London Region

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Capital Pubcheck Update 133

The aim of 'Capital Pubcheck' is to share information about the latest happenings on the London pub scene including new pub and bar openings, name changes, acquisitions, closures, notable changes to beer ranges etc. Cross references to CAMRA's various pub guides covering Greater London are also provided to enable easy updating.

Information is gathered from a variety of sources including London Drinker readers, individual CAMRA members. and branch contacts, breweries, pub operators, landlords etc.

This Month we record 6 brand new pubs including one each from Wetherspoon, Fullers and Marstons. The Old Monk chain is expanding rapidly with a further acquisition recorded in W1 Mayfair. The latest Firkin conversion in Romford is a brew pub with a 10 barrel brewery intended to supply other non-brewing Firkins to the east of London. Shepherd Neame have acquired a pub in SW1 Belgravia and Ridleys have bought a pub in E17 Walthamstow. On the down side the dreaded Sam Smith have acquired two more pubs in the West End, one of which has already had its hand pumps ripped out and the other, the Angel, WC2, a long term Good Beer Guide entry has escaped so far but awaits its fate with trepidation. In addition, the famous Fox & Hounds in SW1, 25 years in the GBG, and only recently freed from its tie from Bass has been sold to Youngs.

The numbers in brackets after each entry refer to the page number in the following guides: E - East London & City Beer Guide, 3rd edition; K - 'Real Ale Drinkers Guide to Kent Pubs', 8th edition; N - North London Beer Guide, 3rd edition; SE - South East London Pub Guide, 4th edition; 3SE - South East London Pub Guide, 3rd edition; SW -South West London Pub Guide, 2nd edition; W - Real Beer in West London; X - Essex Beer Guide, 8th edition.



EC2, PITCHER & PIANO, 200 Bishopsgate. Marston: Pedigree. Latest in Marstons owned chain opened in former commercial premises next door to "Dirty Dick's" in late February. Entrance leads up steps to a large ground floor bar decorated and finished in "light pine" style with yellow and red painted walls and purple columns. A flight of stairs at the rear leads down to a similarly decorated spacious basement bar. Two 'electronic grand pianos' feature, one near the entrance, one downstairs, and are played every evening from 5pm to entertain customers. Emphasis on food_ A disabled lift gives access to both bars and a disabled WC is provided downstairs. Opens 12-11 Mon-Sat, closed Sunday.

W1(May), GILLRAYS, 24/26 Maddox Street. Reopened and renamed OLD MONK. Boddington: Bitter. Courage: Directors Bitter. Theakston: Best Bitter. Guest beers. Former Whitbread pub acquired by Old Monk Pub Co. Refurbished in typical wood panelled style with 'no smoking' area at rear. Old pictures of Oxford Street/Hanover Square area adorn the walls with globe lighting and exposed ventilation. Food. Open 11-11 Mon-Sat, closed Sunday. Note full address.

WC1, CARLISLE, 8-10 Southampton Row. Draught Bass. Ruddle: Best Bitter, County. New Free House operated by P&M Inns, opened in February in premises believed to be formerly in use as a bank, restaurant and shops with offices above. Fitted out in traditional style with polished wooden flooring, cream painted walls, potted plants etc. Stairs lead to upstairs (fizz) bar and dining area. TV. Recorded music. Disabled WC. Food. Opens 7am for breakfast to 11pm Mon-Fri, 12-11 Sat and 12-7 Sun. A pleasant ambience but the real ale choice is rather unambitious for what claims to be "Holborn's No.1 Traditional Freehouse".

WC1, PENDERELS OAK, 283-288 High Holborn. Courage Directors Bitter (£2.15). Fuller: London Pride (£2.25). Theakston: Best Bitter (£1.90). Guest beers (£2.25 a pint). Latest Wetherspoon Free House opened in February in premises formerly occupied by the Meteorological Office and shop units. It is located under an office block, "New Penderel House", from which the pub's name is derived. A huge pub with very wide glass frontage extending in a long 'dogsleg' back to a no smoking/eating area at the rear. It is rather unimaginatively decorated with a mish-mash of dated styles including a preponderance of dusty books lining the shelves, mirrors with coloured frames, metal shaded candle lamps, light wood panelling etc. Stairs at front and rear lead to a large cellar bar with mock stone flagging where different guest beers are available. A distinct lack of any local history panels, surprisingly, given its location. Beware West End prices - looks like we're now paying more for our full pints. Food. Disabled WC. Open all permitted hours.


