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?
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