London Region

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Capital Pubcheck Update 134

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. If you would like to contribute to Tubcheck' please send your news to the address below. A pro-forma is available for regular contributors.

This month we welcome three new Wetherspoon free houses comprising two bank conversions in EC3 City, near the Tower of London and WC2 Kingsway and a pub acquisition in Surbiton. Youngs have opened a bar in WC2 Aldwych. The latest non-brewing Firkin has appeared in SW16 Streatham. A continental style brewpub has opened in W1 Great Portland Street albeit bereft of real ale and expensive and just around the corner a speciality sausage restaurant has opened selling 4 real ales and a range of bottled beers. More pub closures and conversions to other uses are reported in East London and the Bass run East London Pub Co. has gained one and lost a number of outlets.

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.



EC3, LIBERTY BOUNDS, 15 Trinity Square. Courage: Directors Bitter (£1.99). Fuller: London Pride (£2.15). Theakston: Best Bitter (£1.79). 3 Guest beers (£2.15). Weston: 1st Quality Draught Cider. Imposing stone clad former bank building converted into a Wetherspoon Free House opened mid-March 1998. Large, wooden panelled ground floor bar with raised seating/no smoking area along frontage offering views through large windows of the Tower of London. Screened seating areas, with a 'fireplace alcove', at the rear. False bookshelves line the staircase to the upper balcony bar with light pine flooring and carpets. Unlike other recent Wetherspoon conversions, pictures, maps and panels chronicle the history of the area around the Tower and two wall hangings portray Henry VIII and his daughter Elizabeth I. The pub's name refers to the land within the Crown boundaries outside the fortifications known as the Tower Liberties and bounded by landmark stones which are 'beaten' every three years. Special privileges were granted by James II to Liberties inhabitants including paying no rates and exemption from the general system of law. Food, disabled WC. Open all permitted hours. Entrance also at rear from Muscovy St.

W1(F), MASH, 19-21 Great Portland St. No real ale. A new continental style brewpub and restaurant opened in March in former commercial premises and sister to its counterpart `Mash & Air' in Manchester. Door staff control entry into a light green painted ground floor bar with pine flooring and furnishing. The brewery is located at the rear behind glass screens and the beers are believed to be stored in tanks under a gas blanket which results in a gassy taste. The range of beers may vary over time but for the record those listed in March were Mash (5.4%), Wheat (5.6%) and Peach (5%) all £2.80 a pint and Abbey (6.5%) at £1.70 a pint. Table or bar service. Loud repetitive music in evenings. Restaurant upstairs, takeaway deli and reception desk near entrance. Brewery tours available. Opens 8am (for breakfast) - 1am Monday to Saturday and 12-10.30 Sunday.

W1(F), R K STANLEYS, 6 Little Portland St. Wells:Eagle IPA (£2.19), Bombardier (£2.40). 2 Guest beers eg. Adnams Extra, Ringwood Porter (£2.55). A speciality sausage restaurant and bar opened November 1997 in former night club premises featuring fresh sausages made on the premises, cask ales and an interesting, albeit expensive, range of bottled beers from Britain and the Continent, including bottle conditioned beers. Basic cream coloured decor with choice of table or bar service. Beware 12.5% 'optional' service charge added to bill. Open kitchen area at rear. Disabled WC. Opens 12-2.30, 6-11.30 Mon to Sat, closed Sun.

W1(Mar), TOUCAN GUINNESS BAR, 94 Wimpole St. No real ale. New Free House with a `Guinness' theme in former shop premises and sister pub to Toucan (see below).

W1(S), TOUCAN (THE), 19 Carlisle St. No real ale. Independent free house with 'Guinness' theme. In a former restaurant apparently opened 5 years ago but not previously reported.

