Regular readers of Three Thousand Versts will remember my preoccupation with the future of a bar on the Lisburn Road, which has been known variously as the Ashley, Hunters, Vaughans and Deez (yes, with a ‘z’, exactly). The previous exciting instalment had Deez reverting to its old management and purportedly reinstating the much superior Hunters moniker.
That seemed to be a happy ending of sorts. Alas, more than two months later, the gaudy yellow and pink colour scheme was still there, deafening music was still rendering conversation in the bar difficult, the bloke who apparently ran Deez was spotted drinking at the bar and to add insult to considerable injury, Sky Sports and Setanta were no longer available.
Bringing things right up to date, the bar has been shut for the past week or so. This is, to put it mildly, unfortunate timing. Northern Ireland play the Czech Republic at home on Wednesday night and Hunters is easily the closest pub to Windsor Park. The most benign interpretation of the current closure is that, finally, perhaps work is planned to remove all the paraphernalia of Deez and return the bar to its original (or at least pre ‘E:at, D:rink, D:ance’) incarnation.
For God’s sake get it right this time! Give us a plain ordinary pub, a menu of steak and burgers and the football on big screens.