London Region

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Capital Pubcheck Update 138

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 report no less than 15 brand new pubs or bars all over the Capital. These include a record six from Wetherspoon's; three from the independent "Slug & Lettuce" chain; two from Bass (All Bar One/It's a Scream) and one each from Firkin (non-brewing), Surrey Free Inns (Litten Tree), Yates's (Blob Shop) and Scottish & Newcastle (Rat & Parrot), the latter surprisingly bereft of real ale. As reported last month, ten Wetherspoon pubs have been sold to the new Ambishus Pub Co, details below, and these are more widespread throughout London than previously believed. Brim measure glasses have been quickly reintroduced and beer choice is limited to national and regional brewers' products. More closures are reported throughout London, including one ex-Wetherspoon sold off in 1992 very close to one of their latest disposals.

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.



EC4, SLUG & LETTUCE, 25 Bucklersbury. Adnams: Bitter. Fuller: London Pride. Marston: Pedigree. New outlet for the newly independent chain floated off from Grosvenor Inns in former bank premises under office block, opened in December 1997. Large windows reveal spacious and airy ground floor bar with staircase to upper balcony bar. The usual de rigeur pine flooring and furniture, cream and purple decor and abstract paintings on walls. Food, disabled WC. Open 11.30-10 Mon, 11.30-11 Thurs-Fri, closed weekends.

W1 (May), SLUG & LETTUCE, 20 Hanover St. Courage: Best Bitter, Directors Bitter. Another new outlet for the former Grosvenor Inns chain opened in mid July 1998 in former commercial premises. The usual format with light pine furniture and flooring, cream and blue painted walls with abstract paintings. Emphasis on food and wine. Stairs lead to upstairs bar with sofas. Background music, disabled WC. Open all permitted hours.

WC1, ALL BAR ONE, 108 New Oxford St. Draught Bass. Worthington: Best Bitter. New outlet for Bass chain, opened early August in former shop premises. The predictable format with pine furniture, pew chairs and polished pinewood flooring and tiled areas. Cream and green decor, exposed ventilation, fans, clock, board games available, food displayed on blackboard but no 'track' to kitchen! Stairs lead to upstairs seating/eating area. Open 11.30- 11 Mon-Sat, 12-10.30 Sun.


E1, HALF MOON, 213-223 Mile End Rd. Courage: Directors Bitter (£1.64). Marston: Sundance (£1.75). Shepherd Neame: Spitfire (£1.30). Guest beers. Weston: 1St Quality Cider. Wetherspoon Free House opened late July and created from a former Welsh Calvinistic Methodist chapel dating from 1900 and adjoining building latterly, since 1979, used by the Half Moon Theatre. Red iron gates lead through a tiled porch and glass double doors into the main `Chapel Bar', a large, square, high ceilinged space with roof lighting and tiled floors and seating alcoves. Old photos and local history panels decorate the walls including a profile of music hall performers from the Stepney area. A covered passageway to the right of the bar leads through to the rear 'Florian Bar' formerly the theatre proper, decorated in modern style with high ceiling and large glass panelled wall looking out onto courtyard with outside seating. Food, disabled WC, full pints. Open all permitted hours.

E14, ENTERPRISE, 145 Three Colts St. Courage: Directors Bitter. Webster: Yorkshire Bitter. Reopened 1995 but not previously reported. (E144)

E14, SLUG & LETTUCE, Mackenzie Walk, 30 South Colonnade, Canary Wharf. Courage: Best Bitter, Directors Bitter. Wadworth: 6X. Another new outlet for the former Grosvenor Inns chain at ground floor under office block just off the dockside. Opened in February 1998. Wide frontage with several glass door entrances leading into cream and orange painted spacious interior. Caters mainly for young suits with mobile phones. Food, recorded music, disabled WC. Opens 11-11 Mon-Fri, 11-3 Sat, closed Sat evenings and all day Sunday.

E14, SPINNAKER, 19 Harbour Exchange Square. Greene King: IPA, Abbot Ale. Seasonal beers. Reopened in April 1998 after repair of bomb damage. Note correct address. Opens 11-11 Mon-Fri, closed weekends. (E148, U119)


N17, BANK, 793-795 High Rd. No real ale. Free House. Bar and grill in former bank premises

N17, GILPINS BELL, 50-54 Fore St, Upper Edmonton. Courage: Directors Bitter (£1.54). Marston: Sundance (£1.65). Ridley: IPA (£1.49). Shepherd Neame: Spitfire. Theakston: Best Bitter. 2 Guest beers. Very large new Wetherspoon Free House in former tyre and exhaust centre, originally a furniture store, opened July. The pub is divided into several distinctive areas with, to the right, a large 'hall', wood panelled high ceilinged main bar, a more intimate middle section with no smoking area, dusty books and a fireplace, a side zone with more seating and eating areas extending around to the rear. Wood panelling, carpeted and tiled areas and bare bricks. French windows at the rear open onto a paved patio with a car park beyond. The main 'hall' features a representation of a bell behind the bar, and portraits of William and his son Robert Cecil, 16th century landowners from Edmonton and English statesmen respectively during the reign of James I and Queen Elizabeth I. The pub is named after an 18th century ballad about John Gilpin of Edmonton whose horse bolted on his way to meet his wife and family at the Bell Inn which stood nearby. Food, disabled WC. Open all permitted hours.


NW1, GOOD MIXER, 30 Inverness St. Marston: Pedigree. (N167)


SE10, AUCTIONEER, 217 Greenwich High Rd. Draught Bass. Latest opening for Bass's unpleasant 'It's a Scream' chain in former auction rooms opened late July. A large open plan ground floor bar with the inevitable pine flooring and furniture raised seating areas, exposed ventilation, exposed brickwork and french windows to street. A preponderance of flickering video screens and loud music. Stairs lead to upstairs bar bereft of real ale but with video games, pool table etc. Open all permitted hours.

