Cambridge Pubs – d’Arry’s

D’Arry’s is a bar in a former pub in a former brewery. in 1866 George Scales founded the Cambridge Brewery on the site. It later became the site of the Town Arms/City Arms/Cambridge Ale Stores and eventually the Cambridge Arms pub, a two-bar pub with the multi-level ‘Scales’ bar (complete with small dance floor) at the back and a public bar at the front with etched windows, still retaining much of the former brewery buildings and memorabilia. That was until the late 1990s when Greene King unforgivably stripped the heritage out and literally threw it away when they turned it into the failed ‘Rattle and Hum’ music theme pub. In 2002 they gutted the building again, and when they were satisfied there was no visible trace left of its former life as a brewery or traditional pub, they reopened it as a pub named… the Brewery. Eventually in 2005 it opened under new ownership as d’Arry’s “cookhouse and wine shop”, and in May last year, after another refit and refurb, restyled itself as a “liquor loft and restaurant”.

Bits of plastic crates attached to the bar. Probably not original features.

They’re not to blame for the vandalism under previous owners Greene King, and they’ve done a great job of extending into the old brewery buildings (now the “loft”) and uncovering some of the original features and equipment, adding a nice outdoor terrace area.

Although George Scales died in 1904, brewing actually continued until 1925

There were two beers on, Purity Lawless pilsner and Longhorn IPA, and both tasted good. There’s no real ale but there are some bottles and cans, although I didn’t take note of what they were. I’ve not eaten here, and each time I’ve visited have always come up to the loft or the outdoor terrace (a good place for cocktails in the summer, I don’t mind admitting), rather than the main ground floor bar – although as we were leaving I noticed they had a wood stove with a good fire going. If it had a few more draught beers I’d visit more often, but food, wine and spirits are more their focus I suppose.

I regularly drank here in the 90s when it was the Cambridge Arms, its courtyard packed in the evenings at weekends, but I hardly set foot in it for years after it was trashed, and even when it first became d’Arry’s (or is it dArrys or dArry’s or Darrys or Darry’s – they use each spelling on their website, and I’ve heard people prounounce it as both da-reez and dee-areez!) the “cookhouse and wine shop” strapline put me off, so I’m glad it’s become a welcoming place I can enjoy visiting again. Although I still miss the old Cambridge Arms.



5 responses to “Cambridge Pubs – d’Arry’s

  1. The Cambridge Arms was my local in the late 70s when at college, an old school pub run by an exPlymouth policeman, which was particularly good news for a couple of rabid student Argyle fans.
    Happy days.

    • Do you remember it as a smaller pub back then? Both bars were apparently of similar size and described as “cramped” in the 1970s, and it was only around 1979/1980 that the rear bar was extended into the old brewery building, and much of the front bar was rebuilt.

  2. I’ve eaten their 3 times. One excellent steak, one dry-as-fuck roast dinner, one soggy flatbread… I’ve not eaten there again.

  3. Very interesting to learn that George Scales established a brewery on the site. Is this the same Mr Scales that had Scales Hotel on Mitcham’s Corner before it was rebuilt in the 1930’s as The Portland Arms?

    • As far as I can tell, It was his son, also named George, who was at the Scales’ Hotel on Mitcham’s Corner. The Scales Hotel was originally called the Portland Arms. It was renamed the Scales’ Hotel by the younger George Scales who became publican of the hotel c.1881. He was only there for a few years however – by 1888 in was in the hands of the Rowell family, who kept the hotel until at least 1913. When the Scales’ Hotel was rebuilt by brewers Barclay, Perkins & Co. Ltd, who had bought and closed the Scales brewery in King Street in 1926, the name returned to being the Portland Arms.

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