As a frequent explorer of one too many pubs around Belfast, I seem to have gathered some degree of experience in spending time there. During my four years at Queen's, The Globe has become one of the places I have frequented most often, and has also been one of the most increasingly depressing places to go.
A delicious lunch with a drink for £5 is not something to be scoffed at by the student population. This is an excellent offer and one of the best, and most influentially, cheapest lunchtime dining experiences to be had in the Queen's area. The burgers, lasagne and sausage and mash are all of proper pub grub standard. The portions are exceptionally good value for money. My personal favourite, the Mexican Chicken Wrap, has gently spiced chicken wrapped with lettuce in a flour tortilla and flavoured with sweet chili/mayonaise on top, served with a hefty portion of home made chips. It's a lot of food (many a time, I have had to run to class on the top floor of the PFC with a very full stomach which was not a happy experience) and when it is good, it is excellent.
The cocktail list is adequate if not a little unimaginative. They have some good weekly offers on jugs (Appletini, for example, was £7 for a large jug) and the atmosphere is always an interesting mix between students in a rush for class, and older people lounging at the bar. The staff are usually pleasant and friendly, although in my last visits I have noticed there is a greater turn over and a lot of the new staff are not as good as the older staff.
When it is bad, it is seriously bad. The food takes a very long time to come out, the staff take a long time to take the order, and the food can be of very bad quality. The chicken can be extremely overcooked, dry and tastless. The burgers; sloppy presentation and, more often than not, not available. The lasgane can be dry and taste like cardboard. Obviously, this is a serious problem, to the extent that the place is no longer somewhere I would consider visiting unless there is a serious revamp of the food and service.
This is not a place I would even consider visiting on a night out unless I have been there from lunch time. It is empty, dark and dreary with very little to appeal to a more active crowd.
A place I have spent many a happy time here enjoying the cheap offers, and the food when it is good, is very good. It has gone seriously downhill in recent months and I really hope that it picks up because it would be a shame to see such a popular student haunt facing closure.
The Globe was recently converted from the Elms, which had been there for nearly forty years, when it was bought over by new managers, the Botanic Inns. The Globe was a nice little pub, a good place for starting the night off, but not somewhere that vast numbers of young people, ie. students, would want to spend a whole night in. That was the problem to the owners, they watched vast quantities of students walking past everyday on their way to other pubs, and realised that they wanted some of that. So, a refit was undertaken. A dj box was installed, along with more seating, got rid of the pool table and did up the toilets (which were one of the most disgusting in Belfast) along with a few other touches. There is now djs playing the usual blend of current chart tunes along with cheesy pop from years gone by, as well as karoke 3 nights a week. I have no problem with that, the place itself isn't bad, I even get quite a good pint of Carlsberg for my £2.10, which is reasonable for Belfast. The reason why I hate the Globe is down to the fact that it is packed to the rafters every night of the week, which leads to the inevitable onset of unbearable heat. It is frustrating as well to have to queue for an hour to get in on a Saturday night, go in and see people who were 4 years behind me in school, and therefore underaged, in there already. Some people I know love it, and I am probably in the minority in saying that a night in the Globe is a bad night, but I can't stand the place.
At first I was afraid, I was petrified .... they had taken one of my favourite pubs, The Elms, redesigned the interior and redecorated. The Elms was a bizarre pub that was very popular with us. It had an "L" shaped pool table, excellent when slighty drunk and the corners were in the way of a beautiful straight shoot, leading to some five or six cushion shots to get out of snookers. The computer game "Point Blank" on arcade, excellent for two people and many hours and pound coins wasted. A huge screen TV with a Playstation linked to it and a huge size game of "Connect 4" with bin lid sized tokens. How could they replace this EXCELLENCE. It was the best pub in Belfast. But they did. The took out all the cool stuff and replaced it with "normal" pub stuff. They put in a DJ box and at least fifty TV's around the was all playing MTV or adverts. And the music doesn't match the MTV - very confusing when inebraited. Then they put more seats in, put up a big poncey sign at the front, stopped serving as big a range of beer on tap and put the prices through the roof. Then they put about six huge bounc .... sorry "door persons" on the front door and only let posh looking people in. The first time my friends and I went their they wern't going to let me in because I had "visible tattoos" and my shoes (a pair of Acupunctures) were "too like trainers" for their liking. So were whipped their asses with some excellent karate moves .... well not really, we were holding up the queue and refusing to move, so they let us in .... I admit, I might have given a bad impression of this pub so far, but you have to remember that the Elms was totally excellent, and that even with all my complaints about this place it is actually a good pub. The music is a good selction of current chart music, normally the more dancey mixes but not always, it really depends on the DJ, yo
u can also get some excellent 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's music thrown into the mix as well as some dance classics and even the odd TV theme tune .... the A-team theme is a brilliant way to finish a boozy night out. The drinks are quite expensive and they do not have a huge range of beer on tap, but they do have a huge range of bottled beers and ciders aswell as all the alcopops and similar beverages. Don't expect to pay supermarket prices but don't expect to get ripped off either. They also have a good selection of reds and whites, although I'm a rose guy myself. The decor is good, and they toilets are nice and clean with cool black tiles and plenty of stainless steel. Strangly they also pipe old Billy Connely soundtracks of his live shows over the speakers in the toilets .... I'm not sure why .... The atmosphere is good, not to smokey but they do pack you in tight before eleven o'clock before everybody heads out for the clubs. The small dance floor is always totally packed out, right beside the DJ box, but does prove useful as you have access to the DJ and can shout your requests at him. The clientele in The Globe are a little posh for my liking and most of them seem to just be out on the town to show off their latest new dress or shirt instead of just to have a good time, but if you see anyone too posh, remember it's packed out, you can give them a little nudge and then smirk as they get a little of their Bacardi Breezer over their nice new cuffs. The Globe could invest in some more air conditioning and lower their prices a little but other than that it is a quite enjoyable pub .... and get their early folks the bouncers will turn you away ... "Sorry lads to many blokes inside .... waiting for some more chicks ...." and then move you along. Have fun.