It's a cruel irony that an establishment that is fast becoming Bury St Edmunds' premier real ale pub is only ten minutes walk from where I used to live. The Dove, in Hospital Road, is a pub that I have frequented on and off most of my drinking life. It has always been a Greene King pub, up until recently that is. It is now a free house offering six real ales. Bloody fantastic!
This pub is a 'wet only' affair. No food, unless you want a packet of crisps that is. The opening hours are restricted; opening lunchtimes and evenings of a weekend, and then evenings only during the week. The landlord told us that he is concentrating on East Anglian beers so that he can deal direct with brewers which seems like a jolly good thing to be doing. He is restricted from dealing with certain bigger breweries apparently. This is due to a stipulation by Greene King. But I wouldn't have thought that was a problem, and it certainly didn't appear to be yesterday lunchtime. I met a friend there. We arrived just before opening time. There were five of us waiting. We stayed for most of the lunchtime session and there was a steady stream of customers coming and going, with the pub being respectably full much of the time. Lots of familiar faces along with others I knew. The quality of the beer was most excellent so this pub deserves to do well, and I think it will. It just goes to show that in the right area a wet only pub with well kept beer can draw a crowd.