we’re hiring!

the harlequin is a small independent pub whose focus is on providing quality drinks and food in a welcoming environment. we currently have a vacancy for part-time bar keeps, with an immediate start available.

enthusiasm is more important than experience, but you should have a good understanding of pubs :) weekend working will be essential so you will need to be available to work fridays and saturdays on a regular basis.

starting salary will be £8.25 per hour, and there will be between 8 – 16 hours available with the possibility of more to cover holidays and functions.

interested? please e-mail a copy of your cv to harlequinpub[@]gmail.com along with a covering note explaining why you’d like the job. alternatively drop a copy of your cv and covering letter in to the pub.


Hello :)

As some of you may be aware, we have been having a few issues with our cooker (the technical diagnosis being that the gas supply is “proper fucked”). This means that our kitchen is currently operating on a very limited capacity, and we’ve had to mothball our regular menu while we look at some long-term solutions. However …

… beginning Monday 11th July we are launching a new Summer Menu! (Although this may turn out to be a silly name as the weather appears to be resolutely un-summery.) This means that as well as our usual offerings of sandwiches and chips, we’ll be able to offer a selection of meals. We aren’t producing a printed menu as the items available will change regularly, but in general they’ll include things like:

  • lasagnes or moussakas
  • pies, flans/quiches (aka “fliches” because we can’t agree what to call them)
  • kebabs, falafels, curries
  • pizzas
  • salads

And we’ll always try to make sure that there are options available for meat eaters, vegetarians, and vegans (as usual, if you have any specific dietary requirements or allergies please let us know and we’ll do our best to help).

If you’d like to pre-order anything, the best ways to do this are via e-mail (harlequinpub@gmail.com) or text message (0779 415 6916) before 11am (for large groups, we recommend booking at least 24 hours in advance if possible). Most dishes will be available to take out as well, should you wish to go and sit in the rain …

The daily menu will be available online at https://theharlequinpub.wordpress.com/food and service times remain unaffected (Mon-Fri 12.00-2.00/6.00-9.00; Sat 12.00-5.00; Sun 4.00-6.00).

Sunday Roasts are still available every Sunday between 1.00-3.00 (meat and vegetarian options available as standard; vegan option available with 24 hours notice).

Thanks for your patience while we sort things out! xxx




dear lovely customers,

as some of you will have noticed our kitchen has been operating at a somewhat reduced capacity this week. (some of you probably haven’t noticed, and i guess the vast majority of you don’t really care – in which case, feel free to skip this post!)

if you want the short version of this story: we are only able to offer a limited menu of sandwiches and chips at the moment; the exception to this rule is sunday roasts which we are doing at a slightly reduced capacity at the moment, with service times of 1.00pm-3.00pm sundays only.

but for the tiny minority of you who are wondering why you can’t get any hot food apart from chips, here’s the deal:

last week we noticed what appeared to be a faint gas leak in the kitchen, and thought at first that this would be a relatively quick fix. however, it turns out that not only was this “proper fucked” but also that the problem was with the gas supply within cooker itself. so basically we need to await delivery and installation of a shiny new appliance before we can get back up to speed. we’ll also take a couple of days of intensive cooking to get everything re-stocked before we can start doing the full menu again.

but we’ll get there, honest! until then, we’ll only be able to do cold sandwiches and chips most of the time. the exception to this is sunday roasts where the non-gas bit of the oven works away to make all the roasty bits, and we’ve got a hot plate which lets us do the vegetables and gravy – albeit at a slightly slower pace than usual (2 x electric rings do not equal 6 x fearsome gas burners, unfortunately). and my selfishness in clinging on to a whole 3 hours sleep between saturday night close down and sunday start time means that we can’t start serving any earlier than 1.00pm. i know, i know. thoughtless and selfish. maybe the driver of that coach was right on saturday when he called me a “fucking halfwit” and said that i should be “fucking ashamed” for objecting to 20 drunk screeching women tottering through the pub carrying their own cans of lager just so that they could use the toilets. without asking. and without attempting to purchase anything from us. but that’s a whole other story.

