Friday, 16 March 2007
Brit Pub Blues
Cricketers Arms Pub
8445 International Drive
(in the Mercado Marketplace)
Orlando, FL USA
Where is it?
This British-style pub is set in the somewhat tacky -- yet somewhat dilapitated -- Mercardo Marketplace mall in Orlando, which in itself is in the heart of International Drive, Orlando's tacky tourist-driven strip. The pub has two main entrances -- one from the mall itself and one from the parking lot. To get to the loo from the parking lot, go through the entrance, past the outdoor bar, into the inside bar and immediately turn left, down a narrow corridor that's just before the dining room. The men's and ladies' rooms are about 10 feet down the hall, on your left.
If you missed the hallway coming from the outdoor entrance, you will then end up in the main dining room -- which means you can then follow the same directions to the loo as those coming from the mall. In this case, you enter and face the dining room. Directly ahead of you is a performance stage (there's live music here about every night) and a projection TV. To the right is inside bar. Walk to the stage and go to the left of it. Once past it, go right down a small hallway there -- the bathrooms will be about 10 feet down the hall. (Go left and you hit the outside bar area.)
What's it like?
The restaurant puts much effort into giving the interior the look and feel of a historic British pub. You've got wooden beams on the ceiling. Wooden walls covered with soccer medals. True draught beer on tap. Decent fish and chips and other pub grub. Etc.
Yet the bathrooms are of the standard white-wall variety you'd find in any mall, save for a few beer signs peppered about. My visit features some pungent urine-based aromas, as well as a a floor covered with water and paper towels. The fixtures could have used a scrubbing, as could have the toilet. Given the fact that there aren't many true bars on Internantional Drive (most are part of restaurants or inside hotels), and given the high quantity of Brits who visit the area, I can only imagine that the bathroom here gets increasely more dirty as the evening progresses.
Marks out of 10:
Comments to the Management:
A little more monitoring of the place's cleanliness will do wonders here. Then again, judging by my counterpart David's comments on the pubs he visits across the Pond, perhaps the status of the bathrooms here are pretty commonplace.