In the more than fifty places we have visited during this quest, we have so often found ourselves sitting somewhere thinking, “you know what would make this charming spot even better? If there were a big TV showing football right at our table!”
OK, it’s fair enough — Tyke is billed as a sports bar and they certainly do have sports! In addition to the individual screens at the booths, there are giant televisions on every wall, so you can’t avoid watching the sports even if you tried. And while we were surprised that they had any real ales at all (three, from Little Valley and Bridgehouse breweries), they were all less than spectacular and not served properly. Otherwise they have Tiger and Peroni in the fridge and Sagres and John Smith from a keg.
The decor they’re going for seems to be late 20th-century sleazy airport lounge. The grim lighting and the superfluous purple suede made me feel like I should get an STI test after we left. They are high up there when it comes to amenities — food, free wifi, coffee, and did we mention the sports? But they’re certainly not enough to make it worth a trek here if you don’t live in Gateway or aren’t staying at the Ibis Budget. And even then, you’d still be better off walking down the street to The Palace.