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Olde English pub in San Francisco area calls closing time after 57 years


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Olde English pub in San Francisco area calls closing time after 57 years

 

2020-11-21T031717Z_1_LYNXMPEGAK02X_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-CALIFORNIA-PUB.JPG

Andrew McGee, co-owner of the Albatross Pub, is seen behind the bar, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Berkeley, California, U.S. November 17, 2020. Picture taken November 17, 2020. REUTERS/Nathan Frandino

 

(Reuters) - An Olde English pub that once hosted poets and intellectuals of San Francisco's free speech movement will shut down for good this month, with hopes of bringing the same spirit elsewhere after the pandemic.

 

The Albatross Pub in Berkeley, founded in 1964 at the height of Beatlemania, has been unable to open since March. Without an outdoor space or a kitchen, the Albatross - a popular haunt with students and professors from the nearby university - has had to stay shut under local COVID-19 restrictions.

 

"You know it's not just a pub, it's not just a bar. A pub is short for public house. It's where people came to hang out and talk," said co-owner Andrew McGee, 52, who started working there as a doorman in 2004 and then as a bartender.

 

The situation had become financially untenable, he said.

 

Regulars loved the pub's laidback atmosphere, curated draft beer with free refills, pool table, dart boards, fireplace, live music and a wildly popular quiz night on Sundays. Even dogs were welcome on a leash.

 

"I think I got to see the best of Berkeley and the best of this city," said Liam Curley, 30, who began hosting the quiz in 2016.

 

Memorabilia such as framed photos of regulars dating back to 1967, a 1965 jazz concert poster, and a telephone booth converted into a popcorn maker will go into storage to hopefully re-emerge one day, McGee said.

 

"I'll miss this physical space, everybody will. If we're lucky enough to find a space with a little bit of soul, we'll be able to bring the spirit there."

 

(Reporting by Reuters TV; Editing by Richard Chang and Rosalba O'Brien)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-11-21
 
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Oh bother, now I have to find somewhere else to have a drink tonight. Is Cheers in Boston still open?

 

Seriously though the 'pub' scene in the UK has been under serious threat well before C-19 interfered. Every time I return another of my old haunts has gone. Turning them into kids playgrounds, pretending they are restaurants and taking more money off less customers has all but sealed their demise.

 

Shame really, makes me wonder what the social scene will be like in 50 years.

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2 hours ago, DaLa said:

Oh bother, now I have to find somewhere else to have a drink tonight. Is Cheers in Boston still open?

 

Seriously though the 'pub' scene in the UK has been under serious threat well before C-19 interfered. Every time I return another of my old haunts has gone. Turning them into kids playgrounds, pretending they are restaurants and taking more money off less customers has all but sealed their demise.

 

Shame really, makes me wonder what the social scene will be like in 50 years.

You're welcome to stop by my garage. I have a TV and soundbar mounted to the wall, and a fridge off to the side stocked with various beers. 😄

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2 hours ago, rooster59 said:

Andrew McGee, co-owner of the Albatross Pub, is seen behind the bar, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Berkeley, California, U.S. November 17, 2020.

 

2 hours ago, DaLa said:

Seriously though the 'pub' scene in the UK has been under serious threat well before C-19 interfered.

The OP/Topic is about a "Olde English pub" in the US, not one in the UK!

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17 minutes ago, bendejo said:

I lived in Berkeley for a few years, never heard of the place.

 

 

It sounds vaguely familiar. I reckon Berkeley students would know it. My Berkeley was centered around the Berkeley Rep and Steamworks. Both closed for now anyway I assume.

 

Of course Shakespeare & Co. closed in 2015 a victim of Amazon not Covid 

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This is rather sad.

 

I was a student at UC Berkeley back in the 70's, and as a starving student would go there to nurse a beer, and just enjoy the atmosphere and the people.

 

Unfortunately they are not the first, and won't be the last to hang up the shingle because of this cursed virus

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14 hours ago, DaLa said:

Oh bother, now I have to find somewhere else to have a drink tonight. Is Cheers in Boston still open?

 

Seriously though the 'pub' scene in the UK has been under serious threat well before C-19 interfered. Every time I return another of my old haunts has gone. Turning them into kids playgrounds, pretending they are restaurants and taking more money off less customers has all but sealed their demise.

 

Shame really, makes me wonder what the social scene will be like in 50 years.

The original Cheers on Beacon St is still open, but they recently suddenly closed the replica at Faneuil Hall Marketplace permanently.

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16 hours ago, bendejo said:

I lived in Berkeley for a few years, never heard of the place.

 

 

Me neither ! I was a barhound and vagrant in Berkeley for 6 years from 75 to 81. The most popular bars were the Starry Plough on Shattuck, La Pena next door, and Brennan's under the freeway at the bottom of University Ave. All were going strong in 81 and are hopefully still surviving 🙂

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What about an old watering hole I used to frequent that has shut due to lack of clientele re: Covid.

The Hermit Inn, Burley Woodhead was 400 years old and a popular stop off for tourists on their way to Ilkley Moor ( b’aht at ) .

One of its frequent visitors was Richard Whiteley !! ........ Yes !! Richard Whiteley of Calendar and Countdown fame !!

I’ll just let that sink in ............... yes  ....... Richard Whiteley 😀

 

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7 hours ago, phantomfiddler said:

Me neither ! I was a barhound and vagrant in Berkeley for 6 years from 75 to 81. The most popular bars were the Starry Plough on Shattuck, La Pena next door, and Brennan's under the freeway at the bottom of University Ave. All were going strong in 81 and are hopefully still surviving 🙂

 

I lived in Rockridge '85-'87.  Hey, I've never been much on bars and I know of 2 of the 3 you mentioned:  Brennan's for the corned beef and cheap beer on tap, although the smell of the food would be almost sickening when I would first enter the place (probably residual to when I did kitchen work).  I never been to the Starry Plough but I knew the name from the entertainment listings.  When I first moved to the Bay Area in 1977 there was this great cafe music scene: these places that served food during the day would have live music at night, with lots of veterans of the SF music scene.  I saw Mike Bloomfield doing acoustic a few months before he died of an OD.  By 1983 or so that scene was gone, replaced by comedians, but Starry Plough and Ashkenaz still had bands.  BTW there is a documentary about Ashkenaz out there.

 

 

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On 11/21/2020 at 7:49 PM, fangless said:

 

The OP/Topic is about a "Olde English pub" in the US, not one in the UK!

Yes, thank you , I did realise that. However I am from the UK and my comment was an aside to the topic. Someone may have then taken the topic further and commented on the future of pub/bar scene in the US. 

 

I doubt  that there are thousands on TV.com that know of the actual bar mentioned, indeed look at Bendejo's post above. You may also notice that the topic did branch off into other geographical areas.

 

Sorry if this sounds harsh, however there were many written ways you could have pointed out my supposed error. 

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On 11/21/2020 at 7:45 PM, Gumballl said:

You're welcome to stop by my garage. I have a TV and soundbar mounted to the wall, and a fridge off to the side stocked with various beers. 😄

I think that may be the answer in future. Find some like minded people to hang with in the comfort of your own place and create your own atmosphere.

 

If you want music loud or not at all ... your choice

If you want your kids there or adults only...your choice

Food or no food...your choice

Smoking or non smoking...your choice

Closing time....your choice   ( be sure to invite the neighbours though)

Drink driving .... resolved

etc

 

and all at 30% of the cost.

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