*sighs* anyway, i’m off to chop some more potatoes and drown my sorrows in pints of hop monster and gin. btw, do you realise how many bottles of gin you could buy for the price of a new sodding catering cooker … ? :/

opening times shenanigans

hello again :)

it’s that time of year when things get a bit cock-eyed, so here are some important things to tell you about some restricted pub opening and kitchen service times. mostly this is due to party bookings, partly it’s due to us selfishly needing to sleep over christmas. if you do want to eat with us over the festive period, we recommend booking or checking in advance as it’s likely to get busy at times other than those mentioned below. ho ho ho.

friday 11th december – very limited food service all day

sunday 13th december – sunday roasts as normal, no food service after 3pm

monday 14th december – limited food service daytime

wednesday 16th december – limited food service daytime

friday 18th december – closed until 5pm for a private booking – booking and regulars* only until this time

wednesday 23rd december – limited food service

christmas eve – kitchen open 12pm-5pm, limited menu; pub closing 7pm

christmas day & boxing day – CLOSED MERRY CHRISTMAS! :)

sunday 27th december – pub open as normal, kitchen open 12pm-5pm, normal menu only, no roasts

monday 28th, tuesday 29th, wednesday 30th december – pub open as normal, kitchen open 12pm-5pm only

new year’s eve – kitchen open 12pm-5pm; pub closing 7pm

new year’s day – CLOSED HAPPY NEW YEAR :)

saturday 2nd january – pub and kitchen open as normal

sunday 3rd january – pub open as normal, kitchen open 12pm-5pm, normal menu only, no roasts

and then back to normal with the new year blues!

*if you think you count as a regular, please ask about availability on this day :) and remember, if your name is lenny, you’re not coming in!


oh no it bloody well isn’t. but, seeing as we’re now past bonfire night, it’s probably about time to release this lot of loveliness – yes, it’s the long awaited christmas menu!

for bookings or enquiries, please contact us via e-mail at harlequinpub[@]gmail.com; via text on 07794156916; or by calling in to the pub.

fa la la la laaaaaaaaa :) xxx




have we mentioned that we’re hallowe’ening it up this year?

the lovely people from steel city rhythm will be providing an evening of wonderful reggae/dub/fusion for your entertainment (if you’re not entirely sure what that means, check out some of their music on soundcloud) and there’ll be some fancy dress shenanigans happening. there may even be prizes for fancy dress, if you’re that way inclined! (although obviously, it’s fine to wear your normal clothes too, if you’re not that way inclined at all. we won’t point and laugh at you.)

either way, there’ll be lots of tasty drinks, and it’s free entry as ever. music starts around 9pm.

(and yes, i’m fully aware that i don’t need to spend too much time putting on make-up to look terrifying for hallowe’en, before anybody pipes up … *narrows eyes and looks at one customer in particular* … )



hi, anonymous customer! [2 star rating]

well, i’m calling you anonymous [2 star rating], although i’m fairly certain that i know who you are. you’ve been in here several times before and personally i always quite liked you – you were always polite, friendly, and enthusiastic about the beer and food we offered here; one member of bar staff once said that he thought you were a bit off hand, a bit smug, a bit sarcastic – but we talked it over and agreed that he’d probably just misunderstood something you’d said, or that you were probably a nice guy having a bad day. shit happens. anyway, you’ve been in several times since that incident, so it’s forgotten about.

