Doctor Duncan's

Doctor Duncan'sDoctor Duncan's
Doctor Duncan'sDoctor Duncan's
Bar, Eatery

2 St. Johns Lane
Liverpool, England, L1 1HF
United Kingdom

+44 151 709 5100 | map
cains.co.uk

Notes:
PLACE STATS
Average:
4.29
Reviews:
5
Ratings:
7
pDev:
10.49%
View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 5 | Ratings: 7 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Doctor Duncans’ is simply an outstanding Ale House. Everything is in perfect balance, a good range of quality beers, great food, unbelievable surroundings, friendly service, huge character and a never forgotten experience. For a first time Overseas visitor, it can all be simply too much. The first time I came here, some Tourists were taking photographs of the many rooms that comprise this finest of establishments, no doubt to mass produce it in all it’s glorious detail to perfection once they returned back to Japan. But they will fail miserably. For the success of DD’s, goes way beyond the sum of its components, great though they are. This Ale House has soul, Beer Soul, and the character of this Pub goes far beyond it’s classic multi-roomed Victorian interior.
Down to business. Cask beers on Handpump are; Cains Mild, Dr Duncan’s IPA (house special), Cains Bitter and Cains Formidable are the regulars. These are also ably supported by four, or five, ever changing Guest Beers (usually all from UK micro-breweries / independents). All Cask beers are served in the highest of condition. Also serves a Real Cider on Draft. Holds it own Beer Festival in April on the premises, and is also known to have regular German and Belgium “Beers Weeks”. I spied many overseas Bottled Beers behind the bar the last time I was there, and I suspect some are now stocked & available permanently. The Food menu is varied, value for money and excellent quality.
Once you have your Beer, and have eaten, if you are near the Bar which serves 2 or 3 of the smaller wood decorated rooms, pick up your drink and walk to the room that forms the corner of the Pub. Marvel in awe at this most rare of sights. A room totally decorated, floor to ceiling, with the highest quality, individually hand-crafted, Victorian ceramic tiles. Breathtaking.

Regional CAMRA Pub of the Year 2000, also awarded “Pubs of Excellence in 2002” (1 of only 8) handed out by Merseyside CAMRA, and it also has Cask Marque Accreditation.

As your Doctor, I prescribe that you take 2, or 3, Pints of fine Cask Ales, once an hour in this establishment, and repeat until you forget what the prescription was.

AWESOME. You **must** visit this Ale House if you are in Liverpool.

Nov 22, 2002
More User Reviews:
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.5

I'm a little on the fence with Dr. Duncan's. It's certainly a nice looking and cozy place (wood bar, wood all around; wood floors in the main area, plaid carpet in one room, vaulted tiled ceiling in the tiled room!), but I'm not crazy about the layout. Maybe I'm just used to having the bar itself as more of a focal point than rooms off to the sides - perhaps that's the American in me, and perhaps not. Regardless, I felt it had a bit of a "created" feeling to it overall - yet at the same time I'd say it's probably worth taking a look. The outside of the building is quite nice as well.

As for location and vibe, I found it more lively during the day, and with it being close to the Royal Court Theatre and the Walker I'd suggest you give it a visit then. At night it feels a little off the beaten path, directly opposite St. John's Gardens and next to highway turnarounds/entrances and what not. As far as I know the closest good beer pub is the Ship & Mitre so it's not really good for crawling around, and it is nice to look out at the park during daylight hours.

As to beer I didn't find it lacking, but neither did I find it great. They offer cask, and they're CAMRA recognized. They're also the main Cain's house in Liverpool, not that you can't find it elsewhere.

The food was decent but not great, pretty much what you'd expect of a kind of corporate place, although I have to admit to having only had snacks.

All in all I'd put it on a list to visit, but I wouldn't make it a destination except that the architecture keeps nagging at me.

Mar 31, 2016
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Elleyo9 from England

4.2/5  rDev -2.1%

Nov 19, 2014
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willfman from England

5/5  rDev +16.6%

Nov 08, 2014
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JohnW from England

3.66/5  rDev -14.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Just a few minutes walk from Lime Street Station and opposite St Johns Gardens (once you have negotiated the crazy city centre road layouts and pedestrian crossings!) Interior on several levels with one room in original Victorian tiling and very impressive. At time of visit 5 Cains beers were on hand pull, and reasonable value. No food was available at lunchtime on the day of our visit (just after a public holiday) but that could have just been our bad luck. Interesting interior (though well worn) and decent Cains beers, though no guest beers. Definately worth a visit when in Liverpool, though other real ale bars close by have more choice.

JohnW B'ham UK
August 2010

Sep 01, 2010
Photo of benmiliron
benmiliron from Ohio

3.83/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

This place has a great location near most of the monument-type buildings in Liverpool. Right across from a nice english garden. Nice look to the place, lots of dark stained wood and a real open layout. One room off to the side looks like either a Victorian tea room or something out of a Stanley Kubrick movie - pastel tiles all the way up the ceiling and on the ceiling.

Quality of the beer was very good - Cain's is a good english ale and there are about a dozen varieties to choose from. I had the raisin ale, very nice with a nice sweetness, the brown which was pretty standard, the 2008 to celebrate Liverpool's City of Culture honor for that year is pretty off the wall for english palates, but fairly standard for Americans.

Service is irritating. Such a huge place and no table service? Common in the UK though, so you've got to let it slide.

Food is standard UK "pub grub". I had the grilled chicken, which came drowned in cheddar cheese and bacon. Copious amounts of fries on the side.

Doctor D's is a pretty good place to be, probably one of the best in Liverpool. There are many other good bars in town though, so have a few here and move on.

Sep 24, 2006
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francisweizen from Alaska

4.56/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Ah, the good Dr. Duncan's! what an absoluteley stunning Victorian pub this place is. The atmosphere is perfect. An old looking wooden multi-roomed Victorian palace of a pub. Complete with small nooks and crannies, old fireplaces burning peat, and a room done up head-to-toe with stunning Victorian tiles. This place has to be seen to be believed. The quality of the ales was top notch all around, and one could not really ask for a better range either. They had a real cider on cask, two or three guest ales, including two from Adnams, and a huge range of Cains brews, about 6 or 7 by my count. Probably the best real ale selection in the city of Liverpool. The food looked and smelled damn tasty but I did not try any on either of my visits here. Next time I will. Definately awesome. One of the most impressive pubs I have ever drank in. Thanks for the recommendation Darren, let me second it here!

Dec 07, 2004
Doctor Duncan's in Liverpool, GB2, United Kingdom
Place rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 7 ratings