Tag: Food and Drink

Beeston Beats: Das Schuhzimmer

If das Schu fits

shoes 2

By Lulu Davenport.

Why hello January, where on earth did you come from? The festivities have gone and left most of us skint, over indulged and with failed New Year’s resolutions falling as fast as they were made.  Currently i am on day 20 of the highly controversial Dry January, Shhhh it’s a secret!  to make matters worse i have been offered a free shot by a barman (has anyone ever heard of this before?) been baked a boozy cointreau cake and won, yes actually won for the first time in my life A HAMPER FULL OF CIDER!! As these goodies taunt me and very quietly call my name i am safe in the knowledge that December i blitzed it properly.

I feel like i have failed in bringing the latest in Entertainment news to these pages, My head hangs in shame as i heard a new shiny bar had opened way back on November 16th and it took a whole month for the news to filter down to my ears (maybe they were filled with tinsel), even worse a friend had visited before me, shock! Horror!  I feel i have let everyone reading this down… but not for long, i herded up some friends (it’s easy to lure people out when it’s December) and sprinted ok, maybe waddled, to the newest bar on the circuit.

shoes 1

Located next door to the Berliner, Das Schuhzimmer (meaning the shoe room) is the newest addition to the high road run that has seen the Gin bar, Berliner and totally tapped, pop up to offer Beestonites, Calpol shots, Espresso martinis, experimental stouts and ales by Totally brewed and many varieties of gin, it’s amazing anyone ever makes it into Beeston town centre. For those who have been to boilermaker in Nottingham and Washhouse in Manchester, Das Shu is a bar masquerading as something else.

I managed to catch up with manager James Thomas a thoroughly lovely chap who also runs the Berliner.

Hi and welcome to beeston beats, what is Das Schuhzimmer exactly?

Das Schuhzimmer is a speakeasy cocktail bar, using high quality ingredients and unique flavours. Most cocktails on our menu are our own creations.

What was your inspiration?

People in Beeston have wanted a shoe shop for a very long time, my Granddad used to run a Shoe Shop ‘Rose Shoes’ in Beeston years ago, so i took the opportunity to build Beestons first secret bar, to play on people’s hopes up for a shoe shop, but also to create a great addition to Beestons nightlife.

How is Das different to The Berliner?

Being in Berlin inspired me to open The Berliner, so i wanted to continue a bit of a German theme with the name, but it has a very different atmosphere and feel. It’s all table service, and it’s quite chilled, compared with Berliner, where we might have a live band on or more of a ‘party’ atmosphere on weekends.

What does Das Schu bring to Beeston?

Beestons nightlife is already fantastic, but I’d recommend DS as a nice cocktail bar to go to on date nights, without the need to go into town. It’s something different to bring your friends to and the cocktails we’ve created really are special.

If you were a shoe which style would you be?

Good question, probably a pair of Loake Brogues – good quality and stylish.

What is the future for Schuhzimmer?

People of Beeston have also wanted a cinema for a while, so we’re running a cinema night (Tipsy Cinema Club) every Wednesday from February in DS, ticket only and all films can be found on our Facebook Page.

Thanks James i shall be in to sample more cocktails when the dreaded Dryanuary is over, make mine a triple!  In other news, i have found a sign bearing my namesake hanging high up in the Victoria hotel, it’s the only one i have ever seen from Davenports beers, apparently there was a jingle ‘Beer at home means Davenports!”  In a completely unrelated ad -Wanted tall person with own tool kit must have an alibi ready. Anyhoo am off theres plenty more adventures to be had, see you next time me hearty’s!

LD

The Bean at Twenty

How The Bean reached 20

Coffee shops and Beeston have become synonymous over the last few years. It’s become a caffeine-lovers hotspot, and although some grumps seem to think this is a negative most Beestonians recognise it as a sign of a strong town: if enough local, largely-independent businesses can survive on the disposable incomes of residents, we’re doing alright.

