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It's been a couple of months since the Butcher's Tears taproom closed. I'm still not over it. And we still haven't settled on a replacement.

We've been giving Checkpoint Charlie a try for the last few weeks. It's an OK pub. But it still doesn't feel like a local yet. Why not? That's a tricky question. One I'm not sure I can answer very well. Because it's not about logic. It's about feelings.
What makes you feel at home in a pub? It's a complex question. At least part of it to do with interaction. With the barstaff. With other customers. It doesn't have to be anything very profound. Or very long. Just a few sentences. Or even just a few words. It doesn't need to be much. Even a simple smile or nod.

That isn't happening at Checkpoint Charlie. Maybe we just haven't been going there long enough. Or it could just be that there aren't many others who go there every Saturday. I can't say that I've recognised any customers there yet. Or any of the servers. Perhaps because it's quite a large pub. I'm not sure.

Whatever the reason, we're not feeling Checkpoint Charlie. So we're going to try somewhere else next Saturday. One of the places that was on our initial list of possible new locals. Sound Garden.

It ticks most of the boxes. Including the most important one: decent beer at a decent price. It's also closer to home for me and the kids. Which is important for a lazy git like me. At the moment, while the number 2 tram is diverted, we can get there directly. Which is another plus. OK, it's further for Will to travel. But he's often swanning around in the jungle somewhere.

Let's see how Sound Garden goes. Maybe it will work out. Or maybe we'll give Checkpoint Charlie another try.



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