The King Billy to reopen as ‘Billy’s’, a pink gin and cabaret bar

A local pub thought to be closing down is now likely to reopen as a gin and dance venue after owners had a change of heart.

The King Billy, one of Exeter’s most beloved drinking establishments, will undergo a cosmopolitan, glamorous change of image, and reopen as ‘Billy’s’.

“The year is 2018 and it’s time to drag Exeter into the 21st century,” beamed the new proprietor Julian Keates to our reporter.

“Who even drinks ale any more? Apparently some of the regulars even used to drink mead? I literally don’t know what that is. Pink gin is on everyone’s lips right now and we just want to satisfy the demand.”

We caught up with some of the former regulars of the pub, whose responses to the change were more mixed.

Rufus Donaldson, 66, is one of many disgruntled customers. “When The King Billy closed its doors for the last time I headed home. When I got back, I realised I’d actually been away for six years. My wife had – quite understandably – taken everything and left, so I’m not quite sure what to do now. You haven’t got any special brew going spare have you, pal?”

“It just won’t be the same,” agreed second-year student Andrew Clifford, “I just can’t imagine walking past down Longbrook Street without the suspicion that I’m about to get lamped by some wispy-haired geezer in a flat cap.

“The place had this visceral, gritty charm that pink gin cabaret bars only gain after a few years of being constantly beaten up by students getting wasted.

“You mark my words, we will all ensure that is the case.”