“ 28 Canal St, Nottingham. Tel +44(0)161 236 6523. Mon - Wed 11am to modnight, Thu 11am to 1am, Fri - Sat 11am to 2am, Sun noon to 10.30pm. „
-THE PLACE Via Fossa is located on Canal Street, Nottingham. this is a fairly central location, about a five minute walk from both the main bus and railway stations in the city. Via Fossa is part of a recent development of bars down by Nottingham canal. The other bars include The Canalhouse, Fellows Merton & Claton, The Waterfornt, Bar Risa, Jongleurs Comedy Club and a newly opened Weatherspoons called The Company Inn. The location is especially good on a sunny day as all these bars, including Via Fossa, have fairly large seating areas outside by the canal. On a very hot day it is not uncommon to see naked men jumping into the canal from the patio outside Via Fossa! Via Fossa also has an outdoor balcony which overlooks the patio, but this is not always open & often reserved for private parties only. Inside the building there are 6 bars. Firstly, there is the'Castle View' bar at the front of the building. This bar is always open and comprises of a variety of comfy seats. It is the least busy of the two main bars. The next bar on the ground floor is 'Picture Bar'. this bar is only really open on busy nights and serves bottles only. The main bar on the ground floor is 'Vaults' which is located at the back of the building, adjoining the patio. This bar area contains wooden benches, tall wooden stools and is where the DJ is located on DJ nights. Vaults is the busiest bar in Via Fossa. Upstairs is 'Balcony' bar, 'Crow's Nest' bar and 'Daisy' bar which incorporates the famous cow seats. These bars are all quite small and are often closed or reserved for private functions. There is also a resturant which is quite small, but you don't have to go to the resturant to eat as you can eat anywhere in Via Fossa. -THE FOOD Via Fossa has two menus, a restaurant menu and a bar menu. The restaurant menu comprises of main mealssuch as wild boar sausages. The bar menu offers snacks such as filled potato skins, red pepper lasagne, hot panninis, fish and chips, burgers etc. The food is of very average quality and I feel it is overpriced. The panninis, for example are about £4.25 and are rather small. A bowl of chips is £1.75 and the potion is tiny. The food also takes an incredibly long time to arrive. Also, if you try to order food at the bar you will be told to sit back down and someone will take your order from you table. The problem is this doesn't always seem to happen! I would not really recommend Via Fossa as a place to eat. -THE DRINKS Via Fossa serves Fosters, Kronenberg, Becks, Guiness, strongbow & John Smith's on tap. They also have pumps for Directors and a couple of other real ales but they always seem to have run out. They serve a wide range of bottled drinks such as bottled beers, bacardi breezers, WKD, Smirnoff Ice. Bottled drinks are rather pricey though at £2.70. For a pint expect to pay around £2.50. Also, they never have any offers or promotions on drinks. If you want cheap drinks the Weatherspoons is much cheaper and Bar Risa have a frequent 2 4 1 offer on. -THE MUSIC Used to be cheesy chart music, but more recently Via Fossa seems to have gone for a more funky Drum 'n' Bass feel with live DJs, although it hasn't paid off because the place is much quieter than it used to be. -THE PEOPLE The staff are friendly, generally young, probably students. They are trendy and lively. There are always plently of staff around so normally you don't have to wait too long at the bar. The customers are generally quite young, although it's not uncommon to see older people there. In the daytime it is more suitable for older people who want a civilised drink than at weekends when it is packed and noisy. You get a lot of large groups of drunk people and stag and hen nights. It has been known for the bar to have to clos e for short periods due to rowdyness. -CONCLUSION *Good place to go on a sunny day to sit outside with friends and watch the world go by. *Good location for town centre and other bars, bus and railway stations. *unique design building, funky decor and tendy furniture. *Useful if you want to hire out a bar for a party as there are a few bars available to hire, each of different sizes depending on the size of your party. *A bit pricey, (but then again most city centre bars are) but never has offers/promotions. *Food is overpriced, very average quality and small portions.
