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Monday, March 20, 2006
How to build a pub?
A feature in today's Estates Gazette discusses current trends in the public house industry.

The potential property impact of the smoking ban gets a significant mention - highlighting the notion that pubs without gardens, particularly of course those urban corner boozers - will face dramatic falls in value after the ban comes into force.

Meanwhile the developer Pathfinder is gearing up to invest £25m in 20 newbuild public houses - many next to new housing estates. On the evidence of the newly-built 'Crow's Nest' in Seaham, one of the first of this programme, we can expect a flurry of twee many-gabled fancies garlanded with white picket fences. I recall a project initiated by the AR in the 1950's which led to a competition to 'design a 20th Century pub' - the results (from twee repro-trad to spidery festival of britain frameworks) were most peculiar. The chairman of the AR's parent company, Hubert de Cronin Hastings, was so disappointed by the results that he built a pub himself in the basement of the AR's Queen Anne's Gate premises, named 'The Bride of Denmark'. I could blather about the B of D for a very long time. Suffice to say that it was built out of the ruins of a dozen junked/bombed London pubs - apparently history has to be imported. Might now be a good time to reconsider the social roles that pubs play / have played?

I feel a research study coming on. First proposal: Intermediary indoor/outdoor rooms that clamp onto existing pubs in the form of terraces or balconies to keep the smokers happy...


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