Banksy Pub Tables?, by Daniel Silk on Apr 21, 2006 14:23:15 GMT 1, www.warwicktoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=1192&ArticleID=1453392
Where to find style bars in Leamington
Style is everything these days, especially among the bars in Leamington. Peter Gawthorpe reports.
A lot of traditional pubs, particularly in town centres, have disappeared - to be replaced by style bars with interior design features tailored to the market they aim to serve.
My daughter, mid-20s with a marketing qualification and some knowledge of the Leamington scene, accompanied me on a tour of the bars (a pub crawl with soft drinks).
I discovered "vertical" establishments, where youngsters stand around to drink and watch sport on giant screens. Then there are trendy, "footballers' wives" type bars where the clubbing set hang out for pre-dancing cocktails. Some are quirky bars with unusual interior design features to add to their interest value.
Other places do retain a traditional feel but have to be more polished in appearance than their pub predecessors.
An illustration of this type is the Leamington Bar and Grill in The Parade.
Most Leamingtonians will remember the old Regent Hotel, which closed down in the 90s and then was badly damaged by fire. Well, now it has risen from the ashes and the building supports a new hotel, run by Travelodge, and a traditional piano bar and restaurant. The refurbished bar area sports chandeliers, massive fireplaces, cornices, a floor-to-ceiling bar, a baby grand piano and a huge pot plant in the corner. Entrance is through an old-fashioned revolving door.
The atmosphere is relaxed and, although the target audience may be over-40s and business people, almost everyone (aged 2-92) seems to be welcome. There are tired shoppers, friends meeting for drinks and, when we visited, small children colouring pictures on a coffee table while their parents enjoyed a drink. The magnificent restaurant is situated in the old ballroom, with tables stretching out for miles.
If you prefer a cosier atmosphere, then Toyk bar in Warwick Street might be attractive. My daughter described it as "shabby chic". Eclectic in design - leather sofas, a chaise longue, leopard-print stools and a Buddha on the wall - it is the sort of place you could spend all afternoon with a bottle of wine. In fact one couple were doing just that working on their laptops. An unshaven older man was enjoying a newspaper and a cigarette (not for much longer!) and two students were writing essays at the bar.
A more spacious, and less smoky, bar is the Slug and Lettuce in Warwick Street (affectionately known as The Slug). The large open-plan bar area is modern in design with a selection of tables and sofas. There is a restaurant and a standing area by the bar but no obvious giant TV screens. A younger crowd, aged 30ish, particularly large groups of friends who move on to a club later, seem to be the main customer-base.
If you want TV screens, with wall-to-wall sport, then Moo Bar in Russell Street is the place for you. Huge plasma screens dominate this 70s-themed establishment. But there is just room on the bare brick walls for a starburst clock and some buffalo horns. Young men sit around Formica tables or play table football and darts when the TV screens fall silent.
Mumbai Bluu in Bedford Street is "footballers' wives" territory. Smart, well-dressed young people, aged 20s and 30s, congregate here in a brash, glittering setting. From the bright bar decorated with big red squares, drinkers wearing the wrong labels can retreat behind screens or Bedouin tent drapes to avoid the spotlight. There are leather sofas and tables in the shadier areas. But on summer evenings, the big attraction is the large patio/garden at the back.
One of the quirky bars in town is The Sausage, formerly the Sozzled Sausage and before that the Warwick Arms in Regent Street. This was refurbished last year and boasts some interesting interior design features. There are Louis XV-style chairs and glass table tops decorated with street graffiti by Banksy. Classic gilded mirrors are hung near to a Damien Hurst-style tank containing a large sausage suspended in formaldehyde. Their target market seems to be older young folk, perhaps 25-35, who like an intimate and unusual atmosphere.
One of the original wine bars in Leamington is Wilde's at the top of the Parade. There is no real theme to the design but as it is below street level it could be described as Basement Bohemian.
The furniture has a rustic appearance with large tables laid out mainly for diners. It has been open for 30 years and attracts a regular clientele, many who have been drinking there since it opened.
It was impossible for us to visit every licensed bar in town in one day - too costly and too many loo visits. But, judging from our representative sample, it seems, whatever your taste, there is a bar in Leamington for you.
20 April 2006
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Banksy Pub Tables?, by LoveRat on Apr 21, 2006 18:22:50 GMT 1, Does anyone have any pics of them?