so imagine my surprise to find that this weekend, you think that our pub is dirty, dingy and unkempt! now as someone who runs a pub, i’m more than used to people telling me what they think. the vast majority say so in person – most of them complimentary but occasionally not. after all, you can’t please everyone, and one person’s heaven is another person’s hell. and you see, when people complain in person (or via e-mail), when you can look them in the eye and talk about things like adults (or when you have a personal connection over e-mail, rather than someone venting their spleen in public), you can usually explain things and agree to make friends and move on, or agree to disagree and move on. but when it’s just an anonymous profile on a screen, it’s difficult to do this. and usually, i ignore them – sure, we all have a good giggle and the self-righteous rantings when the reviews are bad, and we always remember things differently (like the table who ordered the wrong things, then demanded we do them differently, then tipped the salt from the salt cellars all over the table in some kind of pathetic protest, for example, and then claimed that they were badly treated. oh, how we laughed!). but for some reason your review has niggled me. i don’t want to respond on trip advisor (so many reasons not to) but i wanted to respond anyway. ii doubt you’ll see it, but straightforward debate doesn’t seem to be your style anyway.

so let’s have a look at your complaint shall we. firstly, i’m glad you like the beer we serve. exit 33 are an excellent brewery, making some fantastic beers, and we’re proud to have them on the bar, along with a selection of guest beers, lagers, many many ciders, bottles, and many many spirits. you may have noticed that at the top of my review, i’ve given you an overall rating of 2 stars (out of a possible 5) – i should mention in the interests of fairness that the brewer from exit 33 wanted to upgrade you to 5 stars. biased sonofabitch. actually, that’s not fair – i’d probably only have given you a 1 star rating if you hadn’t once commented how much you liked my doc martens, but i’m shallow, so that has counted in your favour. well done :)

apparently you find the pub “dingy” though, due to that “strange decision to put little porch roofs over the front windows”. i’m guessing you’re not a smoker, and i’m also guessing that you don’t catch the bus, so you’re probably not in the market for a place that allows you to stand outside and have your cigarette, or watch for your bus coming to the stop bang opposite the front door, whilst also affording you a bit of shelter from the rain/snow/wind/hail/sunshine? i’m not a smoker either, and i don’t catch the bus, but many of our customers do, so we like to look after them during the very frequent rainstorms we get around here. we even get non-customers who are tired of being battered by the rain at the bus stop across the road, and we’re happy for them to stand under these too. it is fairly grim up north after all. and there is the massive window on the side of the pub that is completely unfettered by weird little porch things, and lets plenty of light in. but never mind that, hey. i guess mentioning that spoils your narrative somewhat, and as every good journalist knows you shouldn’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

so we do “reasonable” food too? see, i knew you’d been here before, you’ve eaten here loads, and always been very complimentary. in fact i’m fairly certain you ate here twice in one day once. and yet … i notice that you never took to your keyboard on any of those occasions to tell the world what you thought? why ever not? and why did you find it appropriate to do so this time?

ah, here we go. we do indeed stop serving food at 2 o’clock during the week. and if i remember correctly (which i do, because the radio was on in the kitchen playing the archers – god, i bloody love the archers) you turned up some time after 2 o’clock, and were told by a member of staff that the kitchen was closed. i wasn’t actually in the kitchen that day, but i could hear the radio from where i was stood next to the till. so i think you’re a little confused about the time you got here. but heck, i guess you’re human. and i’m glad that you got to try somewhere else where food was served all day, and that that was more to your tastes.

anyway, you slammed the door with its “cracked window pane” (god only knows how bits of glass get broken, hey!) on your way out and then stewed on things before taking to your keyboard. and that’s when things turned nasty. because the last paragraph of your review is complete and utter bollocks. the place is not in anyway dirty or unkempt. i clean the pub myself 3 days a week, and we have a team of cleaners in for the remaining 4 days. the tables are cleaned every single morning; every single time someone leaves a table; and every single night. the window ledges inside are cleaned every day, the toilets are cleaned at least once every day. the floors are mopped at least twice a day, the bar is wiped twice a day, and every single piece of serving and beer dispense equipment is cleaned thoroughly as soon as it needs doing. our lines are clean, our cellar is clean, our kitchen is clean (have i mentioned that the FSA rate us as 5 stars for cleanliness?). and the “dirty sticky brasswork”? i don’t know if you’re familiar with cleaning a bar rail, but let me enlighten you: you clean it, make it all nice and shiny, and then people come in and put their hands on it, they lean on it, and they rest their bags on it. they spill drinks on it. they drop their food on it (those “fat burgers and fat chips at an OK price” that we serve, that you’ve always been happy to eat in the past) and – lo and behold! – it starts to look sticky quite quickly. and given that you turned up after a busy friday dinner, there was plenty of stickyness around. had you come in later that afternoon, you’d have found that the bar would have been all shined and pretty again, ready for the relentless onslaught of friday night revellers and more stickiness! and then we’ll start again the next day.

