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Picture of The Drive
Image posted by john mcgraw
Submitted on Monday, 21st February 2011
With picture contributions to 20859 other pubs
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Requested be closed with reason - Other: Closed a couple of weeks ago and planning permission signs are outside stating the intent to turn the upstairs into residential use.

The Drive, Old Town, Eastbourne

153 Victoria Drive
BN20 8NH
Correct details

Served areas

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about The Drive

At the end of May, after ignoring the protestations of the local community, Sainsbury’s opened a supermarket on the old site of the Drive Public House. They sell the same goods as the Co-op opposite and in an effort to steal each other’s customers they have ended up charging the same price for like-for-like items.

So we have lost a community pub and gained an unnecessary supermarket with a car park that has made the road junction extremely dangerous. Isn’t it amazing what you can get away with when you have a seemingly endless pot of money!


21st August 2013

The Drive is now closed and planning permission is being sought to turn the upstairs into flats. It looks like this one isn’t coming back.


11th June 2013

The Drive has been purchased by Sainsbury’s who plan to turn it into a store. This will be directly opposite a Co-Op at the end of Albert’s Parade which is a decent local shopping stretch which includes a butchers, bakers, greengrocers, newsagents, etc. It will ruin the area and there is a local petition, but Sainsbury’s do not need planning permission to change the building from a pub to a supermarket so this could be the end of the Drive.

The list of people signing the petition is vast; it’s just a shame that more of them don’t use the pub.

The Drive is still currently open, but for how long nobody knows.


18th August 2012

I’ve revisited the Drive a few times over the past few months and have found it to be much like before. The reception on the plasma screen has been sorted out and the back bar has been turned into the Snug Café which is open from 07:00 until 19:00 every day except Sundays when the opening times are 11:00 until 17:00. I had a fry-up in there a few weeks ago and can only compare it to eating in Sid’s café in Only Fools and Horses, never again. The function room is used for community events and during one of my visits a local football club was using it to sign up new players for its youth teams.
The service is still more than friendly and the customers are mostly harmless. This pub has a bit of a reputation locally as being a rough house, but I’ve not seen any trouble.
During my last visit Long Man Brewery’s Best Bitter was available from the hand pump, but I stuck to the lager like everyone else.

The layout of the bar isn’t the most comfortable as the dartboard and pool table take up a lot of space meaning that there is limited seating. For this reason I don’t use this pub as much as I would.


25th November 2010

The Drive is a local’s roadhouse on Victoria Drive which runs through the heart of Old Town. I visited on a Wednesday night a couple of weeks ago and it would have been pretty empty apart from the fact that the pub’s ladies dart team was playing at home so there was a reasonable atmosphere. Chelsea were playing a Champions League game on the large plasma, but nobody was really watching it and the picture quality was terrible anyway. The sound was on very low and a jukebox was playing in the background, but again this was at a low volume as the darts was in progress. There is another bar at the rear of the pub, but this was closed off much like the function room to the left of the entrance. The two hand pumps adorning the bar were unused leaving a standard draught selection from which I enjoyed a decent pint of Guinness. The woman working the bar was very friendly and was nothing but apologetic after the Guinness ran out just before the pint was finished. She rushed off to change the barrel and was again apologetic on here return, to be honest I have had far shorter pints palmed off to me as being perfectly ok. Pub food is served at very reasonable prices and this is the first pub I have come across that advertises its sausages as being ‘fat’ rather than locally sourced with the finest ingredients.

The regulars all seemed like a harmless down to earth bunch and I would use this pub for the odd game of darts or pool if I lived locally, but it’s not worth going out of the way for.

NB: This pub was previously known as the Merry Fiddler.

On 4th October 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3546 recommendations about 3525 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

hondo . left this review about The Drive

now a Sainsbury’s supermarket

On 8th May 2015 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2648 recommendations about 2591 pubs]

External web links for The Drive

No known official website for this pub.

Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Steve C
Latest updates View all updates for The Drive, Eastbourne
4th Oct 2015, 13:38
Review submitted by Steve C amended by Steve C
8th May 2015, 13:49
Review submitted by hondo . amended by hondo .

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 29 July 2013 by Steve C
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 29 July 2013 by Steve C
  • Beer Festivals : No last updated 29 July 2013 by Steve C
  • Beer Garden : No last updated 29 July 2013 by Steve C
  • CAMRA Discount : No last updated 29 July 2013 by Steve C
  • Car Park : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Steve C
  • Darts : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Steve C
  • Function Room : Yes - From review - last updated 21 August 2013 by Dave McNally
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Steve C
  • Jukebox : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Steve C
  • Karaoke : No last updated 29 July 2013 by Steve C
  • Live Music : No last updated 29 July 2013 by Steve C
  • Live TV Sports : No last updated 29 July 2013 by Steve C
  • Pinball : No last updated 29 July 2013 by Steve C
  • Pool Table : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Steve C
  • Quiz Night : No last updated 29 July 2013 by Steve C
  • Real Ale : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Steve C
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