ALE Autumn 2000 No. 299

Pub News - Cambridge

The most dramatic change in Cambridge town centre concerns the Bath (Benet Street, Hogshead/Whitbread) which has been crassly transformed: bright decor and comfy chairs - a Young Persons' Venue. The beer choice has gone. Also in the centre, McMullens have at last applied for a "mixed wine bar and leisure use" for the old Arts Cinema, having announced plans in October 1999.

Out to the east, the Tram Depot (Everards, Dover Street) has expanded massively by incorporating its two shop units. Unfortunately that's destroyed much of the personality and it's just a big shed now. Nearby the Ancient Druids (Charles Wells, Napier St.) has been refurbished - an attempt to end to the airport lounge feeling perhaps? It's now called Bar Citrus though still with handpumps and reopens on 29th September.

On Mitcham's Corner, the Fresher & Firkin (Bass, Chesterton Road) closed in August [it was a wild night - I was there! Ed.] and is due to open as an It's A Scream student bar called The Graduate around 1st October.

New bars planning to open around now: the "Galleried Bar" at Q.ton on the Science Park and "Bar 8", the ground floor of the new nightclub in Corn Exchange St.

Three pubs have reverted to their more familiar names:

Changes in Greene King country

The Fort St George (Midsummer Common) has a new tenant couple from London and it's been redecorated. GK is also reported as having new people in the Hopbine (Fair Street) and the refurbished Granta (Newnham Road).

The new couple, Martin & Donna Thornton, moved into the Free Press in early May when Chris and Debbie Lloyd left. Unusually, Greene King advertised for a couple who'd keep the pub no-smoking. Planning permission for the extension of the pub has been given. (See also the article elsewhere in this issue.)

GK completely refurbished the Castle (next door to the Regal) to compete with the surrounding beer barns, reopening it in September.

Plans to revamp the White Swan (Mill Road) seem to be more extensive than previously reported: apparently it's to become a cheap-lager venue guarded by bouncers (sorry: "door supervisors"). They have also replaced some of the etched glass windows of the Champion of the Thames (King Street) by plain glass, spoiling one of the features which made it such a snug place.

The Bird In Hand (Newmarket Road) now has GK's full guest beer portfolio: regulars, seasonals plus interesting beers from around the country.

The Portland Arms, our Branch Pub of the Year, has changed its Public Bar into a room of Internet PCs and it's proving popular.

And so farewell, then...

A fresh planning application for demolishing the Cow and Calf (Pound Hill) and to build just six flats succeeded. It's been demolished and by the time you read this building may have started. The Yorkshire Grey (Chesterton Road) has also been demolished, as has the the Racehorse (Newmarket Road) - a McDonalds drive-in restaurant in the form of a quick-assembly kit was opened on September 27th.

Neville Lindsey, the owner/landlord of the Durham Ox (Mill Road) for nearly 30 years, is selling it to the owner of the student flats next door, who plans to turn it into a cybercafe. It's been a fine survivor from a different era and it'll be much missed! (See No Frills Drill Still in Mill Road.)

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