“ 8, St.Georges Rd, Brighton East Sussex BN2 1EB. Tel: +44(0)1273 683334. „
How does the old saying go? If it ain't broke don't fix it? It's a difficult sentiment to disagree with, especially where pubs are concerned. Good pubs are a rare breed. So when a good traditional old boozer with a rare atmosphere and a committed clientele is shut down and replaced with trendy bar the old adage that money talks seems more true than ever. Old pubs don't make the money that a stylish bar does. There was once a lovely old pub on the site of Polar East: The Burlington was a pub of faded Edwardian grandeur, friendly banter and good beer. I always liked it on aSunday afternoon or evening. It was a place for a gentle pint after a hard weekend. It was tatty and grubby but like an old shoe, it was comfortable and loved. But times have changed, and market economics rule and old style pubs don't make as much money as trendy bars. The Burlington became the Polar East. One of a small chain in Brighton. But by forgetting that the Burlington ever existed and judging it on its own merits the Polar East has its charms. The décor is perhaps the most complete of the hard minimalist bars that have sprung up over the last few years and the big sofas and papers provided give it a slightly homely edge. The pop-art is striking and the long bar and numerous bar staff don't make serving the crowds a problem. The beeriest beer is Boddingtons, which is a disappointment, and the crowd, needless to say young and trendy. The new punters love it, but the old locals and lovers of good pubs are left with the bitter taste of cleaning fluid in their mouth. Perhaps on a sunny day when the front shutters are open, cold beer in hand and a Kemptown crowd strolling past providing the entertainment, the Polar East is a very nice place to watch the world go by. But I used to have a better time in the Burlington.