Well I knew I'd hate it. But that's because Tom's has been a bit of a constant in a changing world for me over the past decade. Tom's is where I learned to sing in public.
Tom's is where my own play was performed to a packed and appreciative house.
Tom's was a place where I saw Tim the storyteller do his thing (to an enraptured crowd and not one tourist among'em). Tom's was Tom's and I don't like to think of so much as a light bulb being changed in the place.
In fairness to the new regime they've given it the love and attention that was overdue.
Critics of Tom's-of-the-past may have found it a little grotty around the edges and this cannot be said of the latest incarnation. When I went last night to see the New Tom's I realised that it isn't there yet. A pub is the furniture and decor yes, but really a pub is the people who drink there and the sort of things that can happen, and it's all a bit early for deciding if that unique atmos is still there or if it's gone yet.
My three greatest fears have already been assuaged: No telly, No music*, No removal of the beautiful paintings. So I must seek other details to whinge about.
I will whinge about this then; they've blocked up the window that opened to the back, and instead, along with the 'facade' they've installed a false 'film-set' window with a light-bulb behind it. IT'S A COMPLETE LIE!
This means the place will handle more people when it's busy but I cant see it being quite as comfortable when it's quiet. The biggest change in all fairness is actually just the lighting scheme. Tom's II is a lot darker, and the new innovation of candles everywhere become's logical when you realise that you probably couldn't see without them. It's really quite cosy; it hasn't become a sports bar or anything horrific like that... Is it the same? No, but as far as do-ups go they've given folk a new reason to visit, and regulars such as meself very little to complain about.
Erm, what else... There's no small stools anymore. So you sit on a high stool or somewhere along the walls looking at the folk who sit on high stools, or else you stand.
It's a very interesting use of space, I'd have never thought of that.
(*EDIT: I got the music bit wrong, The new system is piped music and the Seshoons seem to be gone forever, also one of the familiar faces in this photograph is soon to be working elsewhere)
Photos stolen from Bock the robber, check him out he do be good.