It's a lovely 18th century pub, just north of Oxford, by the River Thames. When I first came to Oxford five or more years ago, this pub was alright. They had a bar (that wasn't the best organised in the world). They served food (that wasn't too bad). They had a beer garden (which had a plastic chess set) and a large childrens' play area. Yeah, it was a little tacky but it was alright.
Couple years ago, new management fucked the place up good, food and service went down the toilet, place was basically allowed to get run down.
Now, some new French bloke has taken it on. I sense that his idea is to bring a little of the French culture back to the grand old English pub. So, they pipe, "Je ne regrette rien." and other warbling French dames through the tannoy. They allow the chimney by the bar to get totally blocked causing a carbon monoxide health hazard. They cleared out the bad bar area completely, giving them a more unified space to run a restaurant.
But where did they put the bar?
They squished in into the corner there by the poisonous open fire. You have to QUEUE in a single line for drinks. It didin't work, and it wasn't even that busy. Add to the fact that the bar staff can't work the till properly or deliver the correct order. One bloke was loudly venting his fury to the owner while we all stood there wondering what had gone so wrong.
And where are the French waitresses scampering around in cocktail dresses and pinafores? I mean if you're gonna bring a little French café culture to Oxford, why not go the whole hog. There was one dour student clearing tables and not engaging the customers at all.
In summary, I realise that the current arrangement is just to get customers at least back in and drinking but I.M.H.O. they should have waited until their plan was fullyl realised before allowing the patrons to bad mouth the place to their friends and neighbours. Basically they have an uphill climb ahead of them now which (judging by the price of their snacks) they sorely don't need.