Kelsey’s is a dump and we need to stop worshipping it

No, that’s not what gives it its charm


Kelsey’s is the favoured destination for Warwick students in Leamington. Societies from HistSoc to RAG and sports teams from Athletics to Squash have made it the preferred watering-hole for all occasions. End of a heavy night in the various pubs and bars in Leamington? Kelsey’s. Convenient rendezvous point before a night-out? Kelsey’s. Quick drink after a long day? Kelsey’s. Our commitment to this bar is seemingly unwavering, making it a social hub where you’re guaranteed to meet at least someone you know.

But all this is tragically wrong.

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What a horror

What actually is this universally-loved Babylon of bars like? Modern and fashionable with a dancefloor and good music? Maybe old and traditional with lots of character and a selection of ales? Perhaps a competitor for Wetherspoon’s with ridiculous food and drink offers?

No.

Kelsey’s isn’t on that so-good-it’s-bad level. For some reason we love paying slightly above-odds prices to hang around a below par establishment ignoring the fact that a 45-year-old chap called Steve, sporting yellow teeth and a beer-gut, has started talking to you about how open this year’s Premier League title chase is.

And we all know it. There isn’t a single person who’s visited Kelsey’s that hasn’t noticed what a hole the place is. In truth, it only contributes to a kind of cult-status amongst us students. Kelsey’s has entered the folklore of Warwick University. Tales of drinking eliminator, of making friends with locals and of ‘ending up’ in Kelsey’s are passed from year-to-year, and your first visit to Kelsey’s is now a point of passage.

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Our faces post-first visit

The very things that make Kelsey’s so awful are the things we apparently love most. The toilets and pool tables are all part of its “charm”. And so, week after week, we journey to Kelsey’s and pretend to enjoy ourselves for a few hours.

But, when we really stop and think about the place, it becomes clear the establishment is an orthodoxy we should break with – especially when there’s so many good alternatives out there in Leam.

Do these people look like they're having a good time?

Do these people look like they’re having a good time?

Leamington, despite the laughs it gets from my friends back home (‘Oh, Royal Leamington Spa’), actually boasts a few really nice pubs and bars. It beggars belief that we choose Kelsey’s above places like The Duke, with its swanky modern feel and PS4 booths, or Benjamin Satchwell’s, with its Wetherspoon’s prices and fewer druggy locals than the Jug and Jester. Even somewhere like Moo Bar would be a preferred destination to Kelsey’s.

Deep down there’s very few of us who wouldn’t prefer to spend our Friday nights in one of these places. But somehow – maybe it’s something they put in the Eliminator – we’ve been tricked into an idolatrous love for Kelsey’s. It’s time for us to be weaned off, to discover our deep feelings of resentment towards this place. It’s time to demand more than bang average deals and a cult-drink which seems to be half orange juice. It’s time to find a new bar to worship.