Increasingly, our idea of a good night out starts at lunchtime, and ends in time for Pointless. So it’s good to know that in this city, it’s always the middle of the night somewhere. And drinking beer at noon on Tuesday in Lime Street might not be as glamorous as Sheryl Crow’s Santa Monica Boulevard exploits (for one, there’s no giant car wash for miles), but the Saturday afternoon karaoke at McHale’s Irish American Bar (55 Lime Street) reminds us what we’ll be missing when this great street ‘evolves’, while the girls knocking out ‘Sex on Fire’ at Coopers (13 Cases Street) have been known to set off the smoke alarms in Clas Ohlson.

Every Sunday afternoon, there’s a barnstorming live Irish band kicking things off in the impossibly slim Shenanigans . “Friendship must be built on a solid foundation of alcohol, sarcasm, inappropriateness and Shenanigans,” they say. We’d add the brilliantly poured pint of Guinness to that.

Then again, there’s always Smokie Mo’s Wild West theme bar – it’s like The Revenant, with 2 for 1 vodkas. True, if you’re not in the mood, Saturday afternoon up Mount Pleasant way (or at its sister pub in the Mathew Street Quarter) might make you wish you’d been left for dead in Montana. But, as an antidote to the rather miserable pall that’s settled on us in this bleak midwinter, it’s sort of brilliant.

Terry sings most weekends, with his band The Cruisers, at The Liverpool (James Street) – most weekends he’s to be found, mic in hand, belting out See You Later Alligator and That’s Alrite Mama . The husbands are in safe hands, cared for in the pub’s Husband Creche, while wives and girfriends get their elbows ready for a bit of a rummage in Primark, Debenhams and BHS.

But some wives have cottoned on to the fact that, actually, The Liverpool beats a mid-season sale in TK Maxx.

“It’s the best night out in town, and it’s in the middle of the afternoon. It’s dead by eight o’clock!” Mary shouts down SevenStreets’ ear – dancing around her bags for life with her friends, after a whistle-stop tour of the shops.

“We’ll stay for an hour, have a dance, then go home and do the dinner. We love it!”

Two hours later, and we get the feeling there’s a family in Kirkdale, cutlery poised, waiting for mum to bring home the bacon.

Mum’s having none of it. She’s writhing on the floor while a bodybuilder does a scouse variant of the gay gordons over her skirt, to a Hunka-hunka Burnin’ Love.

All this fun, and you can still catch a train home.

(pic: Jane MacNeil)

3 Responses to “Afternoon Boozers: Your Brave New World”

  1. What an institution, I don’t understand why they can’t offer up the new units to the old owners, spruce up the street and keep the residents happy. Also what’s up with the empty cavern quarter shopping centre, haven’t seen many articles on it at all, it’s like a Vivienne Westwood, a nice cafe and like 10 empty shops. So many parts of the city crying out for love (and offering up space for startups, out of the way but still central)

  2. Hasn’t McHales shut? I haven’t seen it open in a good few months. Only got on to it a couple months before (I believe) it shut too, shame. 2 pints of Guinness for less than a fiver (in the afternoon) was golden.

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