A welcome change is in the committment to real ale. Three handpumps dispense a changing range which demonstrates that Pubmaster houses can offer an interesting selection... A recent visit found Fuggles Imperial, Mansfield Wild Rover and Whitbread Snowman on offer. The stylish thirties-style decor remains but has been given a bit of a sprucing up. The pink walls have gone and with them the overdone garishness previously so appropriate.
The Burleigh acts as a branch of Zaks on the food side with a selection of Mexican, African and Carribean food. Fajitas are a speciality. On Mondays, two eat for the price of one.
In neighbouring Napier Street is a new real ale outlet. The Cellar Bar opened again late last year in former nightclub premises. The cellars it occupies were formerly a wine store for the university, a network of tunnels connecting it to various colleges. [That's the story - actually they're probably the cellars of the Victoria Brewery.] The main room with its vaulted ceiling is spacious and stylish while further back is a separate room which will be developed as a restaurant. There is also a small bar area at street level which will reopen in due course.
Cask beers are Nethergate IPA and Goldengate and Greene King Abbot. Happy hours are 5-8, though the drinks on offer will vary. Proprietor Mike Stuart is eager to make the Cellar Bar a noted music venue with the emphasis on blues, jazz and soul. A friendly place and a welcome addition to the local scene.
New publicans at The Hogshead, Regent Terrace, are Adam and Theresa from the Red Bull, Newnham, who took over at the beginning of June. It is hoped that they can re-establish the proper use for the stillaging at the back of the bars both upstairs and downstairs. With a temperature apparently ideal, these areas have become giant wine coolers. Real ale is therefore mostly dispensed via the dozen or so swan-necks, still thankfully sparkler-free apart from the Boddingtons.
Former manager of the Hogshead, Brian O'Sullivan has moved on to Quinns, the Irish Bar at the Holiday Inn. New managers at The Red Bull are Pat and Mary White who are holding the fort until August. No changes are anticipated.
Another new beer exhibition pub is planned. Wetherspoons are hoping to convert the derelict buildings in Hills Rd, on the corner of Glisson Rd. [However residents successfully objected to the alcohol licence and Wetherspoons are now considering the site of the former ABC Cinema in St. Andrew's St.]