Tributes have poured in for a “treasured” pub landlord who ran one of the longest-standing pubs in the City.
Mike Mercer was the owner and landlord of the historic Albion Inn for nearly half a century, and during that time built up a reputation as a kind, enthusiastic man who was full of character, infectiously passed on to his regular patrons.
The former radio officer for the Merchant Navy ran the Albion Inn with a traditional no-nonsense approach. They would keep good beer in storage in Chester and serve hearty traditional pub grub, in a traditional venue adorned with memorabilia from the First World War.
He did not allow “convenience foods”, did not serve shots or “designer drinks” and did not care for pub crawls, but instead replaced them with traditional music acts, carefully chosen beers and regular singalongs for military veterans, believing that their sacrifice should never be forgotten.
The pub was always how he wanted it, and people flocked to enjoy the cosy, chatty atmosphere, the always entertaining blackboards and the hearty food cooked by Clare, including her curries and Staffordshire Oatcakes.
He was an advocate for local pubs for his entire life, in particular over the past two years, which have seen the hospitality world face some incredible difficulties.
Tributes poured in for Mr Mercer, including from the local chapter of the Campaign for Real Ale, and many other groups and regulars alike, who each had their own lasting memory of the establishment.
Mike Mercer is survived by his wife Christina, his daughters and all of his extended family, as well as the many familiar faces of the Albion who have sworn to keep his vision of the traditional pub alive.