London Region

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Capital Pubcheck Update 135

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 seven new pubs including a Whitbread Hogshead in Sutton; two Bass outlets in EC3 City and WI Marylebone and two independents in Covent Garden, one being another expensive fizz only brewpub. On the down side, no fewer than three brewpubs have changed hands and have had their brewing equipment removed. All had their origins with David Bruce, namely two ex-Grosvenor Inns "Hedgehog & Hogsheads" in Ni Highbury Corner and Sutton and the former Flamingo & Firkin (latterly Hog & Stump) in Kingston. More pub closures are reported in SE and SW London for conversion to flats, reflecting the profits to be made if local councils are prepared to grant planning permission.

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, CRUTCHED FRIAR, 38 Crutched Friars. Draught Bass. Fuller: London Pride. New Bass pub opened in two old commercial buildings originally the headquarters of the former Peter Dominic off-licence chain. Opened about a year ago but not previously reported. Entrance leads through wide enclosed corridor between the two buildings, with seating areas either side, to a bar area in an extension at rear. Restrained cream and green decor with polished pine flooring and tiled bar area. TV, food, background music. Small patio at rear. Opens 11-11 Mon-Fri. Closed weekends. A Watney pub called Ye Olde Crutched Friars, in nearby Crosswall, was demolished ten years ago and the site now forms part of the America Square development.

W1(Mar), ALL BAR ONE, 7-9 Paddington St. Draught Bass. Fuller: London Pride. Latest Bass ABO opened mid April in former shop and commercial premises. Identikit decor and fittings to all other members of the chain. Disabled WC. Food. Opens 11.30-11 Mon-Sat, 12-6 Sun.

W1(Mar), CAFE TOTO, 28 Paddington St. Renamed CARPE DIEM. Marston: Pedigree. Tetley: Bitter. A welcome return to real ale after 14 years as a 'café-bar' under various names. Open 8am Mon-Fri and 10am Sat/Sun for breakfast and all permitted hours. Formerly MUSWELLS, originally APOLLO.

WC2, PORTERS BAR, 16 Henrietta St. Boddington: Bitter. Fuller: London Pride. Morland: Old Speckled Hen. Wadworth: 6X. Young: Special. Free House. Offshoot of Porters English Restaurant at No 17 next door, opened July 1997 in former commercial premises. Cream painted walls, pinewood floor, wicker chairs etc. Stairs lead down to similarly furnished basement bar. Open all permitted hours.

WC2, PORTERS ENGLISH RESTAURANT. 17 Henrietta St. Boddington: Bitter. Wells: Eagle Bitter, Bombardier. Free House. Small bar area is open to non-eaters and screened off from restaurant proper. Open all permitted hours (restaurant until 11.30pm Mon-Sat).

WC2, SOHO BREWING CO, 41 Earlham St. No real ale. New German style brewpub which, despite the name, opened in Covent Garden in late April. It is housed in a basement vault used in recent times as a rehearsal theatre and clothing warehouse but which was originally apparently part of the Wood Yard Brewery, established in 1650. It later became part of Gyffords Brewery specialising during the 19th century in London Porter until it was sold as a fruit warehouse in 1905. The brewhouse is on the ground floor and can be viewed through the windows from the arcade next door. Access to the bar is downstairs where the fermenting vessels and serving tanks are located at the rear. The bar area is clinical in style with a stainless steel bar, mirrors, polished pine floor, a scattering of rather uncomfortable chairs and tables to the side and restaurant area towards the front. The founder, Ewan Eastham of the Freedom Brewery in Fulham, has employed a German brewmaster Albrecht Von Wallmoden to produIe the beers and the equipment has been imported from Caspary Schultz of Bamberg at a cost of £1/2 million. Beers are stored in the tanks and dispensed using gas pressure and include Soho Pale (4.5%), Soho Red (4.6%), Soho Wheat (5.0%) and a varying special the first of which is intended to be a porter using the original Gyffords recipe. Freedom Pilsner lager is also on tap. Prices range from £2.80 to £3.10 a pint, with halves being even more expensive pro-rata at between £1.50 and £1.60 a half pint! Open all permitted hours (restaurant until midnight Mon-Sat). Comment: Influenced by the success of German and American brewpubs, along with the Mash Brewery reported last month, it undoubtedly adds variety to the London pub scene. It is however full of contradictions, not least its name. Despite the German brewer and equipment only one continental style product is brewed. The pale and red 'ales' are relatively weak compared with their American brewpub equivalents and hence their flavours have great difficulty surviving the application of extraneous gas -haven't we been here before?