E6, OVERDRAFT TAVERN, 200-202 High Street North. Courage: Best Bitter, Directors Bitter (both £1.30 a pint). Free House run by VT Freehouses created in former bank premises, opened in December 1997. Light and airy with light pine panels and furniture, potted plants, abstract paintings and a variety of seating areas. Food. Open all permitted hours.

CHADWELL HEATH, MOBY DICK, Whalebone Lane North. Courage: Directors Bitter. Theakston: Best Bitter. (X26, U106)


NW10, WILLIAM IV, 786 Harrow Road. Now subtitled W IV. Fuller: London Pride. Wadworth: 6X. Now a Free House, ex Grand Met (Courage). Aimed at thirty somethings, restaurant at rear, spartan decor. (N225)

WEMBLEY, COPPER JUG, 10 The Broadway, Preston Road. No real ale. Irish bar in former shop premises.


SE1, MAD HATTER, 3-7 Stamford Street. Fuller: Chiswick Bitter, London Pride, ESB, seasonal beer. Latest Fullers 'Ale & Pie' outlet opened February in former office premises, originally apparently a hat factory. It forms part of a hotel complex branded an 'English Inn' (see press release in March London Drinker). Decorated in traditional style with tiled bar area, screened alcoves, etched glass etc. Dining area at rear features frescoes displaying scenes from "Alice in Wonderland". Food. Disabled WC. Open all permitted hours.


SW9, ROYAL OAK, 273A Clapham Road. Fuller: London Pride. In spite of the tube!. (SW83)


W10, PRINCE OF WALES, 48 Southern Row. Reopened and renamed CHILLED ESKIMO, still fizz. (W86, U74)



W1(S), DUKE OF ARGYLE. Former S&N pub acquired by Sam Smith, H removed. A sad demise of a pub with a long standing commitment to a choice of real ales, including a spell as a Clifton Inns "Free House", falling to the intransigent nitrokeg policy of Sam Smiths. (W42, U57, U90, U106)


E12, STAR. Ascot, closed, future uncertain. (E133, U85, U99)

MARKS GATE (CHADWELL HEATH), CROOKED BILLET. Allied (ex Taylor Walker), no real ale. (X75)

MARKS GATE (CHADWELL HEATH), HARROW. Scottish & Newcastle, no real ale. (X76)


NW10, COLLEGE PARK. Allied (ex Taylor Walker), closed, future uncertain. (N222)

WEMBLEY, DOG & DUCK. Renamed BOOTSY BROGAN'S, H removed. Now Irish Free House, ex Grand Met (Truman). (W156)


SW8, BATTERSEA ARMS. Inntrepreneur, now being converted into flats. (SW76)


W9, ANGIES FREE HOUSE. Now ANGLES II, Free House, H unused. Formerly BUILDERS ARMS. (W83, U74, U88)

W9, PRINCE ALBERT. Renamed WICKED WOLF. Now a Free House, ex Bass (Charrington), H removed. (W83, U74)

W10, MALVERN. Grand Met (ex Courage), closed, future uncertain. (W86)

W10, NEW LATIMER ARMS. Free House, closed, future uncertain. Formerly LATIMER ARMS. (W86, U74, U92)

W10, PLOUGH. Allied (ex Taylor Walker), demolished. (W86)



EC1, BISHOPS FINGER. +Shepherd Neame: Spitfire, seasonal beer. Refurbished with upstairs bar, polished floors, yellow painted walls etc. (E12)

W1(S), BLUE POSTS, 28 Rupert Street. Now open 11.30-11 Mon-Sat and 4.30-10.30 Sunday. (W41, U115)

W1(S), SUN & THIRTEEN CANTONS. -Beers listed. +Fuller: London Pride. Former Free House acquired by Fullers with a consequent dramatic reduction in real ale choice. As yet not painted in Fullers livery. Replaces incomplete entry in March London Drinker. (W44, U54, U60, U90)

WC1, RUGBY TAVERN. +Shepherd Neame: Bishops Finger. (W50, N30, U132)

WC1, YORKSHIRE GREY BREWERY. -Beers listed. +Yorkshire Grey: Banisters Best Bitter (3.8%), QC Best Bitter (4.5%). (W51, U106, N32)

WC2, ANGEL.+Greene King: Abbot Ale. WARNING: The freehold has been acquired by Sam Smith, but fortunately some problem with the lease has so far prevented the imposition of Sam Smith beers which generally results in nitrokeg only. We can only hope that Sam Smith see sense and continue to offer real ale choice at this GBG stalwart. The fate of the Princess Louise and the Duke of Argyle (see above), however does not bode well. (W52, U98, U106)

