We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“What's not to like 'bout 'Spoons?”

The Spirit Merchant
Ranked #48 of 76 Restaurants in Newtownards
Price range: US$5 - US$16
Cuisines: British
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Breakfast
Description: We provide quality food and drinks at great value, in clean, comfortable surroundings from 8:00am to 11:00 pm Sunday to Wednesday, 8:00am to midnight on Thursday and 8:00am through until 1:00am Friday and Saturday, served by great staff.
Reviewed 19 October 2013

Talking to a few of the lads last week, I posed the question, "do you like Weatherspoon's lads?", and the answer I immediately got was, "what's not to like 'bout 'Spoons". So I though about this for a while, and with this in mind, I visited The Spirit Merchant yesterday, looking out for complaints. Yep, I was gonna find things I didn't like, even if it killed me.

Now firstly, I have to make my way there from Belfast, and I ask a man at the bus stop, what bus to get. He tells me to follow him, as he lives in 'Ards. He even insists I sit with him on the bus, and gives me a running commentry on the trip over. When I tell him my first stop is The Merchant for brekkie, he nods his head in agreement. Nothing like local knowledge, thanks Bobby. He even asks the bus driver, whom he knows, as to the best way to get to the Scrabo Tower, to which the driver bent over backwards, to give me directions. Nice folk in 'Ards.

'Spoons is just across the road from the bus station, so in I go, looking for faults! Straight up to the bar I go, I'm an old hand now, and order the brekkie. "Would you like a large Ulster Fry" asks the very friendly barmaid. "Why not", could be a long day. "Table number 8", says I, and use the contact less payment system, which is very handy for Southies, like me.

In no time, the large brekkie arrives, and it's a whopper, damn!! Cant complain either 'bout the service or the grub!! But it's early yet!!! And it was just what the doctor ordered. In a word, lovely. After the plate is cleaned, I take in my surroundings, and it's a lovely bar, just like all the other 'Spoons I was in. And although it's only 11am, the place is already busy. Workmen are coming in, presumably for their break, and ordering food. Now this is definitely a good sign, always watch where cops, truckers and locals go to eat.

As it was lashing rain, I was in no hurry to leave, and enjoyed the numerous bottomless coffees I had. I had a read of my paper, got chatting to another traveller, who told me that it was his first visit, and that he loved the bar, he thought it was great value. Damn, still cant find any faults!! Time to check out the jacks. Bettcha it's filthy. No, wrong again, it was very clean, as most of the chains are.

After about 2 hours in The Merchant, it was time to leave, and see the local sights. And, I had to admit defeat, I could not find any faults, and had to leave with my tail between my skinny little legs. Unfortunately, my "'Spoons Tour" is coming to an end, as there is only one left in Northern Ireland, that I have not visited, and you know what? I'm going to miss it. Might have to start all over again, after The Central Bar next week. But I'm wiser now, and I'm not going to torment myself, looking for faults! Christy was correct, "what's not to like 'bout 'Spoons?

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank letterkennycaint
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (66)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

61 - 65 of 66 reviews

Reviewed 14 July 2013

Gammon steak,chips,2 eggs and a pint for £4.75,superb.Nothing to dislike.Situated on the main road and staff were very good even when the pub was really busy.Would recommend to people on a budget.

1  Thank G A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2013

Located next to the Newtownards magistrates' court, the Spirit Merchant has an interesting mix of customers.

There is the usual identikit chain pub food and drink, although the courtyard beer garden is a pleasant surprise.

Go here if you have tattoos and need a place to meet your barrister before your hearing. Normal people should try to avoid the place.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Uncle_Badger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2013

This is our favourite place to eat , the value of the meals are great. Bring back the Friday night deals .

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Jo-Anne C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2013

Not helped that chips are stamped into the floor and food was in my case served on a chipped plate food was ok but definitely not suggestions at it's best!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank paul m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed The Spirit Merchant also viewed

Lisburn, County Antrim
Carrickfergus, County Antrim
 
Newtownards, County Down
 
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Newtownards, County Down
 

Been to The Spirit Merchant? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing