Eastbourne – Eagle Pub

The Eagle in Eastbourne appears to be one of the few pubs left in the town that I haven’t visited and I was intrigued to see why it seems to have lost its entry in the Good Beer Guide which it had for a decade. The pub was formerly owned by the Kemptown Brewery before later on being taken over by Whitbread and turned into a Hogshead. Rebranded as a Beer Engine pub it was renovated in 2009 when it was owned by Enterprise Inns.

The beer selection wasn’t overly exciting, it was limited to Harvey’s Bitter and the Butcombe Bitter. The latter was well-kept and tasted as it should, but the choice of ales here isn’t anything really of note. CAMRA also issue a warning note that the pub charges disproportionately for half a pint, something which I don’t like. It’s also hard to ignore that the beer prices here are set at London prices, they’re just perhaps too high for Eastbourne and I can see why they’re losing customers to places such as Wetherspoons. There’s nothing here which justifies being in the Good Beer Guide, so it seems right that it was taken out. The service was though excellent, a really engaging and conversational member of staff, so there was nothing wrong with the welcome.

It was all very clean and open inside the pub, although it wasn’t particularly busy despite it being lunchtime.

I quite like seeing pool tables in pubs, or ideally bar billiards tables, but this perhaps doesn’t quite fit here. There isn’t a vast amount of seating in the pub as there is, so they’ve lost a few tables that could be placed here. It all looks a bit crammed in and this review from a few months ago is pretty damning:

“Really shocked to make my first visit now I have relocated for work to be told that I have sat on a table for 6 (to watch the football match) and will need to move if a larger party come in. How to make someone feel welcome – not.”

I’d agree, that is a dreadful attitude from the pub. I accept that secretly a pub will want a customer group that fits exactly the table size that they have, but this often doesn’t happen for all manner of reasons. I feel for that person, who came here to find a new local pub as he had moved into town and was made completely unwelcome. And what choice does he have given that the pub has got so many large tables and so few smaller tables?

I felt welcome in the pub and the staff member was friendly, with everything being clean and organised. The problem here is that although nothing particularly is wrong, the pub doesn’t offer me anything interesting to write about. It’s really all quite bland, despite it being clear that huge efforts are being made with the pub’s appearance.