There’s an ongoing pubby phenomenon that can’t have escaped your notice. What happens is that a slightly tatty boozer will shut down for a bit and when it reopens, it’ll look a bit less tatty, the beer will cost more and the barman will have grown a moustache.
In the case of The Chandos, it’s like the reboot process got stuck early, in a good way: enough to place the chalkboards and hairy staff, but without eschewing the original character completely.
Which is great, but it’s slightly weird that all the original salt-of-the-earth bits have been preserved within one sectioned-off room – where you can neck Amstel and watch the footie – though the bigger, rejigged bit has a lot going for it. On tap there are familiar craft beers from brewers giant (Camden, Brewdog) and small (Weird Beard, By the Horns), plus a few challenging options in the fridges.
The food’s good too, with a natty line in large, crunchy-crusted pizzas with inventive toppings.
There’s no denying that The Chandos MkII has broadened its appeal, but whether lured in by craft beer or fizzy lager, do everyone a favour and explore the whole place.