The ‘improved’ refit has ruined Guy’s Bar

It’s too well lit to be lit

Old Guy’s Bar was perfect. A dark, dingy bar in a basement was the ideal counterpart to the massive windows and views of Waterfront. A black colour scheme, leather seat backs and sticky floors created a speakeasy vibe which was prime for a bar underground next to a hospital. A sports night at the old Guy’s Bar was cramped, sweaty and fun.

But now it’s been ‘improved’.

The colour scheme has changed – it is now well-lit and the new look has been described as “spiffy” by the KCLSU website. It now feels more appropriate to host a CU meeting there than sports night. A Wednesday night used to be dark, cramped and sweaty, where you could barely see the person you were next to. Now you can see every chest hair of every guy when the Baywatch song comes on. You can see in all-too-much detail the mating rituals of sports night. The pool table is so starkly lit it looks like an operating table making the whole room feel more like Guy’s Hospital than Guy’s Bar.

The booths are a bright orange, taking influence from the Greenwood. The tables are a light brown wood, as is an entire wall. The leather-look of the old booths was timeless, and now it’s so bright it’s painful to look at. The ceiling writing has gone, even one set of toilets has been removed. The DJ doesn’t even have a proper space anymore, he’s just squashed in a booth, making it look like a primary school disco.

Not just this, but by removing a fire exit, they’ve had to reduce the capacity, meaning that a night that was already a struggle to get in to has huge queues at 8pm. The fact is there is simply not enough space in Guy’s bar to get enough of the Guy’s sports teams and others in.

Sure, maybe this is better at lunchtime midweek, maybe some people want a nicer, cleaner student bar, but the cost of this is we’ve ended up looking like a wannabe Waterfront, without the views, and deep underground. Bring back the original Guy’s Bar.