CAMBRIDGE’S OLD BICYCLE SHOP

Another year, another new pub opens in Cambridge, lucky us.  And it’s another craft bar, or at least what Mrs RM would recognise as craft having been to both the Waterloo Tap and the Emigration in the same month.  At least the welcome in Offerton was craft.

Yes, white tiling and metal taps on the wall signifies craft, despite what the normally reliable Tim Martin might tell you. Cans (not bottles, mind) of Moor and Beavertown are the clincher.

Mrs RM and I popped in for a drink late on Sunday afternoon after a tour the Addenbrookes research development, which is extraordinary in scale if not architectural merit.

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Art in Addenbrookes

Those buildings reminded me a bit of these;

Art, Easter Island

 

The Old Bicycle Shop is a first-time pub conversion on the main route from the station to the beer festival site.  It was previously nearly unique on Regent Road for not being an estate agent, Chinese restaurant or Greene King pub.  Estate agents can’t afford the rents there any longer.

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It’s a deceptive place, a downstairs bar and dining room plus two upstairs rooms to come.  Probably not a lot smaller than the massive Grain Store over the road.

5pm on Sunday is an odd time to visit, and at times there were more (friendly) staff than customers, but quick service is never a problem.

The drinking area is small but nicely done, and an elderly chap standing at the bar drinking Lagunitas IPA always adds a little gravitas.

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A quick scan of the excellent Pints and Pubs had raised my hopes of some Cloudwater to fanboy level, but sadly that was a one-off.  The recommended alternative, Da Nutz, was a decent brown ale about which the internet reveals not a thing. Pints and Pubs have both better photos and more historical detail than me.

I wasn’t expecting cask, but Broadside, Mallinsons (NBSS 3) and something else illegible popped into view. A very good tight selection, with interesting stuff as well as the joys of Heineken and Amstel.

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Tastefully done chaps

Nothing was cheap. £4 a pint is the new Cambridge standard, but £1.25 for crisps was above my tolerance level. We both liked it a lot, and felt very welcome as drinkers. A regular Cloudwater would seal the deal, but perhaps we should just move north for that.

I’ve not really taken to Cambridge Brew House so far, and their place on Mill Road would be Simon Everitt’s idea of pub hell, but I ought to give it another go.

7 thoughts on “CAMBRIDGE’S OLD BICYCLE SHOP

  1. I have to admit, I’m a bit dubious about the OBS. The keg lineup would be nice to find in a regular pub, but for in a place that’s clearly trying quite hard to look like one of these trendy new craft beer bars it has a definite air of “will that do?”[1] The promise of one potentially interesting guest tap isn’t going to get me to choose a place over any of umpteen other pubs in town.

    I’ll probably go in for the food at some point, though.

    [1] The Architect does this in spades, too.

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    1. Agree – it’s a bit craft by numbers, both in beer range and styling. Cask better than in my only visit to the Architect (and the new Emperor which also popped in). There’s a high turnover of places down that road.

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      1. That end of Regent Street is strange. I suspect that the issue is that its merits are easily oversold, which leads to a regular churn of overly optimistic entrepreneurs taking on locations with unsustainable rents…

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      2. Good point. Can describe apparent merits easily but very limited footfall in practice I guess. I train it from Waterbeach but folk who drive in have a nightmare getting to that bit of Cambridge.

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