Thursday, October 27, 2005

Demise of The Pub

With the new fashion of winebars and theme bars, I was discussing the demise of the traditional old British Pub.

These could be identified by any of the following.....

Tables that rocked - literally!
Short legged chairs - a free fun fair ride every time!
Naff cheap carpet, usually in that revolting swirly design, invariably ripped - and some even fixed with duct tape!
Loos out the back, cold, concrete, simple bolt on the door, often unisex - optional soap and towel!
Wet bar - no, not the modern definition, but a real wet bar, where your elbows get soaked in booze when you lean on it!
A barmaid who looks like the mother of all Chavs, neon pink low cut top revealing wrinkled boobies and half a ton of cheap gold jewellry - but a heart of gold.
Bar Manager - who stands at the end of the bar, invariably chain-smoking cigars or cigarettes, mentally urging people to drink more/faster (and of course, watching the above mentioned barmaid like a hawk.

and the atmosphere......
Packed!
A small fug of rather sweet smelling smoke over the table in the darkest corner.
The odour of the back toilets eking out into the bar
The overpowering smell of spilt alcohol
The familiar fog of cigarette/cigar/pipe smoke

and the geography....
The Snug - no children allowed, average age 50-60, beer/cider cards and dominoes compulsory
The Lounge - Children allowed, occasional sandwiches on offer, mostly crisps and nuts.
The Public Bar - where the 'real' drinkers hang out, and where wives could usually find their husbands when no shows for Sunday Dinner.

Entertainment........
Sometimes a lone hippy sitting in the corner (usually the one with the sweet smelling fug) strumming tunefully on a guitar, being kept in booze by the bar manager.
Once a week; Quiz Night. Bingo Night. Ladies Night.
The jukebox - ah, the last resort for decent music! Must be equipped with 70's rock music; Slade, TRex, Queen and Hawkwind (a trip to the pub is not complete without a group rendition of 'Hi Ho Silver Lining!').

Whilst making my requests for this year's office Christmas Party, I remember with longing propping up a damp bar, chugging pints, inhaling more tobacco by-products than I could ever hope to smoke myself, singing along *loudly* to Hi Ho Silver Lining - and not feeling the odd one out.
And of course, being Christmas - Slade's 'Merry Christmas Everyone' was a compulsory jukebox inclusion!

With the arrival of the new bars etc certainly in town centres - is the old British Pub dying? And what do we replace the undeniable social aspect with?

cq

18 comments:

Aginoth said...

I know I used to enjoy going to the pub, would even go alone, and was one of the locals whn I was in my late teens/early twenties.

Now though, I'd rather stay at home with a nice glass of something, my comfy reclining chair and my own Big TV.

Dave said...

Aginoth - you're getting old????

Aginoth said...

yep ;o)

CyberKitten said...

Never liked pubs... even when I was getting drunk in them... smokey, crowded, noisy places... usually with highly questionable toilet facilities.....

craziequeen said...

I'm with Aginoth - sometimes it's hard to remember how I spent (wasted?) whole evenings closeted in a pub drinking....sometimes even afternoons - eh cyberkitten? [wink]........

:-)

Guess I'm getting old too :-(

Hardly drink any more - allergies mostly.
Can't smoke in public - don't even smoke in my own house.
Getting antsy about being in places full of strangers - gotta love claustrophobia and mild agoraphobia.
And you meet 'really' weird people in pubs these days :-S

cq

CyberKitten said...

Can't really handle afternoon drinking these days.... and haven't been drunk for.... well, weeks now............

craziequeen said...

[gets out zimmer frame]

guess we really are old, kitty - although you've been drunk more recently than me....

cq

CyberKitten said...

True... but it WAS purely unintentional.....

I had no idea all that Vodka would have that effect on me.....

craziequeen said...

[shrieks with laughter]

you *are* out of practice.....

cq

S.I.D. said...

I agree. I think we should put the chavs/hooligans in the pubs and start having older drinking groups outside in the parks/available green areas/town centres.

craziequeen said...

Good idea, cold earth - but I think Bristol already have that policy :-O

cq

Aginoth said...

CK ...how could you not know Vodka would have that effect?

It has ALCOHOL in it....D'oh

surly girl said...

i used to drink in a classic pub but it's gone now - bah.

oh, and cq - sorry you got flamed over at coldearth....

craziequeen said...

hey surly girl - we used to drink in an ultra down at heel pub, half of it was citizens, half of it was Angels!

thanks for that! I was a tad dismayed (to say the least!). But coldearth is ok I don't blame him :-)

cq

surly girl said...

all of ours were hippies, bikers or drug dealers....happy days!!

i hear what you're saying re coldearth. i certainly, certainly do.....

CyberKitten said...

Agi said: CK ...how could you not know Vodka would have that effect?

Well... It had been a while... and the quantity (I had imbibed) kinda snuck up on me....

... and BOY did I pay for it the next day..... There used to be a time when I could drink vodka by the bottle... and still wake up without a hangover... no more I'm afraid....

Or maybe it was the sambuca... or those beers we started off with... maybe it wasn't the vodka at all....???

rashbre said...

There's a similar change around our way with the other mid week meeting place - the curry house. They have also been progressively re-modelling and now have smart designer interiors "fusion" indian food and not a flock wallpaper in sight.

I'm also reminded of the cleanest Brit Pub on the planet, in Disneyworld Epcot - You can see in clearly through the windows - a basic design error.

rashbre

craziequeen said...

Clean windows?? How can any self-respecting Brit be seen in there...

cq