Archive for January 11th, 2009

Death of a pub

Old memories by the cubic metre

Old memories by the cubic metre

There is hardly a thing such as Norwegian pub culture. We would not dream of having a pint for lunch, and the local would usual be a cafeteria connected to the local coop supermarket, where coffee is the main drink.

Sure, there are bars here, too, of various shapes and sizes. Some of them are replicas of English or Irish pubs, shipped over from companies specializing in this sort of thing.

The Churchill was such a pub. Not a part of any chain, but with filled with dusty bric-a-brac more or less connected with Winston Churchill and his times. Newspaper clippings, statuettes from India, model airplanes from WW II, you get the idea.

It was very centrally located, between the National Theatre and City Hall, which meant that business was good for many years. After office hours or shopping, on your way to the cinema, a useful spot for meeting friends.

Their beer range was never very sophisticated – your usual lagers plus Guinness. The most interesting beer was the canned Bombardier, and every time I suggested a broader selection, they argued that it didn’t sell. Their coffee was vile, the only food on offer was toasted ham and cheese sandwiches.

But people came in, had their beers or other drinks, and they obviously offered an atmosphere that lots of customers enjoyed.

Well, after more of twenty years, the show is over. The bust of Queen Victoria is put in a box, the rest of the memorabilia is going into storage, and everything else is being ripped out. The owners of the building wanted three times the previous rent, so it was not viable to continue.

I was only in there a few times a year lately, but I will miss it anyway. It was, after all, where I met my wife.

Last orders for Victoria

Last orders for Victoria

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