Maximum M & B
It took me a while to realise just quite how ubiquitous Mitchells & Butlers are. According to Wikipedia it has around 2,000 managed pubs and clubs in the UK. Its pubs range from relatively individual pubs like the Adelphi in Leeds; to Nicholsons pubs like The Palace and The Scarbrough Hotel (aka The Scarbrough Taps); to obvious brands like All Bar Ones, Harvesters and Toby Carveries. They also own Flares, but I understand they’ve sold many of those off.
As I understand it, the legacy Mitchells and Butlers brewery was founded in 1898 from two other breweries; later merging with Bass in the early 1960s. In 2000 Bass was split, with the brewery going to Interbrew and the pubs business becoming Six Continents. In 2002 there was another split and the pubs business was called “Mitchells and Butlers”.
As a student I used to work in Ogston’s in St Andrews (now, or at least subsequently, The Gin House), which was part of the Six Continents chain and historically a “Bass Town Pub”. Bass Town Pubs were supposed to be unique rather than obviously chain pubs, like the student-facing “Scream” pub in town which was also Bass/Six Continents/M&B and had previously been a Firkin. Are you losing the will to live yet? In any case, the point is that you might not necessarily know an M&B pub when you see one, and there’s a reasonable probability you’ve been drinking in one in the last month.
From a search on Mitchells & Butlers website, there are 32 M&B pubs within 5 miles of LS1, as follows:
The Victoria Hotel; O’Neill’s (Great George St); All Bar One (Greek St); Nation Of Shopkeepers; Brown’s (The Light); Dry Dock; The Picture House; Flares; Scarbrough Hotel; Horse & Trumpet; Queen’s Court; The Palace; The Library; The Adelphi; The Royal Park; Hyde Park; The Original Oak; Headingley Taps; The True Britton (A Sizzling Pub near mine with a terrifying BNP name but an apparently multiethnic clientele); Queens Arms (in Chapel Allerton, now an incongruous Toby Carvery in Leed’s trendiest suburb); Barley Mow; The Vesper Gate; the Deer Park; The Roundhay Fox; The White Rose (Harvester); The Woodcock; The Dexter; The Wellington Inn; The Fox and Hounds; Toby Carvery (Horsforth); Colton Mill (Harvester); Toby Carvery (Morley).
That’s a lot of very different pubs, eh? To put it in context, there are 6 JD Wetherspoons in the same area, although I don’t think anyone was ever unaware that they were in a Wetherspoons.