The Malt Cross

Address : 16 St James’ Street, Nottingham, NG1 6FG.

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St James’ Street, in the heart of the city, has seen better days. However, the Malt Cross remains a jewel in an otherwise pile of rowdy, brash and frankly unsuitable venues, in what can truly be called a dive district.

Which is somewhat ironic, because in Victorian times this venue would have been the one most frequently visited by the local police, such was the bawdiness of behaviour behind its narrow doors. But no matter, because today the Malt Cross is one of the last remaining operational music halls of its kind.

On the bar, three or four real ales are on offer, often rotating to give you a good choice. There are also craft beers and ciders to suit alternative tastes. The staff are sometimes a bit slow in serving, but it’s generally worth the wait.

Events? Live performances were once a mainstay here, but these days you’re more likely to find a DJ set at the weekends, an occasional open mic or comedy improv session. It can be a bit hit and miss, so check the website for the latest.

Food? After something of a hiatus, a full menu has been restored, including a tasty Sunday Lunch. But again, check for the kitchen opening times before making a special trip.

People? The more intelligent end of the student crowd can often be seen here, but it really is a mix of all ages and styles.

Opinion? In Victorian times, this place was the equivalent of Yates’s or Wetherspoons. A house of ill repute filled with dodgy characters and ladies of the night. You can still find three out of those four things on St James’ Street, but step through these doors and it’s a different world. Bring a tourist here before the Trip (or instead of it) and they’ll be thankful for it.

Getting here : NCT Green, Orange and Blue lines to Old Market Square/Angel Row, Trent Barton Indigo, i4, Ruschliffe, Cotgrave, Villager and Mainline to Friar Lane. NET Trams to Old Market Square. All a 5 minute walk. Tip : St James’ Street is a little hidden among the melee of Angel Row – look for The Bell and take the road immediately to the left.

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