Thursday, 10 June 2010

I should Ko-Ko

The Morning Advertiser reports:

Brakspear Pub Company has reopened three pubs in its home town of Henley on Thames.

The Oxfordshire firm, which operates 145 pubs, says each of these three will have a different appeal.

The Bull in Bell Street, has been renamed Ko-Ko, and opens next month. New managers Ondine Carington and Nuno Rosado are positioning the site as an “exclusive” bar, which will serve sharing platters of food.
…bangs head on desk…


  1. If you are going to bang your head on the desk like that, may I suggest a heavily padded mouse mat.

  2. It's as if these people don't read your blog:)

    Actually I know the Bull and think this is a big mistake. I can see their reasoning, though. It's struggling to find its identity in a competitive market. But I don't think taking it downmarket to take on the like of the nearby Slug & Lettuce is the answer.

    The problems first began when it tried its hands at being a bar and bistro back in 2006. This was a sign that the owners had run out of ideas. It subsequently lost its previous core customers, but failed to gain enough new ones. Cue much scratching of heads by management.

    The site is 700 years old. Several of the original pub features remain in place. I feel it would be better served by playing up to these strengths. Not old fashioned, but classy, instead of simply brassy.

  3. I have been in the Bull many years ago and, as you say, remember it as a pub with many historic features – surely any trading format should capitalise on that even if it did have a "gastro" emphasis.

    Back in the early 80s, Henley used to have a lot of small, plain, quirky Brakspear's pubs, most of which I would imagine are now nothing like their original format, even if still trading.

    I also remember a solitary Morlands pub – the Argyll – which still seems to be there, although I'd be surprised if it still had the tartan interior decoration it sported back then.

  4. I like the sound of them places, beats a dumpy old mans gaff.

  5. And when this Metromans pseudo
    platter joint takes a dip,the
    apologists and fellow travellers
    will blame the double dip recession
    or public sector lay offs.
    Sad ,very sad
    are there no real Englishmen left
    to stand up and shout out loudly
    what pubs are screaming out for,
    normality,that which we had for the last 500 years untill
    levellers spread their spite.

    Eternal optimist

  6. Anon: I don't see you standing up anywhere and shouting loudly for anything. Commmenting anonymously on this blog, widely read though it is, doesn't really match your overblown rhetoric. Besides, strident views expressed anonymously lack conviction somehow.

    As for the name Ko-Ko, to me it just brings to mind "The Clown".

  7. Our Dear Red Nev
    To comment "anon" is one of the
    last few freedoms available to the
    common man, I am only, like most
    others ,making full use of that
    freeedom before your lot ban it.
    As for action ,Nev , adsum,dunsum
    and binit .Strikes,walkouts,demos,
    riots,rallys,processions,imprisonment,special branch home visits,
    passport siezed,interrogations.
    Belfast/Berlin E & W/Warsaw/Paris
    Vienna and other past troublespots
    this last 45 year,10 as a shop steward/Convenor

    Now I'lle settle for anon blogging
    its more peacefull and I still
    think KoKo pubs are just a load of
    old tat.
    Anon Ad Eternum


Comments, especially on older posts, may require prior approval. See here for details of my comment policy.