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Previous Pint Pleasures - March 3, 2004

guinness eileen

The Roebuck Tavern, 72 Charles Street, Sheffield S1, South Yorkshire

After spending the morning shopping for badly needed shoes to replace my holey -- and therefore no longer rainworthy -- boots, I met my partner for lunch at a city centre pub. When Andrew glanced through the trendy menu at the Yorkshire Grey and decided he felt like a more classic pub lunch, we quietly retreated and walked across the road to the Roebuck Tavern. Situated near the Registry Office and the Winter Gardens, the Roebuck was crowded and noisy on this particular December lunchtime. Since it was a couple of weeks before Christmas, or what I've come to call Xmess, was it the pre-Xmess rush or just a messy pre-X rush? Somehow we managed to find a free table and because quickly hemmed in by a large mob of loud, wiggling youths next to us who appeared to be suffering from either a rampant nervous disorder, a communal sugar rush, or perhaps just worms as they continually stood up and sat down around their table in a sort of pogoing version of Musical Chairs.

Ah, but good things come to those who wait, and the gyrating experiment in perpetual motion finally retreated from the pub just as our food arrived. Our jacket potatoes were pleasant and calming, and our pints of Stones (3.7% ABV, Bass Brewers Ltd., Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire) were good middle-of-the-road pints, "middle-of-the-road" referring to the taste and character as opposed to anything political or traffic-oriented.

The Roebuck has a pleasant bustling city pub atmosphere without the typical city-pub decor. Because I couldn't stop thinking of Sears & Roebuck I later looked up "roebuck" in my Chambers Dictionary and learned it's the male roe, which is a small species of deer as opposed to a cluster of fish eggs. It's also another name for the red deer, which brings to mind the Red Deer pub also in the city centre. Checking my Roget's Thesaurus I found several terms for male deer, including the stag (also a male red deer), the hart (a male deer over 5 years of age), and the pricket (a fallow deer buck in his second year). There is a Stag pub in Sheffield and 4 White Harts, but sadly no Prickets. With 7 pubs named after deer it's a bit worrying that there are also 10 pubs called the Sportsman and 2 called the Huntsman. I'd feel quite a bit safer if there were a few more cervine pubs around. I'd love to stop in for a pint at the Muntjak or the Caribou, if only I could find them...

Roebuck Tavern Updates
(Last updated 11th November 2004)