The Gate House, fairly unusual for pub chain J D Wetherspoon in that it is one of only a few new build venues is part of the trio of outlets for the pubco in Doncaster town centre.
The guest ales on offer are from a wide range of breweries and include some local ones such as Acorn and Wentworth. Those available from further afield have included, amongst many others, Adnams' of Suffolk, Moorhouse's of Lancashire and Sharp's of Cornwall. At the far end of the bar, lurking amongst the 'house' beers, can be found a real cider in the form of Marcle Hill, a medium dry traditional cider from Hereford.
During a recent 'Meet the Brewer' evening, beers could be sampled from Saltaire Brewery of West Yorkshire, along with the chance to chat with the brewer himself. Several other breweries have been featured in this way, giving them a much needed profile by showcasing their products, particularly to those who might not venture into a more traditional pub.
Customers have the chance to nominate a particular beer they fancy. There is a ballot box situated on the end of the bar into which drinkers can post their nominations for a beer they'd like to try.
District Pub of the Season - Winter 2009/10
The Loco, Haxey
The Loco started out as a railway theme bar and developed into one of our branch area’s most diverse pubs. Now it’s the Doncaster District Winter Pub of the Season. Situated on Church Street in the centre of the village, the Loco was originally a chip shop . During the 1980s it became a pub decorated with various railway memorabilia, including a smokebox which dominated the bar.
The Loco always offered food but, until Ziggy arrived in 2001, this was just standard pub fare. Then , in 2002, a staffing crisis led Ziggy to diversify so he set up an Indian restaurant in the pub. This was not only successful – it was the forerunner of a trend which has since seen a number of 'curry pubs' appear in our area. The Loco now has a thriving food trade – and, excluding Sunday lunches, 70% of that trade consists of Indian meals.
In 2006, the Loco was extensively refurbished. Downstairs, the bar was extended and modernised. Although the smokebox remains, most of the railway artefacts are now gone. Upstairs, the pub now offers seven four star-rated en suite bedrooms. These are in regular use and are helping to keep the pub profitable in the present economic climate.
The pub has regularly featured the Good Beer Guide since Ziggy took over. They usually features John Smith’s Cask plus two rotating guest beers. The range of guest ales is interesting and often features some unusual selections from micro breweries all over the country. Apart from the three regular beers, Ziggy also has the capacity to provide up to three extra ales if required.
The Loco takes an active part in all aspects of village life, including the annual Haxey Hood game. There’s an impressive mural of the game, painted by a local artist, in the downstairs games area.