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Colonnade: then and now

Photograph of the Colonnade pub
Image reproduced with permission from Brighton History Centre
Photograph of the Colonnade pub, New Road
Photo by Mike Snewin

Comments about this page

  • Much improved, by the look of things. The Colonnade is one of my favourite pubs in Brighton. Always a pleasure to sit quietly in a corner and watch all the shouty actors.

    By The Prince (29/11/2004)
  • Very nice pub. It reminds me of the pleasant times I’ve spent in Brighton.

    By Fabiana (10/12/2004)
  • I once did a photo shoot in this pub and it has a fantastic interior as well.

    By Daniel Hansen (07/01/2005)
  • I realy loved this pub and had some great times there.

    By J (02/08/2006)
  • Always a pricey place to drink but worth it now and then to see and hear the over the top theatrical “luvvies” and Brighton characters who used to frequent it. This was Brighton’s version of bars in Fitzrovia. Can’t imagine many of the luvvies drank that awful 1970s slop Red Barrel though….what were brewers like Watneys thinking in those days?

    By Adrian Baron (05/02/2007)
  • I remember seeing Arthur Askey and Kathy Kirby waving to us from an upstairs balcony of this pub. I also saw Hermoine Gingold, had had a few drinks myself to see the actors come in from the Theatre Royal.

    By Sandie Waller (29/05/2007)
  • In the mid to late sixties the landlord of the Colonnade was called Sammy and he was one of the few – perhaps even the only – landlord in Brighton to open up on the evening of Christmas Day. I remember the ritual of going there with my dad through deserted night-time streets to find this oasis of drink and light amid the 1960s Christmas Day gloom. And no Watney’s near-beer from Sammy, he served some of the best draught Bass in the town.

    By Chris Taylor (06/07/2009)
  • Thanks for your memories of Sammy and the excellent Bass at The Colonnade Chris. That reminds me of the other hidden Bass outlet nearby; the - now vanished – back bar at the Royal Pavilion in Castle Square (when I looked in recently there was a pool table there). Finding decent hand-pulled bitter in those Watney’s days was like trying to track down some sort of secret organisation.

    By Adrian Baron (06/08/2009)
  • One of the Colonnade’s heydays was the era 1959-61 when it was a favourite of Argus and Gazette journalists like Jack Tinker, Annie Nightingale, Phil Pearman, Dave Hanington, Tom Davies, Jack Frost and Roger Tilleray, plus yours truly. Dora Bryan was a regular and I remember Sean Connery, Albert Finney and other future great names there. Still always make a pilgrimage when I’m in my home town.

    By Bill Hall (31/05/2011)
  • Sammy was Samuel Isaacs my grandfather. He and his wife Norah ran the Colonnade for many years and my sister and I used to have wonderful holidays there as children when we would play in the bar and cellar during the afternoons when the pub was closed (no all-day opening in the late sixties!). It is so lovely that he is remembered – and the Bass – always a favourite with many customers as were Norah’s fresh crab sandwiches. Norah loved the contact with the theatre and often discussed with Jack Tinker what he was going to write in his reviews (she always went to a new show on a Monday night). The interior is a lot different now, but some of the best bits remain, like Britannia on the glass behind the bar. Last time I was able to go there (late 1990s), the handbag hooks that Sam screwed in were all still working under the overhang of the long bar! Happy days.

    By Anne Walker (07/10/2012)
  • My grandfather, Lawrie Sargeant, also had The Colonnade for two or three years in the late 1920s. They moved in about the time of the General Strike. It was always frequented by the artistes from the Theatre Royal and is the only pub in the country within the foyer of a theatre. As many of the performers were short of money he would often buy odds and ends from them ‘to see them through’ until their next engagement. Some of these we still have today. My father used to tell me tales of going out onto the roof at the back and looking into the dancers’ changing rooms. Unfortunately I don’t seem to have any period photos of The Colonnade. The family moved to The Selsey Hotel about 1928 where they stayed until they took on The Bristol Hotel in Marine Parade just before War broke out. (See reference elsewhere on this site)

    By Tim Sargeant (07/10/2012)
  • My parents Kate Goss and John Jauncey were also journalists on the Argus around that time. I was born in 1961. Does anyone remember them? They have both been dead a long time now..

    By Anna Jauncey (24/02/2021)
  • Around that time btw refers to Bill Hall’s comment regarding 1959-1961.

    By Anna Jauncey (24/02/2021)

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