WC2, WHITE HART. -Beers listed except Draught Bass. +Fuller: London Pride. Now badged as part of Bass' "It's a Scream" chain aimed at the yoof market; loud music, video screens etc. The theme sits uncomfortably with the sign proclaiming the pub as London's oldest licensed premises. W57, U51)


E6, RODING. -Beers listed. +Greene King: IPA. (E105, U82, U113)

E12, BURNELL ARMS. Now badged as part of 'East London Pub Co' chain by Bass. Still fizz. (E131)

E12, GOLDEN FLEECE. -Beers listed. +Courage: Best Bitter, Directors Bitter. +Theakston: Best Bitter. (E133, U106)

E14, OPORTO TAVERN. -Beers listed. +Everard: Tiger. +Fuller: London Pride. +Guest beer. (E146)

E17, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE. Now acquired by Ridleys, ex Allied (Taylor Walker). No external changes as yet and still fizz. (E166)

E17, MARNEYS. Renamed MARKET INN, still fizz. (E167)

E18, NAPIER ARMS. -Beers listed. +Draught Bass. (E171)

E18, WHITE HART. -Beers listed except Greene King: IPA. +Draught Bass. (E171, U67)

CHADWELL HEATH, COOPERS ARMS. -Beers listed. +Courage: Best Bitter, Directors Bitter. (X26, U106)

CHADWELL HEATH, TOLLGATE. -Beers listed. +Draught Bass. +Fuller: London Pride. +Toby: Cask. (X26, U83)

CLAYHALL, COCKED HAT. -Beers listed. +Draught Bass. Now badged as a Harvester pub & restaurant. (X32, U85)

ROMFORD, CLUTTERBUCKS ALE HOUSE. Renamed FORD & FIRKIN. -Beers listed. +Firkin: River Ale (3.5%), Ford Ale (4.3%), Flash Flood Bitter (5.0%), Dogbolter (5.6%). A welcome new brew pub from Allied's Firkin chain brings brewing back to Romford. The 10 barrel plant is located across the passageway from the pub proper and a beer line can fill casks directly in the pub cellar. It is intended that it will supply a number of Firkin pubs in the vicinity. Named after the ford across the River Rom which runs under the pub. The usual Firkin decor with bare floorboards, barrel tables, giant kids games, intrusive video games, projected TV etc. Pictures of the old pub (originally White Hart) and former Romford Brewery adorn the walls. Food. Guest beers may appear in future. Open all permitted hours. Formerly HARTS. (X87, U82)


NW1, PRINCESS BEATRICE. Renamed O'NEILLS. Converted to Irish theme pub in Sept 1997, still fizz. (N173)


SW1(B), DUKE OF WELLINGTON. -Beers listed. +Shepherd Neame: Bitter, Spitfire, seasonal beer. Now a Shepherd Neame pub, ex Whitbread as from late February. (SW39)

SW1(B), FOX & HOUNDS. -Beers listed. +Young: Bitter, Special, seasonal beer. After many years in the same family and having appeared in all 25 Good Beer Guides the former Bass pub, recently freed from tie, was sold to Youngs in early March. (SW37)

SW1(B), RED LION. Renamed NILE. -Stones: Best Bitter. +Fuller. London Pride. Now leased from Bass. (SW39) SW3, BUILDERS ARMS. -Brakspear: Bitter. -Flowers: Original Bitter. +Fuller: London Pride. +Greene King: Abbot Ale. +Morland: Old Speckled Hen. +2 Guest beers. (SW55)

MITCHAM, RAVENSBURY TAVERN. -Tetley: Bitter. (See also "Corrections" column below.) (SW147)


W2, CHEPSTOW ARMS. Now simply CHEPSTOW. -Beers listed. +Marston: Pedigree. +Theaksiow Best Bitter. Now decorated in 0E-bora,* with youngish clientele and smart restaurant upstairs. (W58)

W9, PRINCE OF WALES. Now a Kissane Free House, ex Grand Met (Truman), still fizz. (W83, U74)

W10, EAGLE. Address should read 250 Ladbroke Grove. (W86, U74)

W11, COCK & BOTTLE. -Beers listed. +Brakspear: Bitter (£1.65), Special Bitter. Not a Free House but inherited from Grand Met by Nomura owned Grand Pub Co. Traditional corner local with reasonable prices. Quiz night Tuesday. Opens 12-11 Mon-Sat, 12-10.30 Sunday. Formerly SWAN. (W90, U74)