THE rock pub's smoking terrace had been temporarily decommissioned thanks to licensing bureaucracy.

Now back in action, it's a haven once again for the black-clad clientele, who clearly love innuendo and imbibing in equal measure.

Rufus T's, as regulars call it, benefits from a strong street footprint: its black and grey exterior instantly marks it out as a rocker's joint, while prominent signage encourages patrons to punish their livers (all very tongue in cheek, of course, before the temperance campaigners start) and spells out the weekday lunch deal.

The sense of humour, fact fans, stems from the name: both Rufus T Firefly and Otis B Driftwood (the name given to the upstairs function room) were Marx Brothers' characters.

That lunch offer alone is worth a visit: on weekdays between 3 and 5 o'clock the price of your meal is the time it's ordered. Classic hearty pub fare makes up the menu: chilli, burgers etc.

Inside it's dark but not dingy, much like sister bar the Solid Rock further down Hope Street.

Naturally, punishingly loud metal is the soundtrack and Jack Daniel's is everywhere, as is de rigeur in rock-orientated venues.

That is not to say that those who don't belong to the subculture aren't welcome: in both pubs there's a particularly laid back vibe perhaps not present in every bar where hirsute heavy metallers gather.

A fine pre-club choice for both proper members of the scene or genre tourists.