Are there too many pubs and bars in Chichester city centre?

Right off the bat, my opinion is no. You can’t have too many pubs, particularly in a nightclubless city crying out for live music venues and places for the young/students to meet up to socialise into the early hours.

Remember The Belle Isle? During its time, arguably, I’d say it was one of the best all-round boozers the city had.

The variety of food and drinks were ever changing, it had generous open-plan space and towards the end of its tenure it started to dabble in live music

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It seemed to have everything going for it.

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Many people mourned its loss and unfortunately, it’s never been replaced.

Going back a little further in time, at Chichester Gate you had Chicago Rock followed by the Live Lounge.

Both places offered live music but from memory they fell victim to the expensive rental fees commanded by the management agency.

Again, sad losses never replicated in the city.

Perhaps a lesser revered establishment was The Bull Inn. Just last month, plans were submitted to revive/extend the property and if approved, it will see the drinking area enlarged and will also allow the pub to have a larger provision for food to reopen as a gastro pub.

Despite strong opposition from residents to the south of the property, I personally welcome the news.

The pub is situated on the east side of the city opposite the large cattle market car park which acts as a natural gateway to locals and visitors.

With the pub being vacant for over seven years, it’s become a bit of an eye-sore to lots of passers-by, fingers crossed we see a successful resurrection.

Another entrance point into Chichester is the Northgate/North Street area.

A similar situation as The Bull, we used to be greeted by No.1 Northgate Bar and Restaurant (formally named and better remembered as Marco’s).

This place provided a more sophisticated offering with a well thought out cocktail menu, superb food and posed as a popular spot for a pre-theatre treat.

Whilst it was a shame to see it close its doors, many would argue that Purchases Bar & Restaurant is a better alternative anyway.

I could go on about the about the further losses in greater detail however I’m running out of article room!

Notable mentions from the more distant past include the Coach and Horses, The Punch House and The Slurping Toad.

Have I missed any others? Feel free to let me know by emailing [email protected]

Let’s face it, the retail experience in the city isn’t getting any better and there’s definitely enough coffee shops.

If there needs to be a reason to come into Chichester to support our high streets and socialise with friends, let it be the pubs. Cheers to that!

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