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Cellar Bar, Boscombe

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user reviews of the Cellar Bar, Boscombe

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Agree with the previous review about the use of plastic glasses. We visited at lunchtime and plastic was being used. I note there is live music here every night of the week. So maybe it's easier to only dispense drinks in plastic. I will also mark the pub down for this. But it was probably my favourite pub of the day. There is a ground floor bar, a cellar bar and a garden at the rear with some really intriguing features. 5 ales were on. 2 were on gravity - Sunny Republic Red Bus & Twisted Bitter Pirate and the other 3 were on handpull - Palmers Spring Hop, Cerne Abbas Ale & Flack Manor Romsey Gold. Ciders were Dorset Sunshine and Maverick from Orchard Pig. Think I may be back here when I visit for the football next year. 7/10. Would be an 8 had it not been for the plastic.
blue_scrumpy - 8 Jun 2015 19:41
Eclectic (whatever that means) cellar bar, no phone reception (good), a couple of decent ales on (good) all let down by being served in plastic (at 4 in the afternoon with only three people in the bar - why?) - gets a serious markdown from me for that.
anonymous - 30 Mar 2015 21:29
chaplin's- far too expensive. customers should not have to pay for your choice in kitschy decor.
cellar bar- better! very knowledgeable barman! wish we could have seen a band, there. left the next day :/

and the goldfish by the stairs, on the way down to the cellar bar, need to go. what a miserable existence! especially with bellends throwing cigarette ends into their water...
amous - 26 Jun 2012 10:36
Quirky, bohemian, inviting, artistic, independent, great character place. Friendly staff, good service. Won some local awards recently Best Bar None: Overall winner & Best community venue. Love the garden too.
bosvegas - 3 Mar 2012 14:12
Great drinks choices: good cocktails & coffees upstairs, local real ales downstairs (although a bit stale from sitting in the barrels). Excellent place to pile into after a gig at the O2 down the road. Really chilled friendly & laid back. Variety of live music, all free I think: Reggae, dub, acoustic, folk, blues, rock, open mike. All day festivals held sometimes in the garden and street for local charities with bands and activities, face painting for the kids good fun, but no children in the evenings. Smoking area amongst the plants, balconies and fish in the garden. Nice place, nice people, good atmosphere.
ECarn - 13 Jan 2011 14:22
A beautifuly quirky place to have a quiet drink during the day in the garden, eat a DeliciouS meal in the upstairs art deco Chaplins, or see fantastic live music in the buzzing atmosphere of the evenings for free. I first came to this bar a few years ago and since then have met so many wonderful interesting people here. The locals are full of character, just like the surroundings, and are always lots of fun. I also met my partner of two years here at a 1920s themed party night, so have many fond memories of our first dates going to the open mic nights here or the jazz nights there used to be.
As a fan of all things a bit different, this bar appeals to my love of vintage decor (upstairs), and the traditional old pub 'with a gothic twist' look (downstairs- furnished with bits from an old church). And the clientele/staff are very accepting of all types of people, it's not unusual to see many alternative people like myself there in the evenings, and apart from the occasional a**hole that you get wherever, people are nothing but complimetary about the way myself and my friends look. Also, in reply to one of the previous comments, no this is not a disguised gay bar, at one point there were more than one gay members of staff, but if this is a problem then seriously I recommend sticking to Wetherspoons/Lloyds/other generic chain pub with no atmosphere or integrity. Lol.
Yes, the Boscombe surroundings can be a bit dodgy, the reputation of the area is one of poverty and recovering drug addicts, but the pub itself is well maintained, and has strict policies about no drugs or violence whatsoever. The security employed at weekends keep out troublemakers, and the lack of televised sports on the premises generally keep out other potential idiots.
The best place to go in Bournemouth, long live independant drinking establishments!
RedHues - 13 Jan 2011 13:10
This music-oriented pub has changed a lot for the positive in the past year or so.
Disclosure - I'm writing this from a very packed and thumpin' downstairs while waiting for the headline act to come on stage.

It used to be the case that one would get a beer from downstairs then drink it upstairs or in the garden. Now there is Live Original music all nights Mondays being the odd exception.

The beer deserves a mention - Cellar Bar downstairs has long been the place to get the best kept pint in town, still held, especially now Wytchwood Hobgoblin is regularly served. Chaplins upstairs retains a cafe bar appeal, mnore attractive now food is served (excellent from what I hear, I've not been able to partake of his yet myself).

The garden also deserves a mention, as it is totally unexpected in Boscombe to find one so deep and well - appointed, with (I hear) more improvements forthcoming.

The improvement to take my rating to a perfect 10 would be to place it out of the immediate environs and onto the coast, something that just won't happen!
hobsboy - 8 Jan 2011 23:10
This pub is truly a diamond in the rough. Situated in the heart of Boscombe, which is not known for much more than a failed artificial reef and crack heads... this pub shines.

A hang-out for all walks of life especially the local musicians who attend their excellent open mics, showcase nights and heaving weekend shows.

There really is something for everyone. Including comedy and games nights.

The staff have always been friendly and welcoming to me.

