Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Mutley Crown

Once upon a time Mutley Plain was a very different place to the one it is today. It has always been the last stop before town but back along it used to be a real shopping destination in it's own right. There was all sorts of shops here and many thriving small businesses of many types. Sadly many of those have now gone and what remains is a load of bars, pizza take aways, lots of pizza take aways, some other fast food outlets a(but no McDonalds beccause the resident traders do not want the competition and somehow manage to get their way) and several charity shops. It is but a relic of the commercial area of old. The Mutley Crown reflects this as it used to be a Lexterten showroom before it became a pub (Lexterten was a furniture retailers and sold beds, sofas and the like ~ it's hard to picture such a shop on Mutley these days). Still it's been a pub for several years now and, the odd name change along the way, now sits resplendent on the sunny side of Mutley Plain at the town end.

Here's a map of it in relation to Argyle (if you click on the image it will enlarge as will all of the pictures) ~ it's a 1.3 mile journey apparently. We used to go here for pre-match drinks a while back and, to be honest, it ticked all of the right boxes in terms of our various requirements. It is quite a big pub, as you would expect from an old furniture showroom, and has plenty of tables to sit at. There is also a fairly large floor area which serves as a dance floor for those who wish to do such things of an evening. There are tellies all over the place so you can see one from anywhere and at the back of the bar there is a large screen. You are right in the heart of a busy area too so there is a definite pre-match buzz to the place.

This is a rare occasion though and we went to this pub to see the Sky-televised game against Sheffield Wednesday so this is a bit of a cheat but with the season coming to a close it's necessary to take the odd liberty or else I won't have anything to write about for a while and this seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. The place was well-geared up for the match.As already said there were tellies all over the place and, quite thoughtfully really, they had even set aside an area where you could watch the Chelsea game on Setanta if you wanted to but from what I could see nobody did. Another triumph of organisation was the piping of commentary through the pub's sound system (there are advantages to Fun Pub-type places after all then) and you could see and hear the game with no problems at all. Added to which if there is a prize for displaying Argyle memorabilia in a pub then bedecking the window with flags advertising that they will be showing a game on TV must get top marks.

The bar staff were great too. Craig and Hannah (pictured) were there when I arrived and were augmented by 2 or 3 others as the evening progressed. There was no difficulty in getting served and the price of the drinks (Guinness was £2.78/pint and all draught beers were available in 4 pint jugs ~ hic!) was even quite reasonable compared to some places. Being an evening nobody seemed to be eating and it was a bit worrying that the bar staff got a pizza delivered for themselves but there was a menu on display that offered rudimentary food.

A relic of this pub's past and it's design as a shop and not a pub was the positioning of the toilets. Quite simply they are miles away from the bar and up a flight of stairs or two. Also up these stairs is an entrance to the roof garden!! I have been in this pub lots of times and I didn't even realise that there was one. Naturally during halftime there was a load of smokers out there getting their fix.The only thing about this pub that causes concern is the CCTV. It depends on what your views on such things is I suppose and if you are doing no wrong then there is nothing to worry about but there either is, or will be, 36 separate security cameras scattered around the place and, perhaps not surprisingly, the pub has just gone into new management and is now owned by Universal Security. Confession time now: I did not stumble across the roof garden purely by chance ~ I had seen it on the monitor behind the bar.

If you can live with the cameras then this really is a very good place to meet at and to watch football in. I don't think there is much to add other than that there is also a couple of pool tables and that this is the first pub that I have featured that has it's own website: and that it has a pirate on the roof. Now why didn't I take a photo of that?


At 9:06 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why didn't I take a photo of [the pirate] ?"

Probably because it's on the roof of the Dog and Duck, not the Mutley Crown. Meh.


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