The Frog and Nightingale, my local pub for the last 8 years closed last night.
It was quite a sad moment for me, as I have had loads of really good times there. Nearly all of my old friends have moved out of the City/County/Country.
I’m the last of the 20 odd of us, who used to congregate in the Firkin, that was later renamed the Frog and Nightingale.
Most pubs in Chester have seen takings drop by around 30% over the last year. Things have never really recovered from the smoking ban. A poor summer and dirt cheap alcohol at places like Tesco, have all contributed to the demise of the local pub.
Rumours had been spreading for a while, that something was happening at the Frog and Nightingale. I don’t go out that often now, but realising it might be my last chance to enjoy a pint there, I popped over on Sunday evening.
The faces of the staff, when I got there said it all.
A large group of Polish business people arrived and sat oblivious to the impending doom (it was quite a surreal moment).
Tony the landlord arrived, and things picked up a bit. It was sad in one way, but we/I have always known that nothing lasts for ever, and with that thought a sort of party atmosphere descended on the place.
Free drinks were evenly distributed, loads of the old staff turned up, including Jude, Nathan and Kev. All sorts of memorabilia was collected, and various old guitars were removed from the wall.
I grabbed this picture, which my friend Bilge painted. Its hung on the wall outside for about 5 months, in rain and hail, and the picture hasn’t run or been tarnished in all that time.
It’s a good metaphor for the pub itself I suppose. You can read a bit more about the Frog here.
Trying to find a nice pub, that’s friendly but not poncy, is going to be difficult.