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Louis Armstrong, Dover

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user reviews of the Louis Armstrong, Dover

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

An iconic pub in Dover! A proper old fashioned drinking place.
Tatty exterior and to be honest the interior could do with some love and kindness too- though not too much! This is a no nonsense boozer.
Most of the decor features jazz posters and memorabilia. The chairs are pretty much the same from the 1980s (when I first started going) if not before then!
The Louis as it's usually called is known mainly for thelive entertainment.
It's the longest lasting pub in Dover to feature live music. Mainly jazz and blues but also featuring rock bands on Friday nights.
The stage seems to be in the wrong place as the acts end up looking at themselves as the opposite wall is covered with large mirrors. This all adds to the charm of the place!
Jackie the is the longest serving pub landlord in Dover and she and her staff are always most friendly.
There are normally 3 or 4 real ales on. Skrimshander is always available, a Gadds beer is often on as well.
Well worth seeking out!

outtamehead - 9 May 2016 11:25
A bit rough round the edges but nonetheless a proper pub. Four ales on all local - The Old Dairy and Gadds brews were fine but the I had to change the Skrimshander. It isn't the first time I've had to change a Hopdaemon brew in a decent alehouse so begining to think maybe the issue is as much to do with the brew as the pubs serving it. Eas only person in on a Saturday afternoon though it does seem to be more for night venue. Definitely worth the stroll away from the rack up the aptly named Dour Street.
Snarling_Mallard - 13 Mar 2016 13:31
I so wanted to be grovellingly grateful for having schlepped all the way up the Maison Dieu Road in the pouring rain last Friday to get to this pub. I was expecting to be wowed by a decent range of quality beers, good lively banter and a bit of character. Sadly, partly to do with the mid-afternoon arrival time, poor weather and I hope bad luck on the beer front, I ended up leaving somewhat deflated.

The (usually) trusty GBG got me here and I can't altogether say it shouldn't qualify. While only 2 ales featured on that particular occasion, they looked to be excellent choices - if you like Hopdaemon brewery - as they were Golden Braid and Skrimshander IPA which personally I have much fondness for. However, my Braid was tepid and rather sweet; plainly it had had its day and if I'm honest, only the tight time schedule and the uncertainty as to whether the same problem would have befallen the Skrim stopped me from returning it. I can only pray that I was unlucky because the Louis holds much promise, and clearly the licensees care enough about beer (and presumably usually sell enough) to bother putting something more local and interesting on in the first place?

As to the service - the barmaid - I assume the landlady - was perfectly charming and we felt entirely welcome. Again, this made me feel somewhat guilty in seeking to return the ale! Character-wise, I wasn't disappointed - although it's clearly a very different pub to how it started life as the Grapes - live music would seem to be the dominant feature here and I can only imagine that it would be well worth one's while to get up here and see some good old rock 'n' roll action of a Saturday night. There was an unpretentious, earthy quality about the pub, which - 'tis true - technically needs a little TLC, but then the slightly faded feel of the place does actually add something to it. So many pubs are done up to the nines nowadays but in the process lose that unique patina which was their defining signature. I suspect the Louis is one such venue, so personally I'd say don't ever change - at least not until the peeling picture of old Satchmo on the pub sign outside falls off!

I'd not rule out another visit, but please - don't spoil your ship for a hap'orth of tar by allowing less-than-perfect ale to pass through your pumps. In a pub where the majority drink regular lagers and few ales you can get away with it, but if your GBG place and ale-drinkers' respect are to be secure, strive for perfection wherever possible.
TWG - 23 Jul 2012 18:11
The Louis Armstrong doesn't seem to have changed very much since the first time I visited donkey's years ago.

Externally, the place looks a bit worse for wear. The pub sign with poor old Louis Armstrong on it, which dates back to the days when Charrington had the house, has almost faded away to nothing. However, things are much more welcoming and interesting when you step inside.

The Louis is a real, proper boozer, make no mistake about that. Once through the door the year could be anything from 1973-83 and most of the decor certainly dates from that period - including the massive etched mirrors and yellowing jazz posters (a reminder of the late Bod Bowles, former landlord and Jazz fanatic - his wife, Jackie, continues to run the pub) .

The seats are all comfortable (I would swear that they came from the old Post Office Club prior to its demolition years back) and the staff, on the whole are very friendly.

Beer wise, it's a pretty good place for real ale fans. There are usually between three and four on hand pump at any given time - Skrimshander seems to be a permanent resident .

The pub has made its reputation on live music, particularly Jazz, which can be heard most Saturday nights. Friday nights are often devoted to Rock and Metal acts.

It will be interesting to see what happens to the Loius when Jackie Bowles finally gives it up. I would imagine that it's a goldmine waiting to be uncovered. It just needs somebody with a few quid to invest in the place and the nouse to build on what has already been acheived there.

Always worth a look at the weekends.
robertsdover1968 - 16 Mar 2011 16:25
Possibily still THE Pub for live music in the area, although a few contenders for this title are in the frame, notably The Park Inn and The Boars Head. The beer is almost always very good, Scrimshander being the one I would go for everytime. A variation of live music at the weekends provides excellent entertainment and Jackie the Landlady is always on hand to welcome the customers. A real Dover landmark this place and if you have never been, especially at weekends, give it a go.
john1969 - 27 Sep 2010 04:50
Quiet at lunchtimes the pub comes to life when there is live music. Mostly jazz but rock bands play on Friday nights.
Hopdaemon's Scrimshander was available the last time I was there along with a couple of other beers.
Cross section of ages present.
outtamehead - 23 Jan 2010 01:57
Excellent Sunday night entertainment for fans of Trad Jazz. Good ale. Recommended it thoroughly!
5thearlofwimbourne - 9 Feb 2005 15:18

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