In a nut shell...Chaplin's/Cellar Bar is somewhere you should visit if you want some good music, food, drinks and fun.


barefootsoldier - 27 Dec 2010 17:12
The upstairs is a continental-style bar (with a food operation recently adr ded) with some decent beers running to Leffe and Duvel, a rarity in the area.
The downstairs is a deliberately scruffy music bar with some
sort of entertainment almost every night. Two or three ales are on stillage and usually decent quality. There has been some hoo-hah about the cllientelle from other reviewers: I would say they are just the type you would expect to find in somewhere that serves up loud music (eg the Prince Albert, Brighton). If you are a music fan you will know the type, if not it might be a culture shock. There's worse Bos-scum staggering about outside anyway.
Uncle_Dunkel - 21 Oct 2010 16:05
Had to laugh at some of the comments on this pub. Yes it may be 'bohemian' but that doesn't mean it atracts 'the thinking type'.In fact nearly all the regulars here are brickies, labourers and yes... gay hairdressers! The bar is run by three guys in partenership but they are always arguing so nothing ever gets done. To be fair They have opened the refurbished top floor Chaplains bar fairly recently and it is easy on the eye until you see that you are paying far more than you would downstairs in the cellar bar (which is already very expensive) for the same drink. The regulars are very suspicious of anyone new and it is hard to feel welcome here unless you really make an effort...but be careful because if you make too much of one some gay bloke will try and chat you up! I recommend you only go here for the music special nights and steer well clear of the place for anything else. It's dirty, unfriendly and full of druggies too. Boscombe isn't known for it's good bars and nothing will change with this place.
98p_pint - 28 Mar 2010 18:37
This pub is staright disguised as a Gay Bar, although Allen the manager is pretty minty on the eye.
anonymous - 16 Sep 2007 19:39
Are you the guy with the fit missus? She had a sweet ass! 10/10!
anonymous - 24 Jul 2007 15:38
Went in the other night with my girlfriend and a few others. It took the barman over ten minutes to serve the two people in front of me, and when I finally gave my order (three times) he proceeded to put doubles when I asked for singles and never let my Guinness settle. However, this was his first night on his own apparently, so I was patient with him.

However, from that point onwards, the night just went downhill. No smoking papers or matches were sold behind the bar (and the barman had no idea what I meant) so I had a trip to the shop, came back and the barman had not only gotten my girlfriend's drink order wrong twice (Vodka and Lemonade, hello?), but on the third time when he gave her the right one, the lemonade had obviously gone, as it was just soda. I pointed this out to the barman, who proceeded to just stare at me stupidly and refuse to change the drink. Finally, he managed to get a Vodka, Lime and Soda right, so for safety's sake we stayed on that.

I'd been to the Cellar Bar once before and had actually been impressed, but this time I was shocked at how dirty the tables and glasses were (no surprise really, considering I watched the aforementioned barman simply rinse a glass out in the sink before setting it back on the shelf, despite the presence of a perfectly good glasswasher next to the bar). The regulars also made us feel very uncomfortable, with long stares every time we went in or out of the bar area, or up and down the stairs. My girlfriend asked me if we could leave after a while, since apparently the (assumed) landlord and the regulars were trying to get her to sleep with the idiot barman and generally being perverts.

Overall, an absolutely shocking night out was had at this pub, and the landlord needs to take some lessons home, I think. Firstly, everyone is slow in their first bar job, but that's why you put them on *with* people, in order to train them. If he's so utterly incompetent that it takes him ten minutes and endless questions to get me a gin and tonic, a vodka and coke and a pint of Guinness, *and* get it wrong, he's not capable of doing a shift on his own. Secondly, the place is filthy. The brass needs polishing and the tables need wiping occasionally, and thirdly, please keep your opinions and those of your regulars about my girlfriend's body to yourselves.

A vile pub, one I won't be returning to any time soon.
anonymous - 24 Mar 2007 14:16
visited the cellar bar for the first time and really liked it.Good staff,customers and cosy inside
nigegil - 24 Dec 2006 11:18
Good ale, good live music and punters are generally down to earth and non-pretentious. Staff seem pretty switched on. Haven't tried the food so can't comment.
johnkn7 - 24 Aug 2005 22:07
I love this place, it has a bohemian ambience and is filled with fantasic Characters. The owners are wonderful people with great passion for life and have made the pub an exquisite little haven to unwind and relax in, it is like entering another world down in the cellar and then Garden offers a great sun trap and different levels to explore and then of Course is the amazing restuarant upstairs with it's generous lashing's of home cooked food for an amazingly affordable for all price!
The Cellar bar also serves traditional and most scrumptious Tapas ( again unbelievably reasonable) made by the resident Spanish chef. A definate must visit pub!
bluemousefairy - 15 May 2005 20:02
It is said that a pub is only as good as the people in it and for that reason I have to say that the Cellar Bar is the best pub I know. I suppose it could be said that I represent a biased veiw as I have been working there for two years but hey! If it wasn't a good pub I wouldn't work there at all!
Matt - mattupchuck@hotmail.com - 14 Jul 2004 15:59
Tried it out after recommendations on this site - and it's a wonderful little place. It has a friendly welcoming atmosphere and some good beer.
Graham - 12 Jul 2004 10:59
Great atmosphere.Nice staff.Good live music on small stage makes this bar really special.


John - 11 Jan 2004 14:56
I have some afterthoughts about the Cellar Bar in Boscome. It has an interesting Bohemian atmosphere, and that means it attracts the thinking type. Well! these are people who can rub more than two brain cells together. We have to compare this with the customers in Deacons over the road. Anyway the Cellar Bar being in a cellar, cannot pump ale. It comes from firkins behind the bar, and being from taps there is no froth. This means a good measure even if it is flat. Visit it because this is a good place.
Peter Froude - Pfroude@cwctv.net - 10 Nov 2003 19:44
A little gem in the middle of a cosmopolitan area. As it's name suggests, going into the cellar is like entering a Bavarian drinking parlour. Frequented by local residents who remain loyal to the bar.
Daniel - 7 Aug 2003 16:28

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