The latest addition to the nascent real ale mini-chain being created by the saviours of Hull city centre pubs Alan Murphy and Chrissy Fleming is the wonderful, warm, wood-lined Wm Hawkes.
Alan and Chrissy own and operate Walters and the Lion & Key, which stand about 200 yards apart at either end of Scale Lane in the old town. Wm Hawkes is to be found between the two and since opening in June has proven as just popular as their existing hostelries.
From the outside, the pub looks like something from a Dickens film adaptation (Mr Jagger’s office, maybe?) and as there is no pub sign or chalk board proffering Sky Sports it is all too easy to walk straight by. Venture inside, however, and you are rewarded with a fantastic little, low ceilinged, two room boozer with a choice of 10 real ales and ciders and dozens of bottles of exotic spirits. The pub currently only opens at night in the week and all day at the weekends and food is limited to bar snacks and homemade scotch eggs. These are, though, about the size of a cricket ball and (at £2) offer a perfectly serviceable alternative to lunch.
Daringly, Wm Hawkes stocks – get this – NO LAGER! No lager on draft, none in bottles. The thinking behind this brave policy is that there are plenty of British ales that are just as light and refreshing as lager so why spend hard earned Yorkshire money on drinks that mainly profit companies abroad? An admirable move. The pub was named after a gunsmith that used to occupy the premises in 1750, but until a few months ago Wm Hawkes was just a printer’s workshop. It speaks volumes about the owners’ head for running pubs, then, that the place already feels like it will be a great boozer forevermore.
Wm Hawkes, 32 Scale Lane, Hull HU1 1LF. 01482 225212.