Kieron Gillen's workblog




The Garricks is dead.

Well, probably, anyway. It's changed ownership four or five times during my time sitting in the corner of the bar next to the Iceland eternal-summer window, and none of them have significantly altered the pub's tone. While there was whining about one landlord adding flowers to the bar or similar, it's absolute surface level stuff compared to the real change in the Garricks. That is,the slow tick of life around it.

When I arrived there for the first time... well, when I arrived there for the FIRST time it was the first bar I wandered into when I arrived in Bath as a Student, where we stayed for a drink and then ran out ASAP. When I arrived there as a more regular patron, it was the favoured drinking establishment of Future Publishing PLC, and on a Friday night both sides were full and the crowds collapsed onto the streets. Even at its busiest, it hasn't been like that for a while. Even when I was still employed on a full time basis on GAMER, it was often only the crew of the magazine sitting around a table and slowly drinking themselves into secretly ironic liver failure.

So the fact it's changing ownership may not change anything about the trajectory of the Garricks. However, rather than previous owners which while changing the make-up and keeping the central purpose (that is, a bar to serve Theatre visitors and whomever from Future would would wander in), the new ones apparently have a grand new vision. It's going to be a Champagne bar. If that's true, it seems the last of the children will depart the nest for new homes.

And so, as we know it, the Garricks is dead.

So, I spend the night in a honky-tonk Piano drink-the-bar-dry style gathering. In a momemt of rare resonsance, half the people there decide to depart for somewhere else equally as dull as the music is annoying them and/or they've decided to have a tedious time no matter what, leaving a smaller group of devoted booze-hunters. Which is perfect, as that's what happened in the Garricks on most visits, and ultimately the reason why its trajectory in my stay there has been from popular drinking hole to cultish pit.

People can forgive anything but popularity.

Still, in my first week on Gamer, my editor turned to me and said "You'll learn more in a night in the Garricks than a week in the office".

So I spent every night for five years there.

And he was right.




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