SE7, VICTORIA, 757 Woolwich Rd. Burtonwood: Bitter (labelled Victoria Bitter -house beer). Fuller: London Pride. Guest beers from independent and micro brewers. Now a Free House, formerly Ascot. Closest pub to the Thames Barrier. (SE74 U113)

CROYDON, BLACK SHEEP BAR, 68 High St. No real ale. Free house in former shop premises.


SUTTON, HOGSHEAD, 60/62 High St. Adnams: Bitter. Boddington: Bitter. Flowers: IPA, Original Bitter. Abroad Cooper. Wadworth: 6X. Young: Special. Scrumpy Jack: Old Hazy Cider. 4 guest beers (G) including micro breweries (eg. Rebellion). Latest addition to the Whitbread chain in former shop units opened in April. Decorated in typical style with wooden benches and tables, stone flagged floor, cream painted walls. hops hanging from the ceiling, pseudo gas lamps etc. No smoking area at front complete with fireside comfy sofas. Good display of old photos of Sutton and local history panels. Mercifully music free in contrast to most other town centre pubs. Food until 8pm. Disabled WC. Open all permitted hours. Comment: Just about every pub chain active in the London area must now be represented in Sutton.



W1(Mar), BAKER & OVEN. Free house. H removed. Operates primarily as a restaurant retaining small bar at rear. (W33, U89)


BARKING, FERRET & TROUSERLEG. S&N, no real ale, H unused. Formerly BARGE AGROUND. (X12, U74, U85, U106, U117)

BARKING, ROYAL OAK. Allied (ex-Taylor Walker), H removed. (X13, U71, U118)

DAGENHAM, ROBIN HOOD. Whitbread, now H removed. (X40, U86, U119)


SE1, EARL OF DERBY. Free house, converted to flats. (SE14)

SE5, ATHENAEUM. Grand Met (ex-Watney), closed, future uncertain. (SE55)

SE13, RAVENSBOURNE ARMS. Phoenix, closed, boarded up. (SE121, U112)

SE15, DUKE OF SUSSEX. Grand Met (ex-Courage), converted to flats. (SE135)

SE16, TROPICS. Ex-Belhaven, closed, boarded up. (SE153)


SW1(W), REGENT ARMS. Free house, closed reputedly for conversion to flats, ironically by the same developers who were thwarted by a local campaign which saved the nearby Royal Oak from a similar fate. (SE49)

SW2, BRANKSOME ARMS. Phoenix, closed, conversion to flats imminent. (SW52)

SW3, SHUCKBURGH ARMS. S&N, H unused. Formerly FINNEGAN'S WAKE. (SW56, U129)

SW17, MAYFAIR TAVERN. Enterprise Inns, H removed. (SW 109)

SW19, TOWN HOUSE. Whitbread, H removed. (SW120).