Hipsters and their caffeinated contemporaries would be shocked to know that just a mere 20 years ago, a cappuccino was as exotic as it’d get and the default coffee was a cup of bitter Nescafe. The café that ushered in this new era back in the late nineties was The Bean. To mark 20 years of excellence, we talked to owner Alex Bitsios-Esposito to find 20 facts about the shop that started it all…

  1. The Bean was set up by Silvana, a Canadian Italian who moved here in the nineties. Her son Alex explains “There just wasn’t anywhere in the town to get a decent coffee. Italy and Canada both have developed coffee-cultures, so she took a gamble.”
  2. Beestonians were initially cautious, but curious. “The idea of a coffee shop being a social meeting point wasn’t really there, and took time.”
  3. Alex was just 8 years old when he started helping out. “I’d take orders, do bits and bobs. I could barely reach the till.”
  4. It swiftly gained accolades: in 1999 it won a national survey of coffee shops.
  5. It was unprecedented in carefully selecting its coffee: “Mass produced coffees tasted burnt – we wanted to show off the vast range of flavours and subtleties.”
  6. Back then, it was a Cyber Coffee (readers under 30: ask an older person). People would queue to pay £3.50 per hour to tediously wait for a message board about Star Trek to refresh on Windows 98, and sip on their Latte thinking they were living in the future.
  7. “We still get people a bit confused, and asking what the wiffy is and why its free.”
  8. As it grew in popularity, more coffee shops opened up to cope with the demand. We currently have around 12, mostly independent. Do Beestonians sleep?
  9. Alex is a fan of these other coffee shops. “They’ve created a healthy competition, keeping us on our toes to innovate.”
  10. Handily for our international issue, they’ve always been one of the most global of employers. Alex: “Spanish, Turkish, German, Czech, Chinese, Ghanaian, Australian, Vietnamese, Latvian, New Zealanders…and many more.”
  11. Many people met their partners here, not least Alex, whose wife used The Bean as a place to write a book. Staff have married other staff; customers have married other customers.”
  12. He’d be able to retire if he’d taken a commission on all these couplings…
  13. They became the first café in Beeston to be part of the Suspended Coffee programme: customers can buy a coffee for those less fortunate than them, and those who can’t afford a drink for whatever reasons can receive one, no questions asked. Nice.
  14. It has a city-centre sister shop, Cartwheel: “It’s less of a community place, being located there, a different buzz.”
  15. One fan is the superstar author Jon McGregor, who voted it one of his cultural highlights in an article for the Guardian.
  16. Quite cheeky considering he’d just won the Costa award, if you think about it.
  17. Other famous Cartwheelers are Dylan Moran and Ronan Keating: “he had a juice.”
  18. The Bean, and many other cafes and pubs, seems to be the de facto office of The Beestonian. If you’re reading this in one of those places and see a harassed looking chap bashing away at his keyboard while muttering to himself, you’re probably watching the next issue in progress.
  19. Alex took over as owner in 2018. With two young kids and one on the way, is this a start of a dynasty in Beeston? “When they can reach the till.”
  20. Favourite drink? “Same as my mum: straight espresso.” When I look disappointed, he replies, “It’s a perennial classic”. As The Bean moves into its third decade hepping-up Beeston, it’s a description that serves that corner of Stoney Street well.

MT

Dry Pub Crawl

I heard my Beestonian colleagues organising an epic pub crawl. Start at 3pm, they said – drink a half in each of the massive number of pubs, they said – wear matching t-shirts, they said. I cowered further down in my seat at each suggestion.

It’s all familiar, of course – I drank pints at Newcastle University in the 80s, after all. I remember the bravura, the ability to chat to strangers, repeated conversations feeling really funny. This continued in my work: hard play, hard approach to life. I remember (sometimes rather scarily) piecing together the fragments of incidents over the next few days to make sense of them: ‘she said WHAT?’, ‘he did WHAT?’, ‘I went WHERE?’ All great fun. But I often found it pretty competitive in some sense.

Nowdays I don’t drink. I stopped a few years ago when I considered my responsibilities outweighed my need for dizzy times and woozy sleep. It was hard at first, going against the grain of ‘normal’ expectations, suddenly aware of how much we are bombarded with invitations and coercion to participate. However, giving up sits comfortably with me – I don’t like any section of society asking me to conform to fit in. You might think a sober existence is really boring – but I think it’s quite rebellious!

