I THINK it is fair to say that decent drinking dens in Blackburn town centre are pretty much in decline.

Certainly trying to find two or three boozers that regularly serve decent cask ales can be quite a daunting challenge.

So, this week I felt obliged to take up this beery town centre challenge, and headed towards Zy Bar, situated close to the Cathedral, on Market Street Lane.


To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. As I walked through the door as I was met with flashing disco lights, a cheery DJ and sounds of the Eighties. It all seemed a little surreal – at two o’ clock on a Tuesday afternoon.

Formerly the “Dun Horse”, Zy Bar offers quite a roomy, L-shaped, open plan main lounge area, with wooden floor, open fireplace and fixed benched seating, along with an adequate number of comfy stools.

Thankfully, it also boasted an impressive snug type room. Here, you can chill out on the leather settees away from the more contemporary theme of this establishment.

There was just the one cask ale on offer. However, it was a good ‘un. Lytham Gold was on. It’s a malty, refreshing and lightly hopped ale. It was in excellent nick and set me back just ‘thirty bob’– or £1.50 for the younger generation – it was a special offer on Tuesday, as opposed to £1.90 normally.

Faye behind the bar said: “We have had cask ale on now for two years. It’s ever changing and popular. Thwaites cask ales go down well. However, their keg “Original” is still the best selling ale. Fosters is our best selling lager at £2.50.”

The disco from 2 till 7 was getting into full swing. Martin, the DJ, was quite a character and was reminding the customers that the Karaoke and Play Your Cards Right would be starting soon. All very surreal for me on an afternoon out.

However, this innovative afternoon’s entertainment was certainly working, as the pub was now quite busy.

Faye said: “It will be very busy by four or five. Friday and Saturday night is packed for the disco – customers love it. Sunday is similar, we have the bingo and Play Your Cards Right.”

This town-centre free house is to be admired.

It has a no frills business model, that is clearly working, a cheap and cheerful policy, that is offering its patrons a good range of regular entertainment and value beverages – long may it continue.