Blackburn town centre’s latest addition to its pub scene, the Bees Knees, opened up in the old TSB Bank, in November.
The building, on Lord Street West, first opened as a bank in 1863, costing £1834.15s. There was a cotton famine going on at the time, due to it being during the height of the American Civil War. This meant many Blackburn people were feeling the effects of unemployment and poverty. So no grand opening of this new building took place at the time.
Over 150 years later it wasn’t a grand opening for the Bees Knees either. This was down to decorations running late and paintwork still being wet. So a decision was correctly taken by management of the pub to postpone its opening Friday night until next day. I managed to get in the pub a day later, early on Sunday dinnertime. As the pub’s name suggests, it was a hive of activity, with lots of punters calling in to check the new pub out.
My only problem was wearing a pair of suede boots with crepe soles. This led to my feet sticking to their polished floor while walking to the bar. Other people made similar squelching sounds, so a mop and bucket was found and this sorted things out.
No doubt, like me, those punters would have liked what they saw. The pub is big and roomy, with lots of seats and tables. It reminded me a bit of Blackburn’s former Blob Shop on Church Street. For the real ale fans there were three cask beers on sale. Much to my surprise was their reasonableness of price, with real ale around £2 a pint. Plus, they gave me a reward card which would bring another pint my way once it was filled.
This pub looks like it is aimed at all ages. Their WIFI works very well and so do the vast array of TV screens throughout the pub. There is also a varied collection of lighting and sound equipment which gives the place a nightclub effect. This should bring plenty of young people in. Whereas the decent beer prices should attract a good afternoon and early evening trade from the middle aged and older clientele.
Hopefully the Bees Knees will help boost this growing revival of Blackburn’s town centre pub scene. Apart from the opening night, things are looking good in here and going to plan.