Earlier this week I visited The Up In Arms for a sneak peek, ahead of its soft launch this weekend.
The pub’s story has been covered a lot in the local press, so I won’t go into loads of detail, but to give you a brief overview…
The New Marston pub, previously named The Somerset, shut in 2014. Local residents, hugely disappointed and spurred on by the closure of more local pubs, set up a community action group called ‘Save Our Somerset’. The group has been campaigning since to prevent the building from being turned into accommodation, and keeping the pub alive by hosting pop-up pub events.
The Up In Arms was finally taken on by popular local pub group, Dodo Pub Company, which also owns The Rusty Bicycle (one of my locals and a regular go-to for pizza) and The Rickety Press. You can expect to see the same Dodo menu of excellent sourdough pizzas, burgers and – quite frankly – banging breakfasts. For those of you familiar with the Rusty & Rickety… yes, waffles will be on the menu too!
On the bar, expect some variation, as the pub is a free house it’s not tied to any brewery. They will definitely stock their own Dodo lager, there’s also been mention of Tap Social and Cotswold Brewery too.
In addition to good grub, they have a big garden at the rear and car parking at the front. There’s a foosball table and ping pong table, a terrace, a private dining ‘snug’ which seats up to around 20, an open hatch kitchen so you can see the action AND an exciting new addition – a coffee hatch!
Coffee will be provided by local roastery and cafe, Missing Bean, available to drink in or take away via a coffee hatch in the front wall of the pub, which opens out onto the street. The hatch will be open from 8am – 6pm daily (launching at 5pm tomorrow), with retail bags of coffee available to buy, as well as cakes from The Cosmic Cake Company and coffee making equipment like Aeropesses and V60s.
The pub itself will seat up to around 230 inside and out, with some plugs and USB ports dotted around for laptops. They plan to hold a yard sale once a month, an event they’ve been hosting successfully at their Cheltenham pub, and drop a shipping container into the back garden ready to host events and possible film screenings.
Piqued your interest? The Up In Arms will be open for a soft launch this weekend (12noon till late on Saturday and Sunday, 9am – 5pm Monday), offering 50% off all food. Then the pub closes for a week before it’s Grand Opening Party on Friday 26th April, and everyone’s invited!
I bumped into a local resident and member of ‘Save Our Somerset’ on my way out, who told me it’s “fantastic the pub is reopening. It’s a much-needed hub that will reestablish values that are productive and positive for society”. He was a little disappointed to see Aunt Sally wouldn’t be reappearing at the old pub, and indicated the new name had caused some initial unrest with the action group, but very pleased to see the boozer was almost ready to reopen.
Anyway, enough of the details, we’ll see you there…