Cambridge Pubs – Novi


Another bar that keeps strangely quiet about its beers. Last week I came in and there were four from Brewdog – 5AM Saint, Elvis Juice, Dead Pony and Punk – last night these had all been replaced (well, a new Elvis Juice had gone on) with four from Alphabet, alongside Camden Hells and Adnams Mosaic. Seven good beers – the A to the K Oatmeal Pale Ale was superb – and not a mention on their social media, which is a stream of cocktails and cakes. “Most people wouldn’t know you had such a good beer selection” I said to the barman. “We’re full of surprises” he replied, unconcerned.


It’s a modern bar now, or rather an “inspirational espresso bar, cocktail bar and kitchen” as it describes itself, over three floors, although I didn’t venture upstairs. There were only two other people in the bar – two males seated on the bench by the large front window, one of them who’s jeans and jumper had parted at the posterior, a distraction like a welding arc that you know not to look directly at, but that never quite leaves the corner of your eye – but then it was only early evening and the bar is open to 3am.


I’ve found it hard to forgive the vandalism this pub suffered in 2011. Formerly the Fountain Inn, it looked like an ancient timber-framed building with a traditional dark wood interior, even though it was really a 1930s ‘Brewers Tudor’ building with an imitation Victorian style interior that only dated back to 1985. Nevertheless, when the interior was ripped out, along with the lead windows, unique pub sign and signboard detailing its history, it felt like some of Cambridge’s heritage had been lost. That was almost six years ago, and under a previous ownership (it’s been in new hands since 2015), so it’s time I moved on, but here’s another look at it’s former incarnation, lest we forget:

Fountain Inn

Fountain Inn 2008 © Steve Day, under Creative Commons Licence

Fountain Inn

Fountain Inn 2006 © Anthony_Lovesey, under Creative Commons Licence


4 responses to “Cambridge Pubs – Novi

  1. Ah the Fountain, a rare Youngers tied pub if I remember rightly. One of the first Cambridge pubs I visited, although rarely thereafter.
    Extraordinary (non) marketing by the current incarnation.

  2. I popped on for a (good) breakfast when it reopened, and noticed that craft, a much better selection than the Grain and Hop Store you just tweeted !

  3. Well the penny seems to have dropped because yesterday evening Novi tweeted the same shot of the Alphabet taps. Apparently they have a different tap takeover every couple of weeks – hopefully they can manage a fortnightly tweet!

  4. They do kitchen takeovers on a saturday night, which are good.

    What more could you want that a pint of craft keg and a korean burger?

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