WC2, COLUMBIA BAR, 69 Aldwych. Young: Bitter, Special, Seasonal beer. New Youngs bar at base of Columbia House office block opened March 1998. Aimed at the affluent younger market, it features a ground floor bar with green painted decor, tiled floor and fluorescent lighting. Raised seating/no smoking area behind the bar. Emphasis on wine, cocktails, etc. Stairs lead down to basement 'vault' with bare floorboards, exposed brick walls and ventilation and green alcove lighting. Monotonous 'music' throughout. The handpumps, although welcome, seem incongruous amongst the lager taps and `beer from the bottle' brigade. Food. Open 7.30am for breakfast Monday to Friday and all permitted hours throughout, including weekends.

WC2, SHAKESPEARS HEAD, Africa House, 64-78 Kingsway. Courage: Directors Bitter. Fuller: London Pride. Theakston: Best Bitter. Guest beers. Weston: 1st Quality Draught Cider. (Prices as Liberty Bounds above). Wetherspoon Free House opened March 1998 in premises formerly a bank and building society. Imposing entrance leads into rather anonymous large bar with dark panelled walls subdivided by screens. No smoking eating/drinking area at rear. Shakespear related prints and theatre posters on the walls. A disappointing lack of any historical information on either the building, local area or origin of the pub name. Food, disabled WC. Open all permitted hours. Verdict: We have come to expect better - a lost opportunity in such a central location.


N1, O'NEILLS, 59 Upper St. No Real Ale. Latest outlet for mock `Oirish' Bass chain in former shop unit.


HARROW WEALD, RED LION, 328 High Rd. Renamed WEALDSTONE INN. Tetley: Bitter. (W114)

KENTON, ANGLES V, 14 Station Parade, Kenton Lane. No Real Ale. Irish bar in former shop unit.

KENTON, CEILI HOUSE, 410 Kenton Lane. No Real Ale. Irish bar in former shop unit.

KENTON, JAMES JOYCE, 91 Kenton Road. Subtitled "D.McGOWAN & SONS." No Real Ale. Irish bar in former shop unit.


SW16, FURZE & FIRKIN, 103-105 Streatham High Rd. Firkin: Ramblers Ale (3.5%), Furze Ale (4.3%), Bush Beer (5.0%), Dogbolter (5.6%). Beware keg Addlestone Cider hidden behind false handpump. Beers believed to be brewed at Flag & Firkin, Watford. Latest Allied Domecq non-brewing Firkin opened March 1998 in former drapers shop premises originally Burtons. A furze is an evergreen shrub which apparently used to be found extensively on Streatham Common. Usual firkin decor with raised seating area to left of bar. Giant kids games. Live 2-piece bands Fridays and Saturdays and alternate Thursdays and Sundays. Big screen TV, newspapers. Large patio to rear. Food, disabled WC. Open all permitted hours.

MORDEN, DR FEELGOODS, 83 London Rd. No Real Ale. Now open. (SW150, U132)



E1, PACIFICOS Allied, closed, future uncertain. Formerly BULL & PUMP (E62, U92)

E2, ACORN. Ascot, closed. (E77, U99)

E2, CROWN. Ascot, converted to flats but still retains hanging pub sign. (E80, U99)

E2, DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE, 25 Cambridge Crescent. Ascot, closed, boarded up, future uncertain. (E80. U99)

E2, WOOLPACK. Grand Met (ex Watney), now demolished. (E86, U89)

E7, ODESSA ARMS. Courage, demolished. (E108)

E8, FATHER TEDS. Ex-Courage, closed (not opened under new name), formerly CASTLE. (E111, U131)

E15, SWAN. Grand Met (ex Wamey) H unused. (E155, U113)

E15, VILLAGE. Free house, closed, future uncertain. (E155, U73, U76)


N1, GEORGE. Renamed MORIARTY'S BAR. Now a Free House, ex Greene King. H removed. (N44)


SW6, ADELAIDE. Free house, closed, future uncertain. (SW65)

SW19, MARQUIS OF LORNE. Inntrepreneur, H unused. (SW118)



EC2, CITY TUP. -Boddington: Bitter. - Wadworth: 6X. +Courage: Best Bitter. +John Smith: Bitter. Formerly SHORTS. (E35, U88, U98, U131)

