Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

CAN TRADITIONAL PUBS SURVIVE? Tonight the Cooperage, One of Newcastle's Oldest Pubs, May Serve Its Last Drink. LISA HUTCHINSON Takes a Look at the Struggle to Stay in Business for the Good Old-Fashioned British Boozer

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

CAN TRADITIONAL PUBS SURVIVE? Tonight the Cooperage, One of Newcastle's Oldest Pubs, May Serve Its Last Drink. LISA HUTCHINSON Takes a Look at the Struggle to Stay in Business for the Good Old-Fashioned British Boozer

Article excerpt

Byline: LISA HUTCHINSON

IT must be an age thing, but when we get past 40something we want a pub with a polished wooden bar, a familiar barmaid and somewhere to hang your coat.

The best bars are oozing with character in historic buildings where decades of stories have been told and the regulars are of a certain decade.

One of the oldest bars in Newcastle's city centre is closing tomorrow and tonight its regulars are expected to turn out in force to say a fond farewell to the Cooperage.

The bar and nightclub is within a historic Grade Ilisted building on the city's Quayside and has been a regular spot for thousands of drinkers over the decades it's been open.

Many first started going as students and have been propping up the bar since. Others remembered the good old days and returned there for evenings out after getting fed up with the flashing lights and plastic nightlife elsewhere.

Newcastle is a party city and attracts hen and stag parties from far afield.

But those with local knowledge can sniff out the traditional watering holes.

On the Quayside, the Crown Posada and the Red House pubs are bars that have stood the test of time. Further up town The Newcastle Arms, The Bridge and the Beehive are among traditional bars thriving while others are crumbling in the credit crunch.

As new chic and trendy bars have come and gone around them, they have stuck with tradition and managers say that is the reason why they have survived.

Neil Amos, 50, landlord of The Newcastle Arms, in St Andrews Street, said: "It is a shame The Cooperage is closing. It was a great pub over the years, a traditional bar with a great atmosphere.

"My pub is also very traditional. We don't have a jukebox, just the sound of people having a chat.

"The success of a traditional pub is the atmosphere and the beer.

"We put it down to proper beer being served in a proper pub that keeps us going.

"These pubs that sell beer for pounds 1.50 a pint don't sell good beer, and it's the quality of the ales that are keeping the proper pubs alive through these tough times. …

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