W2, COOPERS. Free house, demolished following station redevelopment. Formerly KNIGHTS & HERALDS BAR. (W62, U98)

W12, BRITISH PRINCE. Renamed ORANGE KIPPER, presumably receiving its new name in Magic Pub Co days, now Greene King. H unused. (W91, U98, U117)

W12, SWAKELEY ARMS. Renamed O'DONOGHUES. Grand Met (ex-Courage), H removed. (W92, U104)



E1, CITY OF CARLISLE. -Adnams: Bitter. +Courage: Best Bitter. (E63, U73, U79)


E4, LARKSHALL. -John Smith: Bitter. +Theakston: XB. (E96)

E9, ROYAL STANDARD. -Marston Pedigree. (E122, U76, U117)

E11, BIRKBECK TAVERN. -Beers listed. +Courage: Best Bitter. +House beer. +Guest beer. (E127, U69, U113, U125, U130)

E17, FLOWER POT. +Fuller: London Pride. (E167, U80, U124, U125)

BARKING, PICKLED NEWT (WHITE HORSE). Reverted to WHITE HORSE. Pickled Newt name retained on hanging sign. (X14, U82, U98, U103, U117)


N1, HEDGEHOG & HOGSHEAD. Renamed FAMOUS COCK TAVERN. -Beers listed. +Adnams: Best Bitter, Broadside. +Courage: Best Bitter, Directors Bitter. +Marston: Pedigree. +Theakston: Best Bitter. Taken over by the Ambishus Pub Co from Grosvenor Inns. No longer a brewpub - equipment removed to Toulouse, France! Decorated in nautical style -knots, boats suspended from ceiling, etc. Wide-screen TV and recorded music. Formerly COCK TAVERN. (N40, U109)





SW17, CORNER PIN. -Bass: Toby Cask. +Fuller: London Pride. Real ale not always available. (SW108)

SW17, GORDON BENNETT! Now just GORDON BENNETT. Garish red and yellow signage replaced by toned down effect. -Beers listed except Brakspear: Bitter. +Courage: Best Bitter. +Greene King: IPA. (SW109)

SW17, JJ MOONS. -Beers listed except Courage: Directors Bitter and guest beers. +Fuller: London Pride. +Hopback: Summer Lightning. +Theakston: Best Bitter. +Weston: Old Rosie Cider. Refurbished. (SW109)

SW17, NEW FOUNTAIN. -Webster: Green Label. +Fuller: London Pride. Open until lam Fri/Sat. (SW110)

CHESSINGTON, NORTH STAR. -Beers listed except Draught Bass and Highgate Dark. +Fuller: London Pride. +Guest beers. (SW134)

KINGSTON, KINGSTON MILL. -Beers listed. +Fuller: London Pride. Acquired by Bass from Wessex Taverns and inflicted with the 'It's a Scream' theme. (SW143)

KINGSTON, HOG & STUMP. Renamed TUP (KINGSTON). -Beers listed. +Courage: Best Bitter. +Marston: Pedigree. +Theakston: XB. Acquired from Mercury Taverns by the fast expanding `Tup' pub chain. Sadly no longer a brew pub ending a 11-year period, which started with David Bruce's acquisition as part of the original Firkin chain. (SW143)


SURBITON, LAMB. -Beers listed. +Benskin: Bitter. (SW161)

SURBITON, MAYPOLE. +Guest beer (G). (SW161)

SUTTON, HEDGEHOG & HOGSHEAD. -Beers listed except Fuller: London Pride. +Adnams: Bitter. +Courage: Best Bitter, Directors Bitter. +Greene King: IPA, Abbot Ale. Acquired from Grosvenor Inns by Ambishus Pub Co. No longer a brewpub - equipment sold for use in Paris! Awaiting a name change and make over. (SW166)


W2, MITRE. -Beers listed except Boddington: Bitter and Flowers: Original Bitter. +Marston: Pedigree. (W62, U93)

W11, LADBROKE ARMS. -Beers listed. +Courage: Best Bitter, Directors Bitter. +Everard: Tiger. +Greene King: Abbot Ale. +Morland: Old Speckled Hen. (W88)

W11, RAJ. Renamed RAT & PARROT. -Beers listed. +Courage: Directors Bitter. +Theakston: Best Bitter. (W90, U107)

TWICKENHAM, AILSA TAVERN. -Beers listed. +Courage: Best Bitter, Directors Bitter. +3 guest beers from micro breweries. Refurbished in `T&J Bernard' style. (W150, U94, U107)