Friday, 7 January 2011
25 Caroline Street, Cardiff [map]
No wonder there's uproar at Mitchells & Butlers' proposal to transform the Kings Cross into a fancy eatery.
Not only is it Cardiff's best-known gay bar, it also offers a steak and a pint for £5.99 on Wednesdays. Such recession-busting prices surely won't survive a gastropub relaunch.
The amiable bar staff are purveyors of both your standard cooking lagers (you can't go wrong with a reassuringly gaseous pint of Foster's, after all) and a smattering of more esoteric fare.
Although a session built around the consumption of something called Doom Bar is surely destined to all go a bit Oliver Reed.
Echo columnist Dan O'Neill reckons that "the survival of the Kings Cross as a gay pub is infinitely more important than the survival of the much over-hyped Vulcan."
We're inclined to agree with him.
Despite its odd shape - the building, which dates from 1872, is sandwiched between the twin lanes Mill and Chippy - Kings Cross still manages to feel fairly cosy.
It's like a lagery oasis of camp in an otherwise arid wasteland of scoffing, shouting, scrapping and, erm, sicking.
And it's got free Wi-Fi.