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Watergates, Chester

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user reviews of Watergates, Chester

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

Popped in at lunch time yesterday. Doesn't really look like a real ale kind of place but there was a sign outside promoting SIBA, so looked promising. The place looks pleasant enough inside and pretty spacious, but on reaching the bar the only cask ales were three offerings from Greene King, so I did an about turn and left. A shame really.
RealAleRobUK - 3 Mar 2016 16:46
Two burgers with chips, a pint of ale and a pepsi - £22.63.
Ale £3.60.
A Taylor-Walker chain pub.
As mentioned previously, lots of rooms, passageways and steps make it an interesting building.
Two ales available. I opted for Tatton 'Gold' which was very nice.
With so many decent pubs in Chester and my visits so infrequent I don't know if I'd go here again but it was perfectly acceptable.
wirraldrinker - 7 Aug 2014 16:47
A lot bigger than It looks from the outside. Very impressive interior with a lot of rooms including a rooftop terrace. 2 local ales and a doombar when i paid a visit.
yamyampublover - 31 May 2014 09:20
Interior - yes, Historical interest - yes, architcecture - yes, real ale - NOTHING. only electric taps for the pre-club 20 something crowd. Two pumps, both out of action and no sign that they had been used for a while.

If you want to drink lager / cider / creamflow and enjoy the cavern-like crypt-type atmosphere then go here.

If you're seeking proper ale theres nothing here for you.
LozGas - 14 Nov 2011 13:21
Poor service, freezing cold and very expensive. Nice ceiling.
grizzlygus - 23 Feb 2009 15:32
I quite liked this bar, loved the interior and the cocktails! Definitely venture here again next time im in Chester for a night out!
lovesanightout - 18 Mar 2008 12:02
A fantastic building! I have never been to a place with such character! You could get lost in the place and I loved that hidden back room too.

Had a really nice lunch and had a decent selection of beers with friendly staff, but it was the building that blew me away, a must see.
BigJimmy - 19 Feb 2008 22:41
Great for slow Sunday Lunch with the papers (once your eyes have adjusted to the dark)
JohnnyCrow - 12 Sep 2006 13:08
In my opinion any pub/bar that serves John Smiths Smooth should have points deducted.
Any pub where the only bitter served is John Smiths Smooth shouldn't get a mark above 2/10.
However I will make an exception for this unusual, below ground Crypt. Atmospheric, friendly and efficient staff, candles etc, very unusual.
So it was a pint of Guinness instead and yearning for just 1, just 1, decent bitter!
AlRobis - 9 Jul 2006 16:27
Sorry "Anonymous/Andy", perhaps I was too cynical. I did agree with you though, that it IS a great place, and architecturally stunning, although that "back room" is not what some men might expect!
building.regs.boy - 22 Oct 2005 18:03
Err, actually building.regs.boy, yes - that was me. I liked the place and did a little research when I came back from Chester. Don't be so cynical! I liked the place, and when I write little reviews here I like to get the details right for other people who might want to visit. It's just my opinion, but as someone who worked in the industry for quite some time, I like to notice the details.

Been back once since, was still very nice. I rather like the hidden back room - a bit like having a pint under a medieval castle... ;o)
anonymous - 16 Oct 2005 11:12
Call me cynical, but a stranger to Chester just happens-by this pub, has a nice meal, leaves, and is prompted to write such a glowing reference of their experience - remembering, in exact detail, every nook and cranny of the place, the architectural details, the smells, details of the sound system, AND that it was a finalist in some competition in 2003! Do me a favour.
As it goes, the place is alright, the food's quite good, the atmosphere's friendly enough, even the doormen aren't too bad, but the beer's nothing special and a bit overpriced. Well worth a visit with a group of friends, but take a robust credit card!
building.regs.boy - 4 Oct 2005 00:59
Gorgeous crypt setting, and a lovely roof terrace.
Phmoo - 1 Sep 2005 17:08
On my first visit to Chester, the cold wind was making a search for warm food a priority, and after a wandering of the strange two-level streets, we bumped into Watergates - and were very pleasantly surprised...

From the outside, at first glance, it looks pretty much like your usual bar - and in many ways it is - except for the fantastic Crypt that it lives in! The main bar section is down a short flight of stairs where the ancient arched ceiling is supported by classic church pillars (all original). Off here are two corridors, both well laid out for both eating and a bit of a session (though watch the wall speakers down the left corridor!). Also off the left corridor is the snug - a comfy-seat area with a smell of church. :o)

There are two further, but more contemporary, seating areas closer to the windows, hence the confusion when you enter to find something completely different! Although there is no cask ales, the Guinness is well kept, and the staff are very friendly. Food is well priced, tasty, and delivered in good time - despite the lunchtime rush. It's not hard to see why it was a finalist in Chester Bar of the Year in 2003 - a lucky find for a first visit!
Andy - 22 Feb 2004 13:59

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