Located next door to the Bell Inn it was often used as a fall back if the Bell was either too busy or had run out of good beer.
The more seasoned members of Pub Night remember the days when the Bath Tavern was a small, unspoilt classic boozer. The gents toilets were in the back yard, there were two rooms, both quite small, a tiny bar and no juke box. Beer was usually Uleys and the walls and roof had a rich dark patina from years of exposure to smoke.
There was a notice above the bar telling customers that "£20 notes are NOT accepted".
Then the pub closed and stayed closed for ages. Rumours spread about what would happen. Builders moved in.
The pub reopened as "The Tavern in the Town". All the internal walls had gone (but for some strange reason their locations were marked out on the floor - we think something to do with the planning permission and having to preserve the interior dimensions or something). The beer selection had increased, along with the prices, but the quality went down. A TV had been fitted, they served food and it really just wasn't the place it had been.
The pub has now been renamed back to its proper name and is once more known as The Bath Tavern. It sells Bath Ales (one of very few outlets in Cheltenham for Bath), and has regained some of its charm. However without restoration of the original internal walls the pub is still a bit lacking in soul and charisma.
(Updated 25th April 2008) Current ales are Hook Norton Bitter, Doom Bar, and Jouster. The Doom Bar seems to be more or less permanent, the other two subject to change. Recent tipples are Purity Gold, Uley Bitter, Bath Spa, and London Pride. Lunchtime food, and you can a "Pie Minister" pie most evenings (not cheap but worth it). Can get a bit raucous, but it's friendly, hassle-free, and the ales are well kept. Definitely a boozer first and foremost.
(Updated 15 February 2009) Last night they were serving Arbor Ales Brigstow bitter!
This pub was last visited on Wednesday 18th February 2009 by Colin, Mike, Paul, Richard_s and Steve and was rated as "Extremely acceptable"
When last visited the pub was serving : Doom Bar, Brigstow bitter and 6x from the following breweries : Sharpe's , Arbor and Wadworth