Canal Street in Nottingham had started to become somewhat run-down towards the middle part of the 1990’s, and quite frankly needed sorting out, it was fast becoming a bit of an eyesore. The area between the Broad Marsh shopping centre and the Nottingham Castle stretch of Canal Street has now undergone a dramatic facelift over the last five years. Lots of new office buildings, bars and fitness centres. Part of this modernization has been the Via Fossa bar/pub/restaurant. It's set out on two levels with a deceiving amount of space inside (pub equivalent of the Tardis). It looks quite a small place from outside at the front of the building (the main entrance from Canal Street), but it's deep and stretches back down towards the canalside. The ground floor is decked out with wooden flooring, benches and tables and has a total of three bars, one at the front, one at the left hand side (rarely used), and one at the rear. The main feature of the ground floor is the outside beer garden / terrace area at the rear. It's a large area with some (sparse) seating and it backs onto the canal (hence the name of the street it’s on!). Directly opposite (over the other side of the canal via a bridge ... please don't swim across the canal), is the relatively new Magistrates Court building, an impressive structure using glass to the extreme. Nice view from the outside, not planning to have a look inside. The rear of the Via Fossa is everyone’s favourite spot, as it is a relaxing place to sit and chat with friends. Great to sit outside in summer, but be warned it will get crowded. Consequently it's hard to park your bum down so be prepared to stand up. Even in the winter nights it's still busy as they have heaters dotted about. Right. Back inside! Up on the first floor you will find another two bars and the restaurant area. The style of this floor is slightly different to that of the first, the wooden tables and seats are still there but they tend to use more mirrors and metallic art in the décor. There is a seating section towards the front of this floor that is a little bizarre and has to be seen. It has a small section where the seats have some special “bovine style” covers over them (and it’s always occupied!). There is also a terrace area, which overhangs to the rear. Get there early to get a seat (or standing room!) out there. Another point of note about the Via Fossa is the architecture inside. Hold on, I know this sounds a little dull but you will find yourself staring at a few things, the ornate pillars, the stairs, the view from the first floor looking down onto the ground floor entrance. The initial view when you first walk in through the Canal Street entrance is particularly striking because of the height in the room (no first floor section here). When you get to the front entrance bar, stretch your neck upwards and you will see what I mean. The quality of the restaurant food is reasonable (but on the expensive side considering the paltry portions i've had there), covering a wide range of snacks and main courses. The selection of drinks is good, but it isn’t the sort of place to go for real ale as Lager tends to dominate the pumps. This is predominantly a Friday/Saturday night out-on-the-town type of bar, with lots of lagers and bottles to prove it. Prices can be a bit steep but this is the norm now in most city centre bars in Nottingham. Don’t be too shocked at having to pay around £2-£2.50 for a pint or a bottle, and don’t be surprised to queue for a while on a weekend night either as it gets very busy. Either that or the staff there really don't like me in particular and enjoy watching me dance about waving a £20 note a lot. This is now a vibrant area of Nottingham city centre, with many new bars opening up all the time. Many new office buildings have been constructed r ecently (e.g. the new offices for the Nottingham Evening Post, the local paper, are just around the corner from the Via Fossa). Other places within a couple of minutes walk from here are a Fitness First gym, Jongleurs comedy club (excellent night out!), Broad Marsh bus station (about two minutes walk) and the Nottingham city train station (about three minutes walk). This makes it an ideal location for anyone coming to Nottingham for a night out. It’s also within crawling distance of most of the city centre nightclubs too. Via Fossa is only three of four minutes walk outside of the main centre of Nottingham too (Market Square) and has many other bars surrounding it. The big attraction with it though is in the summer. The rear terrace area is always packed out, even when the temperature drops a bit (those heaters out there never seem to work properly when I stand next to them). Overall, Via Fossa is one of my favourite bars in Nottingham when I’m out of an evening. You can go here in the week for a relatively quiet drink and a chat, or go at the weekend and join the heaving masses in homage to the lager god!
Of all the pubs in Nottingham it is Via Fossa that I return to time and time again. The décor I admit may well be an acquired taste, consisting of a series of dark-interlaced cubby holes. Upstairs is the now infamous “cow seat” a favourite of many. If that piqued your interest now I better shatter your illusions. The so called cow seat is a mere booth upholstered in black and white spotted fabric similar to that of a Friesian cow, hence the wholly original name. Prices are reasonable with a pint averaging a little over £2, and the atmosphere is one of total relaxation. Better still if the weather looks good you have the additional option of sitting outside by the recently developed canal and allowing the staff to wait on you. Despite the fact I adore this pub it does have a small setback … the food. The menu, although wonderfully written and presented, makes promises that it simply cannot deliver. The prices are well above average for Nottingham too with main meals being in excess of £5. The food once it arrives tends to be rather bland, and usually tepid rather than hot. Now at this point after painting a bleak picture of what to expect from the kitchens I need to point out one very important exception. That being the good old fashioned Sunday Lunch served from midday until early evening. Now that is something not to be missed, and a bargain at that. Firstly comes a huge bowl of steaming home made soup, followed by a wonderfully delicious roast. The best thing being that all this tots up to less than £6. If you are ever in Nottingham on a Sunday, chances are you’ll find me sat there happily supping a pint and munching on my dinner. I heartily recommend you to join me :)