Sort file:- Canterbury, May, 2022.

Page Updated:- Tuesday, 24 May, 2022.


Earliest 1988+

(Name from)

Old City Bar

Open 2019+

2 Oaten Place Hill


01227 766882

Old City Bar Old City Bar

Above pictures taken from Google March 2009

Old City Bar 2017

Above photo kindly taken and sent by Rory Kehoe, August 2017.


The building can be traced back to early 1800s and originally called the "City of Canterbury." By 1865 the words "Old" had been added to the name, probably to differentiate it from the other "City of Canterbury" operating at St. Thomas Hill.

Apparently the pub used to give out free breakfasts to people who were going to be hanged just outside the pub on the gallows that used to stand there till the last hanging in 1799.

Today it is owned by Shepherd Neame and runs under the name of "Old City Bar," the name being changed after 1988, but I do not have a more precise year than this yet.


From the By Rebecca Tuffin, 24 August 2019.

13 Kent pub gardens to visit this summer bank holiday weekend.

With this bank holiday weekend set to one of hottest yet, many will be longing for an ice-cold pint in a sunny beer garden.

So we have found some of the best Kent has to offer.

Listed below are 13 of the county's finest spots to meet with friends and indulge in good food and drink.

Old City Bar.

Old City Bar garden 2019

Old City Bar garden.

In walking distance of the main city centre, Old City Bar is just far enough away to provide respite from the crowds.

The tavern hosts a pub quizzes, regular live music events, and barbecues throughout the summer.

Wooden decking surrounds a lawn in the beer garden, with a canopied area for those who prefer to enjoy a drink in the shade.


From the By Jack Dyson, 19 April 2020.

Coronavirus Kent:

Landlord of "Old City Bar," "Black Griffin," "Seven Stars," "Dolphin" and "Thomas Becket" in Canterbury racks up 115k debt amid pandemic

A city pub magnate has described his finances as “critical” after already racking up 115,000 of debt since the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Businessman Charles Smythe is faced with the hefty bill after being left unable to pay rent or invoices from big suppliers while his five Canterbury bars are closed.

Charles Smythe 2020

Charles Smythe says his outstanding bills already total 115,000.

And the 50-year-old - who runs the "Old City Bar," "Black Griffin," "Seven Stars," "Dolphin" and "Thomas Becket" - believes his outstanding payments could rise above 200,000 in the next two months.

Despite this, the tavern tycoon insists he will not close any of his watering holes.

“I won’t get rid of my pubs,” he maintained. “Cash flow is pretty critical.

“My outstanding debt at the moment is 115,000 - and that’s going up each week.

“I’ve paid off my little suppliers - like my cleaners and butchers.

“But with the big companies - like the breweries and major suppliers - I’m saying to them, ‘you’re not getting any money until I get some in’.”

Brewery Shepherd Neame, which owns the "Old City Bar," has suspended rent for its licensees during the Covid-19 crisis.

But Mr Smythe says the landlords of his four other pubs want him to pay all outstanding rent in full once he is able to restart trading.

“Lots of them have not cancelled the rent,” he said.

“Punch Taverns and EI Enterprise still want the full rent, but they want to collect it after we’ve reopened.

“If the rents aren’t waived, my debt will be over 200,000 in the next six to eight weeks.”

In addition to this, Mr Smythe says he has a total of 8,000 of opened and unopened beer stored in casks in the cellars of his pubs.

Despite being able to claim back duty on out-of-date beverages from the government and send a selection of untouched barrels back to breweries, he expects this to leave him more than 5,000 out of pocket.

Meanwhile, Wetherspoon says its entire stock of beer across its sites in the area is sitting in cellars unable to be used.

Spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “The pubs closed without warning, so there was no opportunity to do anything with their beer supplies.

“The pubs are closed and locked up, so the state of the beer is not a major concern.”



SMYTHE Charles 2020+


If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-