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Chaplin's & The Cellar Bar, Boscombe, Bournemouth

Pub added by elizabeth mcgraw
529 Christchurch Road
Phone: 01202251953

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

E TA left this review about Chaplin's & The Cellar Bar

Well described below by PSM and Roger, this cafe bar and beer cellar combo is very popular with the local CAMRA branch. Upstairs is very Bohemian with a twist of the 1920s complete with black and white silent films, while downstairs is more Vaudeville with its stage and potentially rowdy atmosphere. The beer on the cafe was Dorset's Chaplins (which I think was a re-badged Jurassic Coast), while downstairs had Horns's Mayor of Garrett, Clarkshaw's Strange Brew and Irving Admiral on draft, plus Yeovil's Lynx Wildcat and Cottage's Trafalgar on gravity. The beers were in excellent condition, but one thing that let's the place down is the officious attitude of the staff, whom we found to be less than welcoming. Although it's the best bet in Boscombe, and although the beer is very good, I do feel it's a bit over-rated by E Dorset CAMRA. That said, I'd be delighted to to come back any time I'm in the area and I'd definitely include in a crawl.

On 14th February 2017 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2612 recommendations about 2580 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Jayne Lowe left this review about The Cellar Bar

First impression of the pub is two bouncers that clearly did not want to be there. They were miserable and rude. Inside the pub on ground floor the bar was good, the bartenders brilliant and the atmosphere is lovely. There is not enough seats and only one toilet. Downstairs is dark, drierry, hot and smelly. However the live music both up and downstairs is fantastic. only confusion I have is when a band was told to not perform covers as they have no PRS license however they have a DJ, duke box and an ordinary CD player. I will not be returning as drinks expensive and the first and last impression by the bouncers was not great. Would not recommend.

On 27th December 2014 - rating: 1
[User has posted 1 recommendations about 1 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Cellar Bar

Boscombe, like most of Bournemouth, is far from the best place to attempt to find decent beer, but in the Cellar Bar, the area has a pretty good alternative to the nearby Wetherspoons. The ground floor area is a restaurant with its own bar which apparently has a wider whiskey selection than the main bar downstairs, but otherwise seemed superfluous to our needs, so we headed down the staircase into the nicely apportioned basement bar. The room is bare boarded and divided into two distinct areas, with the bar along the left hand wall across from the attractive staircase, and a seating area towards the rear of the room. The place has muted lighting and the walls are painted in warm shades which creates a pleasant, cosy environment in which to drink. There is a small stage at the front of the room which seems to be regularly used in the evenings and the walls have been decorated with plenty of movie memorabilia. The seating area has pews and standard chairs and a collection of board games piled up in a corner. Some more stairs lead up to a surprisingly large garden which you'd never suspect exists when you first enter. There is a juke box opposite the bar in an area bereft of seating options except for high tables and stools in one corner. We enjoyed some good banter with a friendly Spanish barmaid who put up with our drunken ramblings with good humour.
The owner popped in whilst we were visiting and he explained that he had set up a brewery called Zoo Brew, which is currently operating out of the Hop Back Brewery in Wiltshire. Three ales on stillage behind the bar were to include some of these new brews, but sadly none were quite ready, so we had to satisfy ourselves with the three handpulled ales instead which were Sunny Republic Dolphin Amber and Shark Head and Sixpenny IPA. The Shark Head was pretty flat and the Dolphin Amber was drinkable without being on top form, but the IPA was in superb form and we sank a few too many before the night was out.
This is an underrated venue that could probably do with a bit more throughput to ensure consistent ale quality, but there is still enough about this quirky establishment to merit further investigation. A good bet for visiting football fans not wanting to battle the crowds in the Wetherspoons, although colours would have to be hidden.

On 22nd January 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2546 recommendations about 2546 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Roger Button left this review about The Cellar Bar

The Cellar Bar is a somewhat quirky venue that opened in 2000 in the basement of a disused Thai Restaurant on the High Street. The frontage is in the style of a continental café bar and the initial impressions as you enter mirror the external image. The upper bar interior is pleasant enough with lots of bare wood and collectables but the drink choice is limited to a wine, cocktails and a small selection of premium lagers.

It is only when you venture downstairs that the place starts tio throw up a few surprises. The basement is a tangle of arches and pillars with a separate central bar with 3 good quality Ringwood ales on stillage and .if memory serves me right, reasonably priced. One end of the basement contains a small music venue with a decent stage and lighting and a programme of weekend live music.

At the rear is a surprisingly unexpected but very impressive large tiered beer garden that you would never have thought possible at the time you entered from the High Street.

We had returned from a session in Christchurch and the intention was to pop in for a quick nightcap although the doormen nearly put us off by initially asking for an entrance fee (which they waived when we were about to move on – handy tip!) and in the end we rolled out at 2am.

To be honest, Boscombe doesn’t have a lot to offer drinkers but the Cellar Bar seemed to cater for allcomers and despite its late night licence and potential to be the sort of place that one expect to be troublesome, it had a friendly atmosphere and was populated by a good mix of customers without being uncomfortably packed or intrusively loud. It isn’t the sort of place I would generally choose for a night out but I would certainly pop in again if I was in the area.

On 15th April 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1238 recommendations about 1232 pubs]