Pubs: What's New / Plans & Rumours

1996 - 1998

December 1998

Work on the interior of the Wetherspoons is at last under way.

September 1998

The Salisbury and The Office have reopened. The Bass All Bar One is the first of the new St Andrew's Street beer barns to open (see April below & On The Circuit). The Live & Let Live has had to close for a month due to fire damage.

August 1998

The Cambridge Rattle & Hum has reopened.

June 1998

Pubs explicitly football-free zones for those wanting to avoid the World Cup: Others in central Cambridge without a TV include:

May 1998

AdHoc Guides' The Essential Guide to Cambridge has an ambitious and useful pub guide.

April 1998

The St. Andrew's Street area now seems likely to have three big new bar/restaurants: CAMRA news.

October 1997

CAMRA Good Beer Guide 1998 entries: Bird in Hand, Cambridge Blue, Castle Inn, Champion of the Thames, Cow & Calf, Empress, Free Press, Jug & Firkin off-licence, Live & Let Live, Red Bull, St. Radegund, Tap & Spile (Mill), Wrestlers.

J.D. Wetherspoon have submitted a planning application for converting the ABC to a giant pub.

August 1997

"You read it here first!" As rumoured, J.D. Wetherspoon are planning to take over the ABC Cinema, setting up one of their usual giant no-music, food-all-day beer barns. (CEN 15-Aug).

Of itself, all well and good but what effect will it have on the area and in particular other, normal-sized, traditional pubs?

July 1997

The Coach & Horses in Trumpington has reopened, having been closed for about 10 years. Bass Taverns have applied for change of planning use to cafe/bar for a unit in the Quayside. According to Anglia News Extra on 25-Jul, the ABC Cinema has been sold to developers and they went on to say it might open as a large pub.

June 1997

J.D. Wetherspoon are rumoured to be interested in the ABC Cinema site when it closes in July, having failed in Hills Road.

May 1997

The Globe, on Newmarket Road near the Cambridge United stadium, seems to be reopening (it's under offer), as is the Coach & Horses in Trumpington.

Residents successfully opposed the alcohol licence for the J.D. Wetherspoon pub, on the grounds of potential disturbance - they argued that there are already far too many licenced premises in the area and a lot of associated bad behaviour.

April 1997

Demolition consent for the Durham Ox has been refused for now due to inappropriateness.

The J.D. Wetherspoon pub is planned to be opposite Drakes Cycles in Hills Road, redeveloping a corner shop and the adjacent unit as a pub downstairs and student accomodation above - there are yellow planning application notices on display in the area.

The Spade & Becket has reopened as a Scottish Courage Rat & Parrot theme bar.

February 1997

The County Arms is closing for refurbishment and the Spade & Becket has closed already for it. The Grasshopper (Mill Road) is apparently being closed by its owner for redevelopment into student lodgings.

January 1997

The Fresher & Firkin may be struggling: there's a rumour that brewing has ceased (as of 31-Jan the usual beers are on offer but they can be brewed at any Firkin brew-pub) and the upstairs bar seems to be closed some of the time.

December 1996

Added links to the November/December edition of ALE

October 1996

CAMRA Good Beer Guide 1997 entries: Bird in Hand, Cambridge Blue, Castle Inn (Castle Hill), Champion of the Thames, Cow & Calf, Empress, Free Press, Globe Ale House, Jug & Firkin off-licence, St. Radegund, Tap & Spile (Mill), Wrestlers.

The old BT HQ is to be the new Cambridge University Local Exams Syndicate and the other rumour about Belfast Linen seems to have gone away.

September 1996

The City Limits has become Chambers but it's still not worth going into.

August 1996

The rumoured Firkin redevelopment of the old BT HQ is apparently on hold due to the success of the Hogshead, which has drawn the fashion-victim crowd from the Fresher. However, once they move on to the next "in-place"...

Meanwhile the Spread has reopened and it seems the Durham Ox is due to close.

The Hogshead has had to introduce an over-21 rule at some times.

July 1996

After the success of the Hogshead, the next beer barns in the area are rumoured to be the old BT HQ, though now as a second Firkin, and the site of Belfast Linen, now seemingly the J.D. Wetherspoon candidate.

June 1996

The Belfast Linen store site, near the ABC (formerly the MGM) Cinema, is rumoured as a possible site for another beer barn.

The Hogshead is having a preview evening on 3rd July (CEN 20-Jun) and opening on the 4th.

Mary Reid retired as landlady of the Man on the Moon, previously having run the Geldart and the original Ancient Druids.

May 1996

15-May: The Spread is under new management and will be closed from mid-June to late July/early August for refurbishment.

The old Avery Scales building is due to open as a Whitbread Hogshead pub in late June (CEN).

Apr. 1996

The Cambridge Evening News reported on 19-Apr that the site of the former BT offices at 1 Regent St. are to be developed into a mixed commercial scheme, with retail and leisure provision and a self-contained office building of 1,300 sq.m. The 99-year lease from BT has over 41 years to run and cost 1.1M. The article coyly says an unnamed major leisure-based company will take part of the space. Detailed planning permission for the development and a full licence for leisure use have been granted.

New landlord at the Live & Let Live.

Mar. 1996

The Landlord of the Six Bells is taking over the Spread Eagle around the start of May and will refurbish it for a reopening around early/mid July. No change at the Bells!

According to the Easter edition of the CAMRA ALE newsletter, Allied are trying to establish an Irish theme pub (probably a Scruffy Murphy's) in the former Old Dot in Hobson Street.
(23-Mar-1996: no sign of any activity)

There are rumours of developments around City Limits - possibly a Bass theme pub?

Feb. 1996

There is a strong rumour that the J.D. Wetherspoon chain is taking over the old B.T. headquarters at No. 1 Regent Street, across the road junction from Hobsons, almost opposite The Fountain); BT is moving to Clarendon House, Clarendon Road. They specialise in vast beer halls, typically under names like J.J. Moon's.
(23-Mar-1996: no sign of any activity)

Whitbread have planning permission to convert the 1897 Avery Building in Regent Terrace/Regent Street (CEN 5-Feb-1996) - presumably to yet another beer hall (7,500 sq.ft.), as part of their Hogshead chain of about 70 "pubs". It will have bare brick walls and wooden/stone floors. It was sold by the YWCA for more than its guide price of 550,000, with 8 other bidders. (CEN 3-Apr & 9-Apr)
(23-Mar-1996: redevelopment work is in progress.)


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