The Chequers (Mr Q's)
Beaumont Road, Quarry, Oxford

    * McCullen Gladstone 1.70
    * Walkers Crisps "grab bag" 45p (24.i.1998)

"Mr Q's" is what Allied Domecq have renamed an assortment of Halls pubs 
(currently I know of this one, the Nelson in Cowley and the Magdalen Arms 
in Cowley St John), and they're marked out by having lots of pool tables 
in them. This one for example has one each in red, green and blue. 
Overdecorated, with a sort of predone poster montage like in the Grapes 
surrounding the red pool table, and a series of black and white 
photographs, including a hugely-fitted woman holding two halves of 
watermelon the wrong-way-round in front of her cleavage, red, white, 
orange and blue glass light fittings on the ceiling, and, oddest of all, 
giant models of the Lewis chessmen above the bar, two wee televisions 
showing the Cartoon Network, and a big projection screen showing Sky 
Sports One, you'd expect it to be absolutely awful. But I enjoyed going to 
it, largely because there's more to it than the pool table, more to it 
than the bean counters with their demographic maps and theme rollouts are 
aware of. Or maybe I was merry.

If this were in the town centre, folk would call it "townie" and give it a 
wide berth. But it's genuinely not bad, the service is good, the residents 
(of all ages and races) of Headington Quarry aren't hostile in the 
slightest, and the Gladstone wasn't cooled like in the Blenheim. 
(24.i.1998)