In recent history the Horndean and Cowplain area has lost many of it’s drinking establishments due to closure: The Brewers Arms is now a Tesco owned ‘One Stop’; The Anchor Pub was knocked down to make way for affordable housing; The Green Dragon on Lovedean Lane was turned into a Tesco Express in 2012; and, the The Crows Nest is now new housing and a Nursery … next on the closure list is The Colonial Bar.
The Colonial Bar has announced they are closing in November; their 10 year lease is up and won’t be renewed.
The Colonial Bar opened in 2006, and for those that do not know it, is a juxtaposition between a pub and a nightclub, open late in the evening with a variety of music, bands, and discos.
A couple of years ago I visited the Colonial Bar with friends, I would love to give a detailed description of the evening, but, due to the number of Jägerbombs consumed it is all rather a blur. I can report a good time was had by all, though several of said friends were unable to get out of bed the next day; I’ll spare you the photos.
A little history about this building. When I was a sprog, I lived in Murray Road which is very close to the Colonial Bar. Back then the Colonial Bar was called The Good Intent, and way, way before that (1830’s) it was named The Woodman. The Good Intent in the 70’s was a family restaurant and during its history passed through The Schooner Inn and The Berni Inn chains. Back in the 1970’s, going to a Berni Inn was the very height of family dining sophistication. I fondly remember ordering Prawn Cocktail to start, Scampi-in-a-Basket for mains, with a slice of Black Forest Gateau for pud. All three of which are still firm favourites today.
I feel for the owner and staff at The Colonial Bar, also also feel for the patrons of the venue, where will they go?
I also worry about the future of the building – will the building be knocked down by the land owner and replaced with housing? Or is there the possibility that the building could again become a family restaurant? I have checked the EHDC Planning Portal and at the time of writing there are no planning permission documents to give any clues as to the future. Only time will tell.
The only remaining Horndean pubs will be The Ship and Bell and The Red Lion.
If you have any history about this building, when it was built or photos, feel free to add them below.