EC2, GLOBE. - Charrington: IPA. Pub now knocked through to JOHN KEATS AT THE MOORGATE next door but remains separately named. (E31)

EC2, LONDON GENERAL. Bass, now demolished. (E33, U131)

EC2, JOHN KEATS AT THE MOORGATE. -Highgate: Saddlers Bitter. +Morland: Old Speckled Hen. Knocked through to GLOBE but remains separately named. Formerly MOORGATE. (E33, U119)

EC3, HOOP & GRAPES. -Beers listed except Fuller: London Pride. +Guest beers. (E40)

W1(F), TOTTENHAM. -Beers listed except Tetley: Bitter. +Adnams: Broadside. +Greene King: Abbot Ale. +Hardy: Popes Traditional Bitter. +Marstons: Pedigree. (W32, U48, U89)



E1, DUKE OF SOMERSET. Renamed FIRST & LAST. -Beers listed. +Fuller: London Pride. (E65)

E1, STILL & STAR. -Charrington: IPA. +Draught Bass. +Fuller. London Pride. +Greene King: IPA. +Young: Bitter. (E73)

E2, DUKE OF SUSSEX. Renamed ALBION. -Courage: Best Bitter. +Greene King: IPA, Abbot Ale. (E80, U94)

E2, JUKE BOX. Reverted to BRITANNIA. Hanging sign displays 'The Brit' name. (E79, U124)

E2, PERSEVERANCE, 112 Pritchards Rd. Now a free house, ex Grand Met (Watney), still fizz. (E83)

E3, LITTLE DRIVER. Now badged as part of East London Pub Co. chain by Bass. (E90, U69, U72, U79, U117, U121)

E9, McCANNS. Renamed VILLAGE INN. (E121, U71, U85, U117)

E10, COACH & HORSES. No longer badged as East London Pub Co. (E123, U75, U124)

E10, HARE & HOUNDS. No longer badged as East London Pub Co. (E125, U67, U124)

E11, COWLEY ARMS. No longer badged as East London Pub Co. (E128, U124)

E11, CROWN. No longer badged as East London Pub Co. (E128, U76, U124)

E17, PIG & WHISTLE. -Beers listed. +Greenall: Bitter. +Guest beer. Now owned by Greenalls, formerly Inn Leisure. (E168, U73)

E17, PLOUGH. Renamed HECTORS. (E168, U80)





HARROW WEALD, LEEFE ROBINSON. Full name is LEEFE ROBINSON VC. -Flowers: Original Bitter. +Flowers: IPA. +Marstons: Pedigree. Now part of Whitbread's Beefeater chain. (W114, U67)


SW19, KILKENNY TAVERN. -Ruddle: Best Bitter. + Courage: Best Bitter. (SW117)

SURBITON, CAP IN HAND. +Courage: Directors Bitter. +Fuller: London Pride. +Hop Back: Summer Lightning. +3 Guest beers. +Weston: 1st Quality Draught Cider. Road House at Hook Rise on A3 Kingston Bypass acquired from Enterprise Inns by Wetherspoons and reopened on 31st March. Completely refurbished with the addition of a conservatory and patio at the front. Light wood panelling with cream painted ceiling. Carpeted seating area to the right of bar (with fruit machines) and polished floor and dusty books to the left. Conservatory acts as a no smoking/eating area. Local history panels chronicle local landmarks and personalities including Enid Blyton who was employed as a nanny in Hook in the 1920's. Car park (including disabled space), food, disabled WC. Open all permitted hours. (SW161)


TWICKENHAM, COCK & BULL. Renamed FULWELL ARMS. -Beers listed. +Boddington: Bitter. +Fuller: London Pride. Originally JOLLY BLACKSMITH. (W150, U44, U57, U101)

TWICKENHAM, HEDGEHOG & STUMP. Renamed TUP (TWICKENHAM). -Beers listed. +Courage: Best Bitter. +Marston: Pedigree. +Theakston: XB. Formerly NAUGHTIES. Now part of Tup free house chain. (W151, U45, U95)