But it’s difficult to enjoy the loud tutting from the bar staff when ordering two hot chocolates during a quiz night in a local pub

Even though I don’t drink alcohol, I do enjoy going out. I really enjoy going out. Being a bit older, I’m not good at late nights – but I love having a laugh, a gritty conversation, a bit of art, a bit of politics and a bit of gossip. I also like being around other people while they chat and drink and enjoy themselves.

So…why must I drink diet coke, sugary cordials, one of the stupid sodding fluorescent flavours of J2O or bloody Eisberg (or equivalent), in order to participate? There are ‘no alcohol’ beers, but every one I have tried had a horrible aftertaste – I think this is because I never liked beer in the first place! The choice in pubs is better than ever, of course – tea and coffee is freely available, though caffeine is not ideal late on (and what is the point of decaffeinated for goodness sake??). But it’s difficult to enjoy the loud tutting from the bar staff when ordering two hot chocolates during a quiz night in a local pub recently.

A quick poll of Beeston town centre pubs shows that most offer at least one alcohol free beer. I could not find one that offered alcohol free wine; in fact I was treated with derision in some pubs when I asked. I buy my wine to drink at home from a very successful Manchester company called The Alcohol Free Shop, which has been quietly winning all sorts of awards simply by looking for adult alternatives to alcoholic drinks – usually great tasting ‘proper’ wine which has the alcohol carefully removed, leaving a delicious ‘grown up’ product. They continue to expand their great range of products – with some excellent ‘no alcohol’ ciders and spirit substitutes.

It would be fantastic to find this sort of product available in Beeston’s great pubs – not just for Dry Januarys, but also for drivers who want to drink something interesting and people who want to cut back a bit without compromising on taste.

Meanwhile…when I met up with the other Beestonians during the crawl I spent a very amiable hour over a diet coke. There was no evidence of matching T shirts or pint drinking, merely a good natured celebration of our hospitable community. Excellent!

KA

Booze of the World

Often, the best way to take the pulse of a town is to check out its pubs. The health of these is the health of an area: if they are boarded up, run down, or too terrifying to enter, it’s a safe bet that the surroundings aren’t going to be great.

On that basis, Beeston is in rude health. We’ve long had a strong reputation for pubs: Beeston has often been mooted with having the highest density of drinkeries in the UK. We’re right by the source of the best water for ale in the world: the beer that the Trent is brewed into is world renowned. Of course, the only way to prove this is to go out there and get some hard-core journalism done: to visit every pub in Beeston to give a comprehensive picture of how we’re doing. You might have spotted us a few Saturdays ago, first strolling, then staggering, then crawling between pubs.

This isn’t the first time: four years ago The Beestonian, then a fledgling magazine, took a look round and printed up the results. We’d expected to register a decline, all these years over. We were surprised to find that this wasn’t the case.

You’ll find the results inside. Pubs are famously under a hell of a lot of pressure, with greedy Pubcos and loss-leading booze in supermarkets just two challenges pubs must counter. How they do this was the most revealing part of the survey: rather than stay the same and slip into decline, they’ve diversified, changed what they offer and created a much stranger estate of boozers than ever before. Very few pubs are just straight forward pubs anymore, and the imagination, entrepreneurism and sheer verve of some were inspirational, and testament to the spirit of Beeston. We even found a new, albeit micro, pub had opened.

Also within you’ll find pages stuffed to the margins with stories, news and all things Beeston. This town does not sit still, making our mission to celebrate the place one we never take lightly. So if you see one of the team at the bar while reading this, they probably won’t say no to a pint. Cheers!

LB

Contact Us
I agree to the Beestonian using my data to process this order as per their Privacy Policy. I also understand that the Beestonian will send one e-mail letting me know when new editions are published. I understand I can opt out at any time by using the 'unsubscribe' link.
reCAPTCHA

BEESTLY TWEETS: