Monday, 16 February 2009
7-8 Bute Crescent, Cardiff Bay [map]
The giveaway is that PVC banner on the left advertising breakfasts. Eli Jenkins may be named after a character in Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood but it aspires to being nothing more than an imitation Wetherspoon.
You can't really grumble at the bar prices though. At £1.69 a pint, we're even prepared to drink Carlsberg. Two pints for under £3.50 - tonight we're going to party like it's 1989.
Judging by this photo, you might think that patrons take little joy in drinking here, that it's something to be endured with grim determination.
But they were probably just biding their time until this bloke came bursting through the front door - a busker with the largest accordion we've ever seen. Just look at the size of it: he can barely lift the thing.
Now imagine the cacophony it's capable of producing. No wonder those blokes at the bar had an air of apprehension about them.
In between the discount pints and the startling musical entertainment, Eli Jenkins is fairly orthodox.
But it neatly bridges the gap between the new and old Bay and, despite its Wetherspoon Lite stylings, maintains a peculiar character all of its own.