A pub long regarded as a local institution and a must visit destination, it was for many years a hugely popular freehouse known for its Draught Bass in the days when many pubs in town sold what was then Britain’s most popular and iconic draught beer. When sold in 1996, it was acquired by SA Brain of Cardiff and, as the sale included the neighbouring property, it was opened out to create more drinking and dining space. This was highly controversial and, conscious of the sensitivities involved, the changes were not made without consultation between senior Brains pub managers, the commisioned architect, town planners, and Gwent CAMRA. The aim was to minimise the impact of the change so as to retain as much of the original character and features as possible. Whether this was achieved is a moot point given that discussion carries on today. The extended interior, which was sympathetically refurbished using matching materials where possible, comprises the original small bar and snug, the ‘Chicks Parlour’ dining room and the additional room that was once the adjoining property. There is also a large upstairs function room. What hasn’t changed is that the pub remains popular and continues to sell prodigious quantities of real ale having extended its range of ales, mainly from Brains, in late 2012. The food offering is now clearly a significant part of the business with a good choice of dishes on the menu. And it’s still worth visiting.