:12
This pub has really changed since my last visit to York, and I will be going back while staying here. Pleasant atmosphere and quick service was good for a Wetherspoons, but what I enjoyed most was the number of guest beers available, and also the quality of the ales. We enjoyed new beers for us from Great Newsome, Thorne and York breweries. Well done. Hubby thought loos great as they were on the ground floor, unusual for Wetherspoons.
gillhalfpint - 25 Dec 2009 22:41
Wetherspoons at a very busy inner ring road junction. Small and busy. We somehow managed to get a table near the large windows and watched the large buses and irate drivers speeding past. Lively atmosphere lots of chat and goodwill. Decor in shades of brown and amber gave the place a bohemian feel.
Tried a pint of Salopian Gold (from the gentle slopes of Salopia) an excellent beer.
Had todays special "hot beef baguettes", creative cookery or sundays rehash, I could'nt decide but it was enjoyable all the same.
There are better pubs close by (Brigantes 50 yards down the road or the Maltings about a 5 minute walk). I think this pub however is the best wetherspoons in York (choice of 2).
A roller-coaster of a pub 6.
anonymous - 30 Oct 2009 10:28
yet another jd wethershithole pub. toilets are from trainspotting and as usual no staff behind the bar
n8wrx - 18 Jun 2009 21:11
In terms of Wetherspoons, this isn't a bad one and quite unlike most of the others in it's comparatively small size. The inside is fairly dark away from the front windows.

The beer range was decent and my couple of halves were most acceptable.

One area in which this place is also unlike Wethersopoons are the the toilets - they were a rather rancid and old-time affair.

All in all, not bad...but in York, that's being damned with faint praise.
Quinno - 20 Feb 2009 18:04
Late review from November. Disappointing choice of beers from the festival Had Exmoor and the foreign Anker ale. Typical JDW but prefer the proper pubs in York.
gillhalfpint - 17 Jan 2009 13:15
Not the biggest of spoons,early opening an advantage can get very busy on race days.
anonymous - 10 Nov 2008 15:22
Doesnt look like a typical spoons,extremely slow service but only one guy serving,6/10
fat_beer_badger - 17 Jul 2008 22:45
Used this pub twice in March 2008. No complaints except that sometimes there was a long wait to get served at the bar. Festival pints at �1.49 was like turning the clock back a few years. Door staff actually said good night and thank you as we left, this never happens down south!
Lederhosen - 10 Apr 2008 15:38
More atmosphere and feels more like a "pub" than its sister in Picadilly. It's at the top of Micklegate, so I tend to avoid it of a weekend and evening, but it has always been relaxed enough during the day.

I was disappointed by their beer festival last November, believing there to be 50 beers on, but it emerged this was over the course of a fortnight, and not at any one time. This is not of course a fault of the pub, but the chain. Just it was in this pub where I experienced that disappointment.
MountainMan - 8 Apr 2008 16:35
Use this pub twice during a January long weekend in York. Ate here once and the food was good value typical JD's but made better because you can get a burger and beer for around �4.
The first visit was very noisy and stayed for one pint of the festive ale, On the second visit it was much quieter and had a pint of Old Speckled hen that was good althoug a little too cold and then a pint of Centurian ghost which was also good.
CambridgeBlue - 16 Jan 2008 10:50
Enjoyed a Highgate seasonal beer here while visiting for Xmas period. Handy for station.
gillhalfpint - 3 Jan 2008 12:46
Good friendly service, with quick food delivery.
A pint of York Brewery "Guzzler" went very well with my meal.
jbsjazzer - 10 Oct 2007 10:18
I agree, deffo the best of the 2 JDW's in York. Watched one guest ale come to an end and within 45 mins (at the most) a new ale was on. Clean tables at all times on our visit in Feb.
MartynT - 15 Mar 2007 13:28
Great to have a real ale pub which serves customers until midnight, even later at weekends.

The staff are a real mixture when it comes to beer knowledge. Some know it and appreciate it, whereas I get the impression that some of them don't drink it themselves and consequently don't know much about it.

But at least we York beer drinkers have somewhere to go, late at night!
Tony_Earnshaw - 14 Mar 2007 15:35
Handy for train station, enjoyed it in here, cold pint of cider on a hot summers day, delicious!
garycook1e - 26 May 2006 16:51
Certainly the better of the two Whetherspoons houses in York. Very much more traditional format. Is still large with lots of seating and a long bar.
Upside- fairly cheap, wide but predictable range of drinks, cheap (basic) food, and good place to start a night out.
Downside- Mixed customers including those just there for CHEAP BOOZE, not always great service, and everytime I have been in, dining area smelt a bit of vomit.
On balence, its a Whetherspoons, and a pretty midrange one. Says it all
alistair_cross - 10 Mar 2006 11:21
a good pub with friendly atmosphere.
jaydee - 4 Jan 2006 15:39
Hey DLT, Lighten up!! It's a Wetherspoons..what do you expect?
My plume and I stopped off for a beer one lunchtime, early and the place was pretty busy but the service was good, the staff were pleasant and the food looked ok for a boozer, there are much worse pubs in York than this one.

harlequin - 11 Nov 2005 03:52
Dreadfull place, bar staff stand at end of bar smoking and make you feel as if they are doing you a favour by serving you ! Beer is usually warm, carpet sticks to your feet and the toilets are usually flooded. This used to be a great pub until Weatherspoons took over, they made no changes to the place except rip out the tellys and the background music !!!
daveleetravis - 8 Nov 2005 21:23
Personally (and unusually for me) I like both the Wetherspoons pubs in York, although they are from varying ends of the Wetherspoons spectrum. The Postern Gate is relatively newly built and 'part' of the same building as the Travelodge Hotel on Piccadilly. It's modern and has several clearly defined sections but appears to work OK. The Punchbowl is a somewhat rare beast for a Wetherspoons in that it actually was a pub (the Punchbowl Hotel would you believe) when Wetherspoons took it over. That's right, it wasn't a Bank or a Cinema or a Railway Station it was actually a pub - and all the better it is for it too.

Agree with Simon re timings and especially about the race meetings plus it has the benefit that you can always pop into the Ackhorne as you walk closer into town (if you can find it!)
Paul - 7 Jul 2004 10:33
One of York's two Wetherspoons houses (the other is on Piccadilly) - usual Wetherspoons-quality food (ie. cheap and plenty of it) but much better beer than you'll usually find in a Wetherspoons (three guest ales, including Hook Norton 'Old Hooky', plus a good range of bottled lagers on last visit)

Best visited late in the evening, when most of the white trash and clubbers have disappeared down Micklegate, but a good choice for a swift half if you're killing time at York station (combine with a trip to the Maltings!).

Definitely a no-go during race meetings though, since the place is usually full of drunken punters.
Simon Ward - 11 Aug 2003 15:22

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