Liverpool – The Captain Alexander

This is a new Wetherspoons for Liverpool, which opened in the city centre in July 2019. It’s perhaps a little generic inside in terms of the design, especially given the money spent on it (£2 million), but it was all clean and comfortable.

One interesting element to the frontage of the building is that there’s a balcony, which can be accessed by customers, and this was once where a walkway entered the building from the railway station on the opposite side of the road. It was part of the failed, and expensive, attempt in the 1970s by the city council to develop a system of elevated walkways across Liverpool. The new sign installed by Wetherspoons has obscured this slightly, but it’s on the right-hand side, above the “Free House” section of the sign.

The pub is named after Captain Alexander Allan and he looks an interesting character…. The text about the pub on the Wetherspoon web-site says:

“On 23 May 1819, Scottish-born sea captain Alexander Allan advertised that the 169-ton brig Jean would shortly set sail for Canada. It was the forerunner of the Allan family’s large North Atlantic fleet of sailing ships. By the 1830s, the shipping-line company had offices in Glasgow, Liverpool and Montreal. Its Liverpool office closed in 1917.”

I don’t really understand the logic Wetherspoons have had here with the naming of the pub though, Alexander Allan himself didn’t have particularly strong connections with Liverpool. His company did have offices next door to Victoria House, which is the home of the new pub, hence the pub name, but it’s all a bit tenuous. Personally, I’d have thought there were more relevant and interesting stories to be told.

I opted for the Mash Brewing Challenger which came in at marginally over £1 for half a pint, very reasonable indeed in terms of the price. There is meant to be a taste of fruit (apricots and orange), but I didn’t really get that, but it was a perfectly pleasant IPA and was at the appropriate temperature. It’s not normally the type of beer I’d order, but it’s part of the JD Wetherspoon beer festival which is taking place at the moment.

The service was all good, efficient and professional, despite the pub being pretty busy when I visited. All rather lovely and although I wasn’t entirely excited by the beer options, at least there were several to choose from.