Cosy pub interiors

When we talk about pubs we like, we often find ourselves rating them in terms of their cosiness. And in contrast, barn-like is one of the most common pejorative terms used to describe pubs — big, cavernous pubs are simply not cosy in any way.

People seem to love pubs where they can have a little privacy, which is one of the reasons for the popularity of some of Sam Smith’s pubs in London. The Cities of York, for example, retains a quaint layout with multiple little rooms, within which are further subdivisions — cubby-holes and partitioned booths.

The great thing about this approach is that, if the pub is empty, it doesn’t matter — you’re not exposed, and don’t feel lonely. Conversely, if the pub is busy, you get some space, and can enjoy the buzz without having to overhear everybody else’s conversation.

We don’t really know why other pubs don’t try a bit of strategic partitioning to boost the cosiness level. How much is a sheet of MDF these days?

5 thoughts on “Cosy pub interiors”

  1. Interesting and timely post! I’ve just returned from a pint at a newly re-opened Dyneley Arms, a Sam Smith’s pub near Leeds. This is a beautiful, brand new interior which scores top cosiness marks – there were at least six little rooms, four with only enough room for four tables or so and a roaring fire. It was a masterpiece and so refreshing – keep it up, Sam Smith’s! ­čÖé

  2. It’s not efficient. Your partitioned pub will reach capacity a lot sooner than an open-plan flexible arrangement, the more cavernous the better. Being able to “get some space” when the pub is busy means that the customers-per-unit-space has not been maximised.

    Some thinly-disguised ranting from a country where publicans are the drinker’s natural enemy…

  3. It isn’t just that. Licensing authorities like “supervision”. If you can’t see the whole of the pub from the bar, they like it all ripped out. This in turn suits a lot of operators who want to squeeze more bodies in anyway.

    This is not actually a new thing though. Read old accounts. A police objections to layouts on reasons of “supervision” were common.

    Thus you see rooms with no doors and cctv cameras. Sam’s have done a lot of refurbishment around here and they have to jump through many hoops to retain their preferred layouts. Sam’s are great. Apart from beer-wide that is! The problem is not unique to them though.

  4. Tandleman’s right on the ‘ supervision’ thing. My experience of licensing authorities has given me the impression that they would prefer prohibition!
    I love cosy pubs the more nooks and crannies the better.

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