Saturday, December 3, 2011
The Golden Eagle (slight return)
Visited on 1/12/11. This famous old Chester pub that people ‘of a certain age’ have very fond memories of, has been struggling of late. In fact when we visited back in September (No. 91), it was closed - and it looked terminal. However, it might now have been given a new lease of life, as Martin Ellis (formerly of Jones; now the Chester Hangman, the City bar; now the Cellar bar and the Commercial hotel; now erm, the Commercial hotel) has taken on the tenancy. Although Punch Taverns still own it and will be placing their usual moronic constraints on the business, Martin might just be the kind of chap with sufficient flair to re-invent the place. That’s precisely what’s needed and that’s precisely what he intends. Already the place looks different. Subtle changes have been made to the interior and exterior décor and it now has a ‘cool’ feel. Martin recalls the vibrancy of the place back in the ‘80s, describing how there might have been a gang of punks in one corner, rockers in another and solicitors holding court in the centre of the room. There was often an air of tension and more than the occasional ‘kick off’ then. Indeed. Those solicitors could be rum bastards at times ! So the new ‘Golden Eagle’ will be different, but will acknowledge its history. We saw some impressive artwork involving various Eagle motifs and icons including the Eagle comic and Ramones eagle being woven into more traditional Eagle representations. It was great stuff – attention grabbing and very cool. Real ale was also being served and although it was just Spitfire bitter, it was in good nick. No doubt the ale range will be expanded as the business is developed though. Hopefully this is a new beginning for this cherished boozer. And maybe the new customer base will include affluent adults who were once the rebellious kids of the 80s. Maybe one or two solicitors might even drift back an’ all !