the above headline is perhaps a journalistic own goal, as it is based on fear and supposition and negative expectation. A bit like a shabby tabloid headline penned by an sad, heavy drinking, chain smoking tabloid journalist grubbing around for the latest Daily Mail scare story about nothing of interest to the rational minded.
However, it does have its roots in a serious subject. As many of you will have noticed and probably if you live in Yorkshire already posted about, the Victorian gem which is the Bath Hotel in Sheffield is to be taken over by Thornbridge Brewery (I bet it hasn't or won't be bought by Thornbridge, they don't own pubs lest we forget). Discussion at a high level beer meeting in Harrisons 1854 last night seemed to lean towards dismay, anger, surprise and worry. I have yet to meet (only two days after I heard the news albeit!) anyone with anything positive to say about this latest change of, erm, well, again ownership may be misleading, stewardship... (?)
Aside from obvious concerns about price, inherent pretentiousness, the idea that they might buy in cheap as dishwater Italian lager and sell it as a premium product (my personal worry, difficult to explain am afraid, but for legal reasons I must make clear this hasn't happened!) ) and the lack of guest beers to grace the bar, my specific and justifiable worry is that they will ruin the interior.
To those of you who don't know or appreciate the Bath's interior, it is an intact 1930's refit complete with beautiful tiled and glazed bar and a glorious back room snug with original seating. It won the CAMRA/English Heritage pub design award in 2003 for the sensitive restoration of its original features and refurbishment (which may not be the right term) of the paintwork and upholstery to give a level of reassuring, plain finesse which the pub retains and presents admirably.
The live music is free, the food is simple and inexpensive, the bar staff are helpful, the fixed seating is elegant simplicity, and the beautiful brown tiles and dark wood frame of the bar, with the eye catching black and white diamond tiled floor, sets off the scene perfectly. There is, quite frankly, nothing to be gained by change, even of the colour scheme. There is certainly, nothing worthy of loss or removal by an incoming manager, tenant or partnership.
|The magnificent bar at the Bath Hotel|
So would anyone really be so ill-advised?
P.S - here is the link to the Heritage Pubs National Inventory entry for the Bath Hotel