Always on the lookout for new experiences, I completed a threesome this week – and all I had to do to achieve this feat was pop into The Office.

Not Argus HQ, I hasten to add, but The Office which is one third of Pleisure Pub Group’s three hostelries in Brighton and Hove.

I’ve visited and written about its brother boozers, The Great Eastern and The Saint James, so completing the set seemed overdue.

I’d also heard a whisper the formidable Great Eastern could be under threat due to a suggestion EI Group (Enterprise Inns as was) might not renew its lease.

Such stories and worries aren’t unusual in the pub game, but there’s enough concern for a petition to have been launched and it’s already got more than 4,500 signatures.

Back to The Office – approaching from the street it doesn’t particularly stand out and the uninitiated, ie tourists wandering about with their heads in the clouds, might mistake it for just another trendy shop.

The signs on the door are unambiguous though and anyone under 18 clearly isn’t welcome.

The barman was munching on spicy noodles as I entered and supping on a Kozel, so it probably wasn’t surprising he recommended I also try a pint of the award-winning 4 per cent Czech beer.

He didn’t offer to share his noodles.

A long-haired, long-bearded and generally unkempt fellow at the bar mumbled something about dog’s whiskers and then dog’s b******s.

I believe both may be craft beers, but as they weren’t available here he might just have been listing dog parts.

I returned my attention to barman Ben, who was both friendly and helpful, but as it was only his fourth shift he was still learning the ropes.

He also had a stinking cold just like me.

His bar manager delivered expert guidance until she donned a large furry-hooded coat and headed into the darkness – though not before instructing Ben to take every bottle of beer out of the fridge and check its sell-by date, a task he took extremely seriously, sharing the results liberally with both me and hirsute Paul.

Before she finally departed there was a confusing three-way conversation between her, hairy Paul and Ben in his Beefheart T shirt.

While she explained that biting into a mouldy crumpet had put her off them, Paul (an authority on everything and an expert on nothing) said

monks were tricky people and that’s why they take a vow of silence.

Ben sensibly agreed with both, took another mouthful of noodles and returned to checking his bottles.

I left them to visit the gents and was immediately glad I turned down that second helping of Christmas pud – the corridor to the facilities would put a

serious squeeze on more portly individuals, serious heavyweights would be wetting themselves.

And once you’re in the toilets things don’t improve – there’s no escaping the fact these facilities are a disaster.

To be fair the first time I visited the Great Eastern, which I love, the toilets were awful but by the time I revisited they had been done up.

The Office needs to take note. I did notice the graffiti was restricted to the back of the door and stickers to the condom machine and cistern but that’s the best praise I can offer.

In the bar the furniture is serviceable – wooden chairs and tables, not a lot more.

There’s some nice gin history chalked up at the top of the walls but not a huge amount more decoration.

I need to be careful as this review could sound disparaging. Indeed, there may be some folk who would describe this place as downright unclean and choose not to come in at all.

This is personal choice and I think, dirty or not, this is a great pub and an absolute Brighton institution.

I’ve no idea how many years ago the Green Dragon became The Office but it’s vital this office stays rude, healthy and very much in business for the sake of everyone in this city.

This being a gin bar and proudly claiming to stock 60 varieties I took the opportunity for a rare switch to mother’s ruin.

Tom Cat Cloudy Mango is a Sussex dry gin at 37.5 per cent and was served with a mint leaf and two blueberries – absolutely delicious, even bunged up I could really taste the mangos, oranges and coriander.

Like everyone else, I wasn’t eating and the chef who produces the Thai food looked very bored, though Ben reckons the red or green curries at £7.50 are a must.

Open mic night is held every Wednesday at either 8.30pm or 9pm depending on whether you read the blackboard or the poster – it claims performers get a free drink.

Some think three’s a crowd but I reckon it’s vital this city retains all three Pleisure pubs exactly as they are – The Office, The Saint James and The Great Eastern.

Please sign the petition:

The Office – 8-9 Sydney Street, Brighton BN1 4EN

Decor: two stars More shabby than chic and it could benefit from a good scrub down from top to bottom

Drink: four stars I enjoyed the hoppy, dark golden Kozel, but the G&T was a true thing of beauty

Price: three stars The Kozel and G&T were both £4.40 - the bottle of Fevertree tonic added another £1.65

Atmosphere: three stars No fruit or quiz machines, no juke box, pool table or darts – a pub for talking to people

Staff: three stars He might be regular, but he’s new behind the bar – Only a few shifts in, Ben’s made a very solid start

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