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Friday, 4 July 2008

Pub

The décor and furnishings of my local were towards the boring end of the 1960s. The customers drank like fish, played Pool, won quiz leagues and occasionally fought each other. It was a boozer. Or, in modern parlance, a "theme" pub where the theme was "getting drunk".

There was no messing around with a restaurant, children's play area or anything. The business model was simple - sell as much booze as possible. So seriously was this taken that when Andy one of the regulars died, the landlord told me it was "Cirrhosis of the Liver, Sir" Not in hushed tones but loudly - with a hint of professional pride.

It was successful though - the place was often packed but nothing lasts forever. There was the inevitable falling-out with the brewery. I say "inevitable" because far too many people like the idea of running a pub, which gives the brewery the whip hand.

So the place got "lagerised" - you know the score, the walls are knocked out, fancy cushions on the chairs and a "kitchen" put in with a freezer and a microwave. Oh yes, and there's books - bought by the meter for the new-but-old-looking bookshelves. In the old days, the only book was a sports encyclopaedia kept behind the bar for settling arguments.

Numbers dropped and finally last week the place was dark. A sign announced, "Closed for decoration". Perhaps they're restoring the place to its 1960s glory? They will one day - it's just a matter of time before it becomes fashionable. The chain-smokers won't be back to impart authentic colour to the walls though - I expect someone makes paint for that job.

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