Monday 29 October 2007

Aberystwyth - The Bay (Y Bae) - CLOSED



LATEST NEWS JAN 2013 - it's gonna be a Premier Inn!

Address: 35-37 Marine Terrace, SY23 2DX. Tel: 01970 627115 [gmap]
Pubs Galore page
Facebook group#1; Facebook group#2 

Last APG visit: 20/01/2008 

From my staff source:
"Time to clear some stuff up: The Bay wasn't as successful in the last year as previous ones, as no-one came down to us most nights 'til about 3, and we weren't making the money, so Brains didn't close a successful pub. The company own the lease, and still have a significant period of time on it. For the time being they have just emptied the place (eg the pumps, cellar coolers, tills etc), and all that's left is a shell of a building, and there is no news on what they are intending at the moment, but it doesn't look like it will come back in its recent state, if at all. Upstairs is in a bad state of affairs, but that had nothing to do with the closing, it hadn't made any difference for the past few years, so why should it of now. Soundproofing was sorted last summer, with no financial help from Brains themselves, like the rest of the pub over the last few years."

Ceredigion CC are forcing Brains to make good dilapidation and hand back the building. Good. Brains have been a pretty shitty outfit.
Old review below for posterity:

Background: Believe it or not, this was a deathly-dull hotel bar 15-odd years ago. It’s now a jam-packed student dive. The last of the great ‘seafront plub’ generation from the 90’s still left standing (the Boar’s Head, Glen and the Seabank having fallen by the wayside), multi-roomed (everyone has their favourite place) with a bar at the front and a cobbled-together dancefloor at the rear and also downstairs, with sweat dripping from the ceiling and running down the walls. Post-plub aftermath has diluted it’s core appeal, there’s a few more mainstream types in there now than before. Usually charges a token entry fee after 11, so get down there early doors if you’re pikey like me.

Student factor: 100% - traditionally scruffs, Indie kids, rockers, EMO-saddo’s and alcoholics, though it's getting more and more mainstream each time I go, slowly turning into the Glen circa 1999. Now open until 3-4am. Christ, I remember when 2am was considered the height of decadence…
Atmosphere: After 11pm, this is the possibly still the place to be for a night out in Aber. Genuine student-types, a sticky, squelchy floor and grotty bogs. Make sure you have a download before you get here, because the toilet pan will be plastered in faeces and vomit by midnight. Has lost something since the smoking ban, mainly the cancerous fog – some nights you couldn’t see from one end of the dance floor to another. Bay regulars of years past had lungs of 60 year old chain smokers. Some of the old fittings have been removed, which makes it a bit less homely than before and more bland - shame.

Drinks range: Limited but cheap. Most people in here drink the legendary Snakebite and Black (aka diesel; goth juice) which is ½ lager, ½ cider and a splash of blackcurrant juice to those of you who don’t get out much. Gained notoriety in the late-90’s for being the first place in west Wales to sell the newly-legalised absinthe, and continues to sell similarly meths-based concoctions which are more suited to disinfecting hospital wards than being drunk. Queues on a weekend can be horrendous – get to know a member of bar staff, it can prove mighty beneficial when attempting to catch their eye amongst a hoard of 50 other people clamouring for more alcohol. Used to give out a free vodka with each drink in the earlier hours of trading (which got poured straight into the Snakey B to make it 'turbo') but the local plod have put a stop to that.

TV/Music: There are TV’s which are switched to whatever the barmaid was watching before the rush started. Sometimes it’s VH1, other times it’s S4C. But as we know, the main attraction here is the music, which is (or was?) usually modern alternative, Indie, 60’s and jukebox classics - although recently many more English townie centre nightclub choices are appearing at the weekends now which is bizarre; you now have to put up with what seems to be a poor attempt at Dave Pearce's Dance Anthems or Tim Westwood's Gangsta Megamix for a few hours before they put the decent stuff on the decks on a Saturday night.
Other stuff: A basement bar, which used to successfully host themed evenings (Indiesoc, Punksoc, various ‘proper’ dance music gigs) but they were sacked off to the Angel for some reason, (hard to think why as I know for a fact that IndieSoc made a fat wedge at the bar) and it's now been refurbed and re-opened with a more trying-to-be-trendy music edge. Upstairs also used to have a pizza hatch (toppings loosely-based on a national theme, so you’d order a 6” Welsh, or whatever) which was ace, again a strange decision to axe it - although rumour reaches me of some sort of sexual 'corruption' of the pizza oven. Has a demon quizzer in the back room and a knackered pool table. The hand dryer in the gents bogs looks like salvage from the Titanic and makes more noise than a 747 on take-off, but apparently has now been removed and is lying in the staff room - can someone do the decent thing and auction it on ebay please. Oh and Aled, landlord and occasional mayor of Aberystwyth.
Quinno’s verdict: Formerly legendary. People lost more hours of their life in here and had more good nights than you will anywhere else in Aber. However, is its power on the wane now? It used to have a toe-to-toe rivalry with the Glen, which created plenty of choice and almost tribal-like loyalty. I'm not seeing that now. Perhaps it's the fact that this place was once family-owned, but has since been acquired by Brains** pressure from Cardiff-based suits?
*-Thanks to the Boy Demetrius for this info. **-Though it has mysteriously disappeared from their website listings in the last few weeks.


Unknown said...

I bloody love this place. Me and Jim used to DJ downstairs here back in 96/97, whenever Duncan* couldn't be bothered. We had an arrangement whereby Aled paid him, then he used to pay us about a quarter of that. Didn't realise it at the time but hey I had a giggle and didn't have to pay for anything...

Personally i think it's time Aled was knighted for services to students and the cheap vodka industry. Anyone agree?

*God rest his soul. I was gutted when I only recently found out that he'd passed away.

Anonymous said...

The sub-40% spirits (water) should be avoided. In 2004 there was a wonderful collection of Stroh 80 (80%), Absinthe (70%), or for the really adventurous Poteen (90%). The latter was guaranteed to give you a good night and a free bed for the night at Bronglais. Just ask the twinnies.

Unknown said...

Loving this whole pub guide!
I'm in my third year, and unforunately missed the legendary days of indiesoc in the bay, but it still is and will always be my favourite late ngiht haunt(or from 11) The switch to 4am close means that you are even more hungover mainly from lack of sleep but it really is the best ngiht in aber, that's my opinion. I do miss the smoke, I know it's stopped people from having asthma attacks but it now means I have to smell BO and farts. I can't believe there used to be a pizza place in the bay!!!!
I am going to sorely miss it.

newcy said...

Must admit I preferred Rob's DJing - though maybe Basket Case got a bit too much playing! Mind you, Duncan was legendary.

Strangely, I can remember the cheap/free vodka's (and the dodgy source), despite my heavy student drinking! The Bay was fantastic - but last time I went in there it was pretty crap. I have many fond, though booze-addled memories.

RIP Duncan.

Graham said...

You may remember the facebook group, I remember when the Bay had an upstairs dancefloor, well the group has been renamed and operating under new management. The group is called Bring back the Bay, the object of the group is to make SA Brains realise their mistake. The Group is growing and SA Brains has been informed.


Unknown said...

By far the best place in Aberystwyth. Pretty much spent my whole student life here from 2000-2003, especially Fridsysand Saturday night for rock, punk and metal. Remember a great guy called James with long dreadlocks, shirtless, moshing like a legend.

As for the vodka, jesus.

Anonymous said...

Dance nights in the basement 2000-2003. Think it was called Juice.