York has many good pubs. Some provide for locals. Many inside the walls are more for the tourists and day-trippers. Many new venues have opened: occasionally the new opening is “older” than what it replaces:
This week the York Press has a feature on a score that have been lost over the last two decades. It is currently the “most shared” item on the site.
Nostalgia isn’t enough
To be honest, many of these lost pubs look as welcoming as a bucket of spit. Saying they are “greatly missed” takes hyperbole to new levels. They closed because their trade had gone. Story: end of.
What is equally depressing is that, when pubs are demolished for housing, the replacement buildings have all the architectural merit of yet another concrete block.
We have come a long way in the twenty years the Press feature covers. The choice of beers has improved enormously — many York pubs have half-a-dozen on hand-pump — a favourite of mine (though it’s the other side of the Ouse, and a fair stroll) is the much-touted Brigantes. One of its more positive features is that it isn’t on the most beaten track from station to centre. It is personable, and does a good job. Long may it and its like prosper.
We even have our own York Brewery (and its excellent Terrier and Guzzler brews).
Food is now the norm — and often of decent quality. As the clientele has changed, so have the facilities, the seating, the … err … ambiance.
If pubs have to work harder for their custom, that is no bad thing.