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20-07-2016, 13:42
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Boak and Bailey recently posted about defining a classic pub (http://boakandbailey.com/2016/07/defining-classic-pub/). I don’t really propose to get into that debate, except to say that to my mind a pub needs to have to some extent stood the test of time to qualify as a classic. As part of the ensuing discussion on Twitter, they posted this list of things that made them feel positive about a pub, which struck a number of chords with me.
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-26sJXyKTebM/V49W2Pw22oI/AAAAAAAAE7Q/vuTACQw6qSQxGo0K3ReR5IJwwBA9o1CKQCLcB/s320/good%2Bpub%2Bfeatures.jpg (https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-26sJXyKTebM/V49W2Pw22oI/AAAAAAAAE7Q/vuTACQw6qSQxGo0K3ReR5IJwwBA9o1CKQCLcB/s1600/good%2Bpub%2Bfeatures.jpg)
So I thought it would be interesting to do a quick list of things that, to my eyes, make a good and bad first impression in a pub. Some of them obviously are mirror images of each other. I know some will say “you’ve done this sort of thing before”, but isn’t every blog just variations on the same handful of themes anyway?
The Good

Appears welcoming from outside, for example displaying opening hours and menu
Comfortable seating, preferably benches, but certainly not café-style tables
Warm, rich tones in colour scheme
No suggestion of being unwelcome from either customers or staff
Some drinking customers, preferably chatting with each other
The presence of children is sensibly managed
Piped music is either absent, or tailored to the likely clientele, and is kept at a moderate volume
Well-kept beer
Real ales that show some connection with the local area or the pub’s heritage
Food (if available) that isn’t just the usual run-of-the-mill pub menu, and includes interesting non full meal itemsSome aspect or feature that makes it distinctive or memorable

The Bad

A greeter at the door
High proportion of tables with place settings
Pale, cold colours in decor
Barflies making it difficult to get to the counter
Lackadaisical, offhand staff
Loud, foul-mouthed customers
No cask beers that I recognise
Lack of comfortable seating – posing tables or café-style layout
Uncontrolled children within the bar areas
Piped music too loud and/or inappropriate for clientele
Menu concentrating on expensive, restaurant-style meals
Lack of drinking customers or provision for non-dinersTV football dominates entire pub

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