While there are many fascinating aspects of the County Durham town of Consett, any discussion of its history cannot ignore that it morphed from a village into a boom town in the 19th century on account of the discovery beneath its ground of coking coal and blackband iron ore. With limestone also being found nearby, it wasn’t long until local blast furnaces were doing their bit for the North East’s then thriving Industrial Revolution by pumping out iron and steel.
What does any of this, admittedly compelling history have to do with one of the most unashamedly modern eating and drinking spots in today’s town? Well, this was always a pub conceived to recall Consett’s glorious past, with its very name – The Company Row – referencing the Company Rows of houses that the Derwent Iron Company built for its workers after its foundation in the 1840s. Sadly for the North East’s current-day history buffs, most of these Company Rows were demolished in the 1920s, with the site subsequently becoming a marketplace.
Still, it’s also very obvious that the pub that serves to remember these remarkable houses in its moniker is not merely paying tribute to a long-dead history, but is playing its part to make the 21st-century Consett a key social destination. The decor of this spacious JD Wetherspoon establishment feels up-to-the-minute, as do the amenities, with step-free access, TV screens broadcasting live news and Wi-Fi all present and correct. When you also consider the licensed outdoor area and the general family-friendly vibe, it becomes clear that this really is a pub serving all of Consett’s inhabitants.
That impression becomes clearer still when you sample the food and drinks menu, which covers all of the pub lunch essentials and a bit more. Those arriving on a morning may order such Breakfast Club options as an all-day brunch, breakfast roll with Quorn sausage, bagel with cream cheese or even a gluten-free or children’s breakfast. Indeed, it’s vital to highlight just how welcoming a pub The Company Row is to the young ones, as is also signified by the presence of a dedicated children’s menu offering the likes of cheesy pasta, fish and chips with beans, beef burgers, chicken breast burgers and so many more well-priced and delicious kid-oriented dishes.
As a matter of fact, whatever the kind of meal for which you may visit The Company Row – perhaps one of its ‘Deli Deals’ like a BBQ chicken, bacon and cheese panini or a jacket potato with cheese, or instead something from the extensive small plates, sharers, burritos, pub classics or ‘fresh from the grill’ ranges – you are sure to leave with the feeling of having enjoyed a proper pub lunch. After all, for many North Easterners, while there may have been many pretenders down the years, no operator really knows how to do pub grub quite like JD Wetherspoon.
All of this is without us even touching on the various drinks options, which – as you would naturally expect from a Wetherspoon pub – are great and many. If you aren’t in the mood for something from the real ales and beers range such as a Ruddles, Shipyard or Devils Backbone, what about a craft beer or cider like Brewdog Punk IPA or Hazy Hog cloudy English Cider?
In fact, with everything from draught ciders, lagers and spirits to world beers, wine, champagne and cocktails available, as well as soft drinks and hot drinks such as a good old-fashioned cappuccino, hot chocolate or espresso, you may never even feel the need to venture into one of the local coffee shops when you have the option of The Company Row. Why not pop in to see for yourself on your next visit to Victoria Road?