ALE Spring 2001 No. 301

Pub News - Cambridge

McMullens get a move on

Having first announced their intention to convert the old Arts Cinema into a large bar in October 1999, they at last got planning permission in January. The Cambridge Evening News referred to "enthusiastic councillors" welcoming a "continental-style cafe and wine bar, serving food until 10pm every evening". For instance Coun. John Hipkin was quoted as saying: "this kind of thing is going to be extremely welcome".

No doubt the Police will be thrilled at having to cope with its patrons, plus those from Borders and the Fez nightclub in the narrow Market Passage. [Borders, planning to open in the former Eaden Lilley store, standardly operates as a bookshop plus music shop plus cybercafe, open till 11pm. Hippy Capitalism gives an interesting view of them.]

The plan is for a wine bar on the ground floor and live entertainment (music/shows/films) on the first. The upper floor is allowed to be an overflow bar on Friday and Saturday nights. Apparently McMullens included a sweetener of 20,000 towards a limited night bus service.

Flattened pubs

The site of the former Yorkshire Grey in Chesterton High Street may become 16 flats if Laing Homes gets planning permission (the plans were reduced from 19 flats after the council expressed concern).

Meanwhile down the far end of Mill Road, the former Grasshopper may be replaced by 10 two-bedroom flats.

Chariots of Fire

We warmly welcome the new guise of the Durham Ox in Mill Road, as briefly mentioned in the last ALE. The pub now has a kitchen, serving a good range of pub grub at student-friendly prices. Plans include an underground cellar bar at the back of the pub and to develop a beer garden.

Just over the Mill Road railway bridge, the Earl of Beaconsfield is being transformed by new, keen management, Alan and Ana Thompson. The pool table will be swapped for bar billiards and the range of beers will expand from four to five. On recent visits the Sheps Spitfire, Young's Special and Adnams Bitter were on fine form.

All being well, it should join the cluster of fine pubs in that area, emphasising it as Cambridge's hotspot for real pubs with good beer and food. Paul Ainsworth reviews the pub in Beacon of Quality.

Timothy Taylors Landlord is now a permanent addition to the range at the Empress, Thoday Street. It proved so popular as a guest that landlord Dave Lewin didn't dare remove it.

All information is believed correct at time of going to press. If our spies have got anything wrong, please contact the editor, who will be happy to print a correction.


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