moving on with your complaint: yes, our staff are a nice bunch, aren’t they?; they’re ace. and i’ll let you into a secret shall i? i value them higher than anything in this business. on the days when i do the kitchen myself and someone walks in after the kitchen in closed, i’ll almost always offer to make something. i’m here all day, after all, so it doesn’t bother me one little bit if i’m still cooking 30 minutes after the kitchen has closed. but would i expect a member of bar staff to serve you when the bar is closed? or would i expect one of our chefs to serve you after our kitchen is closed? would i hell as like. because once the kitchen is closed, the big clean down begins (yes, more cleaning!). by the time you turned up on that fateful friday afternoon, the kitchen was mid-clean down. so say you wanted to order something cooked, that would be an extra 30 minutes added on to someone else’s kitchen shift – those pans that had just been cleaned would have to be dirtied again, then cleaned again; the hob would have to be wiped down again; the sides would have to be wiped down again; the plates would have to be cleaned again – i’m sure you’re getting the picture here, you seem like a bright chap! and then we’d be running late with prep for the evening shift, so someone might not end up getting their break, or they might end up rushing around to try and get everything completed in time, and feeling stressed. you mentioned that you’d been “delayed at work” that day – and boy, that seems to have affected your mood. i wouldn’t want to put my staff in that position. maybe you should have a word with your clients, or your boss, or your colleagues about the pressure they’re putting you under at work? maybe that’s why you were having a bad day. like i say, if i can avoid putting my staff in that position, i will.

anyway, that said, please feel free to ask any of this “good bunch” whether they feel they have been “left adrift” by “slack management”. as wonderful as they are, they do occasionally make such monumental fuck ups that they get shouted at, told off, patronised, and written lists of things to fucking well do sharpish before they get murdered by me in cold blood. but you know what, they’re human. and if they occasionally “spend their time hanging around the bar chatting” then where’s the harm? god forbid, they should be able to relax or enjoy themselves at work; why on earth should bar staff be allowed to chat amongst themselves, or to customers, rather than following everyone around with a cloth and a coaster. i mean, we couldn’t possibly be running a pub for humans instead of an ideal home exhibition stand, could we? i do hope you’re not one of these people who think that those of us who work in hospitality should obey every command, no matter how ridiculous.

so, we must try harder must we? well, at some point in my “slack” week (which averages out at 85 hours work per week – yes, some of that involves hanging around the bar chatting, admittedly – *slaps self on wrist for not being an automaton*) i shall have a look at what else we can do to improve.

thanks for visiting customeradvisor.com! your overall rating is displayed below. you will, of course, be welcome back in the pub at any time you’d like, although you sound like you’ve moved on. if you do come back, i hope you find the same friendly welcome from all the staff (this “slack” landlady will certainly be willing to welcome you back in with a smile). oh, and do mind the front door will you – we keep trying to clean it but people keep sodding walking through it, and putting their hands on it, and sometimes they’re not clean.

lots of love, the slack management

your personalised customeradvisor.com rating from the harlequin:

written communication skills – 1 out of 5 stars

spoken communication skills – 2 out of 5 stars

appreciation of quality beer – 5 out of 5 stars

ability to separate fact from fiction – 0 out of 5 stars