Address : 102 Friar Lane, Nottingham, NG1 6EB
Tap bars are sometimes a dilemma. But at the Crafty Crow the Magpie Brewery doesn’t always dominate proceedings. There are always at least two of its products on sale, but this is a tap house with plenty of variety. At the time of writing there were more than 20 ales, craft beers and ciders on offer.
The Crow used to be BZR, a filthy venue full of WKD and fizzy lager. An impressive refit followed. But the owners curiously decided to leave the main benches lining the bar au natural – ie : with absolutely no upholstery. Or paint. The wood has now bedded in a bit, and there are cushions for your back, but you could still find yourself with a splinter following a pint here.
That said, it’s a good addition to the now thriving Castle bar scene, with big open windows during the summer and knowledgeable staff who’ll guide you skilfully through the drinks menu.
Music? Disappointingly tinny sound system. We’d rather they didn’t bother.
Food? Competitively priced mains and snacks given the amount of competition in the area. And the first bar in town to stock Bacon Nuts (vegan friendly).
Customers? A crossover of people who can be bothered to venture across Maid Marian Way, those en route to a Castle pub crawl and bored wedding guests from the neighbouring hotel.
Opinion? This is a highly competitive part of town so the Crow needs to stay on top if its game. Dimming the lights might help to improve the atmosphere of a sprawling venue – but we’ve given up any hope of them varnishing the benches anytime soon. Don’t wear anything delicate. And don’t dare ask for Coke. There are no normal soft drinks here.