JUST on the corner of Winchester’s food district sits a rare little gem offering a range of refreshments for its eclectic clientele.
The Mucky Duck, located on the corner of Hyde Street, seems somewhat a misnomer on the outset: a female-friendly sports bar. And yet, even on a Friday lunchtime, it’s heaving.
A square-shaped bar, accessed from two sides, is in the centre of a darkened room with original wall features and tables and chairs tucked away into each romantic corner. Backing onto it is a decent-sized wooden-decked beer garden, packed with people enjoying a pint in the midday sun.
Though this place offers locally-sourced food and a decent pint of ale no one can quite put their finger on what it is that draws in the crowds.
Best known for showing various sporting events this trove pulls in both the men and the women, of all ages, bringing together a mixed array of Winchester folk.
Bar manager Jack Norgate has worked in the pub since it opened two years ago and said he receives no end of positive feedback from his punters.
“It’s everything I would want from a pub personally,” he said. “It’s got a great atmosphere, great sporting events and just generally a good vibe. It’s the fact it caters for everyone and, when there’s no sports events on, there’s other things to do. It’s different from any other bar I’ve ever worked in.”
He adds: “It seems to really work. There’s something for everyone. We have a huge mix of different sexes and ages and it helps to sort this brilliant atmosphere and it also helps get the singles in.”
Plans to install a pop-up cocktail bar in the beer garden are currently being looked over by planning officials which Mr Norgate hopes will ease bar queues in the summer months.
“We have got plans going through and we should hear back in a few weeks,” he said. “It’s a permanent out house which would do occasional pop-up events. We wouldn’t need to use it all year round but something to pull out in the summer when it’s busy.”
Though the bar doesn’t offer al-fresco cocktails just yet, you can grab a pint of lager from £3.90 or a pint of ale from £3.50.
A glass of wine ranges in price, from £4.75 to £8.60, and bottles cost from £16.95 to £27. Soft drinks cost from £2.50 for a pint of coke, and spirits start at £2.90. The food, to which the pub owes local veg man Ross Brimfield a great deal, costs from £6 for a simple sandwich to £18 for a burger with all the trimmings, nicknamed The Mighty Duck.