LANGUAGE loving landlords at a popular Newcastle United fans pub have changed its name to welcome the Magpies five new French players.
The Strawberry, on Strawberry Place, has been renamed “La Fraise” – a Gallic translation of the famous football boozers original title.
Banners featuring the new name have been put up outside the pub and owner Michael Hill he hoped they would put a smile on people’s faces.
“We spend many hours a week working hard but still trying not to take life too seriously,” he said.
“Last year we put some banners when they renamed the stadium, stating the name was The Strawberry @ St James’ Park and it truly put a smile on so many faces.
“But as we are welcoming half of the French national team to the region, and we believe NUFC have made some decent signings, this time we’ve renamed the pub as La Fraise.
People have gone mad for it. We’ve already had customers asking for snails, frogs’ legs and anything else French, so we might look to sell a bit more French wine, Kronenbourg and more French fries.
“I also think our supplier needs to find some French sounding local or national ales over the next week or so.”
The Strawberry is one of Newcastle’s oldest pubs and the building used to belong to the church.
The tavern’s unusual name comes from its use as a winery by the Blackfriars Dominican monks, where they would ferment wine from the strawberries grown in the surrounding fields.
Michael said the name, which welcomes January signings Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran, Massadio Haidara and Moussa Sissoko to Tyneside, will remain for a time but admitted he hopes Newcastle stick with the French theme – as he doesn’t want to have to keep buying different banners.
“I hope they don’t start buying any other national team as I haven’t paid for the banners that are now up yet,” he said.
As well as the five new faces Newcastle also already have French players in Yohan Cabaye, Hatem Ben Arfa, Romain Amalfitano, Sylvain Marveaux, Gabriel Obertan and native French speakers in Senegalese striker Papiss Cissé, Burundian Gaël Bigirimana and Ivorian Cheick Tioté.
But fans might like to know that should the pub want to honour the other members of the Newcastle United team they could look to rename themselves De Aardbei (for Dutch goalkeeper Tim Krul), La Fresa (Spanish for Xisco, and Argentineans Fabio Collocini and Jonas Gutierrez) or La Fragola (for Italian defender Davide Santon).
The pub could even try Jagoda (for Cardiff loanee Haris Vučkić) or even Y Mefus (for young Welsh defender Paul Dummett).