As well as being an historic place Chester also has an industrial past, much of it close to the Shropshire Union Canal which passes through the city on it's way to Ellesmere Port.
At its closest point to the railway station an enterprising company, Brunning & Price, have converted the ground floor of an old industrial building into a pub, the Old Harkers Arms. Indeed when you walk in you are greeted by an old punch clock on one of the columns holding the building up.
I should add at this point that plenty of people around us were ordering food and that it looked very nice and indeed tempting. However we felt that with so many beers to explore the food might interfere with the job in hand so we concentrated on liquid refreshment. My second pint, which was again memorable for its wonderful smooth flavour, was as I recall Slaters premium bitter from Stafford. Maggie also changed and tried a glass of Eastgate bitter.
We were sat on bench seating next to a bookcase at the west end of the pub which was not really in keeping with the industrial setting but nevertheless had some interesting tomes in it. From here we could relax and watch the comings and goings of the happy drinkers. The atmosphere was certainly very relaxed compared with other establishments we had visited and the staff behind the bar were friendly and helpful which, for me, always adds to the experience.
After imbibing such a majestic bitter as the Slaters I decided to follow it with a glass of stout Drystone stout from the excellent Hawkshead brewery was the order of the day and it was so very tasty!
I could have stayed in the Harkers all day. It is nice to see new pubs doing well and it would appear that the Old Harkers Arms has already built up a good reputation in a city full of good pubs. We enjoyed our stay in Chester and will return in the future. When we do we will certainly be calling in at the Old Harkers Arms. Try it for yourself!
The pub website is: http://www.brunningandprice.co.uk/harkers/