Frews Bar

Tayside - Dundee

A historic pub interior of national importance

Listed Status: C

117 Strathmartine Road
Dundee
DD3 7SD

Tel: (01382) 826549

Email: frewsbar@hotmail.co.uk

Real Ale: Yes

View on: Whatpub

This became a pub in 1915, having previously been a grocery store and was remodelled by local architects Frank and Harry Thomson. It has three rooms, with a public bar of 1915 flanked by a pair of important Art Deco lounges. The public bar has been amalgamated with a tiny snug on the right, by the removal of a short partition (evident in the floor). On the back of one of the tobacco jars ornamenting the inglenook-style fireplace is written ‘H & F Thomson Architect, Alex Fair Wood Carver, John Scott Joiner’ and ‘Mr Stewart Licence Holder 18th October 1915’. The gantry with bevelled mirror panels may well date from 1915 too, although other fittings are more recent. The metal-framed windows are typical inter-war work and the corner ones depict a plough in stained glass. On the right is a lounge with stylish inter-war panelling, counter front and brass bell-pushes. At the rear is a second lounge which also retains its Art Deco fittings, including the metal-fronted counter, small fixed tables and other fittings. This, the ‘Sporting Memories Lounge’, is only open Friday and Saturday, although you may be able to visit on request. The plethora of pictures and sporting memorabilia make it hard to appreciate the full effect of the 1930s work. Listed in 2008 following survey work by CAMRA.

A three-roomed pub with a public bar dated 1915 and two lounge bars, one of which is a rare Art Deco survivor. Situated at the foot of a three-storey tenement, it has the metal windows that are typical inter-war work: those on the corner include a plough motif in stained glass, as this was the old name of the pub. The public bar has been amalgamated with a tiny snug on the right by the removal of a short partition. On the back of one of the pots that decorate the inglenook-style fireplace is written 'H & F Thomson Architect', 'Alex Fair Wood Carver', 'John Scott Joiner' and 'Mr Stewart Licence Holder 18th October 1915'. The back gantry with bevelled mirror panels could also date from 1915: the oblong panels and top have been added in recent years, while the counter and wall-panelling seem relatively modern.

On the right is a lounge with sleek inter-war panelled walls with brass bell-pushes all around. However, the counter was added post-war, the top replaced in the 1990s while the fireplace has some new tiles. The real star at this pub is on the left with a separate entrance in Moncur Crescent. This is a second lounge which retains its 1930s Art Deco panelled walls, brass-stepped quarter-circle bar counter front and back gantry, fireplace, fixed seating and even the tables. This Sporting Memories Lounge is only open Friday nights, on Saturday or by prior appointment.

Other surviving Art Deco interiors can be found at these Heritage Pubs Three Pigeons, Halifax, West Yorkshire; Vale Hotel, Arnold, Nottinghamshire; Test Match, West Bridgeford, Nottinghamshire; Duke (of York), Bloomsbury, London WC1; Portland Arms, Glasgow; and Steps Bar, Glasgow.

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