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The Central Hotel, Parkstone

"Let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of pubs"...
The Central used to be one of the very best pubs in Parkstone and a personal favourite of mine, especially around 2003-06 when it was also a great live music venue. Brilliant atmosphere, landlord who knew what he was doing and just a great boozer all round- everything a pub should be!
Then 2007 and the smoking ban came along... First the Central was taken over by some metrosexual London types who stopped the live music, put a pool table in the way of everything and demolished half the bar to put a massive a telly in. They were also completely unaware of which local troublemakers had been banned for years resulting in a lot of middle aged hooligans getting back in, probably for the first time in decades, to argue and fight at the bar.
The next landlord to give it a go came about six months later and did a bit better- he undid some of the damage but it was never really the same again. Also I think being an ex- copper he took security a bit TOO seriously- searching people who came out of the toilets looking slightly happy and employing overly chuck out happy door staff. He also had an inexplicable policy of moving everyone out of the main bar into the comparatively characterless "Bar 2" at about 10 every night- needless to say, most of us just ended up going elsewhere.
So what was once the legendary Central is now "Ox", a generic, laminate floored coffee and cake restaurant for office ponces with a dress code and a list of "No swearing, laughing or smiling" type rules on the door. Absolute disgrace that quite succinctly tells the story of the decline of the public house over the past decade.

16 Aug 2014 15:48

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SharkIsland has been registered on this site since 16th August 2014