A pub with character, regulars and a sometimes-colourful history, Lark Lane’s The Albert provides a very good example of a kind of Liverpool pub that has died out somewhat in recent years.
Rather rough around the edges, the Albert is nevertheless a popular south Liverpool boozer that offers the same kind of big-brewery beers and food that a hundred others might. There’s also flat-screen TVs showing a diet of footy and not much else. The Albert certainly hasn’t been a hotel for some time.
However, The Albert certainly has character: the two side rooms are a great place for a conversation – quite possibly with someone you’ve never met before – and a real taste of what Lark Lane is about. A sizeable walled beer garden is a lovely place to enjoy a drink in the Summer.
More recently there have been encouraging signs. Autumn brings a beer festival, with over 70 cask ales, while Fridays and Sundays bring open mic and acoustic nights. Still there are the worst bits of chain-pub grottiness: a pitcher of vodka Red Bull for a tenner and cocktails made of WKD are advertised in the bar alongside real ale and landfill lager.
A glorious Victorian villa with lots of nooks and crannies and a landlord that lives upstairs, The Albert was opened by local brewery Cains in the late 19th Century and until a few decades ago hosted World Championship snooker matches upstairs. That may all be ancient history yet, with its rough-with-the-smooth ambiance, The Albert is certainly distinctive.