The Splain Arms
|The Splain Arms|
|the Splain Arms
Richmond Hills [36, 39]
An older photograph of "The Splain" (circa late 1930s), taken from the front of the Bayley Street Railway Station, at the corner of Brancher Street and Picton Way.
The Splain Arms
|Bar Tour Stop|
|This location is an official stop on the Scenic Malton Bar Tour.|
"You are standing outside the Splain Arms, a tall grey-stone building with a collapsed roof."
It has been acquired by retired MFD Engineer Stefin "Griff" Grifflik, who is the current owner and Licensee. Griff's business partner, zombie hunter Matson Jade also works toward the upkeep and maintenance of the pub.
The Splain Arms is the second pub in Richmond Hills to be restored and re-opened by the business partners, the first being The Giffard Arms in the Northwestern border of the suburb.
While little is known of the early history of the Splain Arms, records discovered on the premises indicate that it was in operation as a neighborhood tavern and public house as early as 1898. Prior to the outbreak, its convenient placement near Carle Street Police Department and Bryan Place Fire Station made it a popular watering hole for area police and firemen.
The lower floors of the pub are of solid stone and brick construction like so many of Richmond Hills older edifices. It's interior and fixtures are mostly comprised of aged wood with a motif of wild boars and stags, lending the pub a rustic air. The taproom occupies the first floor - an open affair comprised of the bar itself and a generous seating area complete with fireplace. A number of articles of MFD and MPD memorabelia from the suburb's past decorate the interior, along with a small gallery of art.
It extends upwards to a second floor, reached by an open stairway from the bar area, surrounded by a gallery with some additional seating. Off of the gallery are several smaller private rooms, available for patron use.
At some point following the outbreak, the Splain suffered some structural damage to the roof and uppermost third story, which proved difficult to repair completely. While providing excellent free-run access, the top floor was deemed unsafe by the management for general use or habitation. Given time and a good deal of effort and reconstruction using materials scrounged from around the suburb, the roof and a portion of the third story have been rebuilt and converted to a roof garden and greenhouse area, complete with water catch and storage tanks, rabbit and pigeon hutches and a covered porch and observation deck.
A large bulletin board has been placed on a wall near the first floor bar for news regarding the suburb and notes to the management or other patrons. A pool table and dartboard are available for patron's use, and an upright piano (acquired from a back room in nearby Club Woodard) rests against a wall near the bar. In one corner rests an old Wurlitzer jukebox with Victorian design elements. Despite being occasionally used to shore a barricade, the device always seems to be in perfect working order, and is capable of producing song selections (often without anyone touching it) that cannot possibly be from it's limited selection of internal records. Rumor has it that the jukebox is "haunted". If so, any spirit or spirits within seem benign in nature.
Like the Giffard Arms, the Splain serves decent pub fare and a variety of beers and wines (specific types depending upon availability), offering a secure haven for the discriminating survivor. It is noted for the quality of its real ales, its on-site micro-brewery, and is proud to be the only CAMRA-endorsed pub in North-west Malton. Another recent addition to the Arms, after a lengthy restoration process, was the installation of a massive brass antique espresso machine. Specialty coffee drinks can now also be had based upon availability of ingredients.
In keeping with the Richmond Hills Barricade Plan, the management requests that patrons assist in maintaining the barricades at Extremely Heavily Barricaded (EHB) at all times.
While not yet having all of the desired amenities, the Splain Arms Public House has been officially re-opened for business. --Griff 17:16, 27 July 2008 (BST)