A couple of recent events, as reported by the Cambridge Evening News, serve to illustrate the state of affairs.
The pub's landlord was reported as saying it's due to passers-by (on the drinking circuit presumably). The argument went to the Magistrates Court in an attempt to block the renewal of the pub's licence or at least make Greene King put up a wall to limit access to the patio.
PC Peter Sinclair, the licensing officer, confirmed Police had found under-age drinkers there with alcohol which had not come from the pub.
"Their main purpose is to facilitate cheap bulk consumption by large groups of youngsters, who are encouraged to binge drink by way of happy hours and cut-price group offers."
He particularly criticised bars which concentrated on "mass volume, vertical drinking", by scrapping furniture to accommodate more standing customers.
"The obvious result is more drunkenness and an increase in the potential for disorder."
He quoted Home Office figures:
"It is disturbing that some retailers appear to place a much higher emphasis on profit, rather than public health and safety."
For instance the BBC News Online report [follow-up] says that nearly 30% of the sample of 15- and 16-year-olds said they had been drunk at least 20 times in their life - a quarter said they had been intoxicated three or more times in the past month.
It goes on to report an Alcohol Concern spokesman: "Drinks such as alcopops are targeted at young people because they're sweet and often young people don't realise how much alcohol is in them." Also World Health Organisation director general Gro Harlem Brundtland has condemned alcohol companies for aggressively marketing their products to young people.
Councillors welcoming yet another youth venue bar (like the McMullens) look increasingly out of step with reality.
The next section follows up on these points and reviews the Regal after 18 months of operation.