SE12, EDMUND HALLEY, 25-27 Leegate, Lee Green. Courage: Directors Bitter. Hop Back: Summer Lightning. Marston: Sundance. Shepherd Neame: Spitfire. Theakston: Best Bitter. 2 Guest beers. Weston: 1st Quality Cider. Yet another new Wetherspoon Free House, opened the very end of July in former shop unit at corner of shopping mall. Raised seating,-no smoking area to side. French windows on to mall. Wood panelled and yellow painted walls adorned with local history panels, old photos etc. Edmund Halley was the Astronomer Royal and published research on comets, correctly predicting the return of the comet named after him in 1758, he is buried locally in St Margaret's churchyard. Food, disabled WC, open all permitted hours.

SE26, PUKKABAR, 42 Sydenham Rd. No Real Ale. Free House. Bar with curry restaurant at rear in former shop unit.

SE27, THURLOW ARMS, 551 Norwood Rd. Renamed G.E. ALDWINKLES. Badger: Tanglefoot. Courage: Best Bitter. Hancock: HB. Young: Bitter. Former Allied pub acquired, reopened and refurbished as a Regent Inns Free House. Light and airy decor. Food. Jazz Sunday evenings. (SE229, U121)

BEXLEYHEATH, RAT & PARROT, 167 Broadway. No Real Ale. New Scottish & Newcastle pub opened in December 1997 in former supermarket, possibly originally a cinema. Imaginatively converted but how much more appealing it would have been in Wetherspoon hands. The ranks of keg dispensers look incongruous in such a splendid setting.


SW1 (W), LITTEN TREE, 17 Artillery Row. Courage: Directors Bitter. Wadworth: 6X. New `Surrey Free Inns' Free House opened July in former shop premises. Large spacious bar with several separate drinking areas and raised areas for dining, one of which is no smoking. Generally comfortable, carpeted with plenty of seating, some stained glass features and dusty books. Large screen TV for MTV and sport, plus regular TVs. Emphasis on music, loud in evenings and 'events' eg. karaoke, ladies night, party night, etc. Air conditioned. Food. Open 11-11.45 (special licence with doorman present) Mon-Sat, 12-10.30 Sun.

SW9, FLOURMILL & FIRKIN, 442-444 Brixton Rd. Firkin: Windy Miller (3.5%), Flour Mill Ale (4.3%), Dogbolter (5.6%). Addlestone: Cider. Latest non-brewing Firkin opened in August in former shop premises. Decorated in typical style with bare floors, dark wood panelling, cream painted walls, pews, barrel tables, chandeliers etc. Mill related signs, photos and drawings adorn the walls reflecting the famous Brixton windmill after which the pub is named. Live music Thursday evenings, jazz Sunday evenings. Food 12-8 including table service 12-3, 6-8. Disabled WC. Open all permitted hours.

SW11, ASPARAGUS, 1-13 Falcon Rd. Courage: Directors Bitter. Marston: Sundance. Theakston: Best Bitter. 2 Guest beers (£1.75). Another Wetherspoon Free House opened late July in shop units under offices. Coloured glass decorative doors and french windows predominate externally. One large open plan bar is divided up into separate seating/eating areas and no smoking sections at either end, cream and green decor, carpets and tiled areas. A patio for al fresco eating/drinking has been created at the side. Local history panels highlight famous people with local connections etc. Much of Battersea was covered in market gardens in the 19th century and the pub is named after the asparagus crop which was sold in 'Battersea Bundles'. Food, disabled WC. Open all permitted hours.


W12, BLOB SHOP, 45A Goldhawk Rd. Boddington: Bitter. John Smith: Bitter. The first of a national chain owned by Yates Wine Lodges to hit London opened in October 1997. It claims to be a 'unique and original bar, exactly like nothing else'. In fact it is a sort of down market Yates's created out of a hall approached down a passageway which latterly was apparently a restaurant but previously has had a variety of uses including bingo. It is a large barn of a pub with bare floorboards, loud and cheap juke box, large screen TV, some raised seating area, hanging lamps, miscellaneous old photos etc. Blob refers to the warm red wine toddy made famous by Yates's. Food. Open all permitted hours.



W1 (F), BLUE POSTS. Bass, demolished. (W28, U91)

W1 (Mar), TURNERS ARMS. Shepherd Neame, closed, future uncertain, board advertises to let as shop unit. (W36, U44, U74, U98)

W1 (S), WHITE HORSE, 45 Rupert St. Acquired by Sam Smith from Allied (ex Taylor Walker), H removed. Yet another real ale pub falls to the curse of Sam Smith and the dreaded nitrokeg. (W44, U41)


BARKING, BARGE AGROUND. Scottish & Newcastle, H unused. (X12, U74, U85, U106, U117, U135, U136)

BARKING, BULL. Bass (East London Pub Co). H unused. (X12, U118, U136)

BARKING, CHAINS (WINE BAR). Free House. Now operates as CHAINS night club. Formerly CHAINS-A-GAIN. (X12, U83)

CHADWELL HEATH, BIG HAND MO'S. Scottish & Newcastle, H removed. Formerly CHADWELL ARMS. (X26, U106, U119)

ILFORD, O'NEILL'S. Bass, H removed. Formerly ANGEL. (X63, U72, U 122)


N15, K K McCOOLS. Pubmaster, H unused. (N124)

N15, SILVER LADY. Allied (ex Taylor Walker), closed, future uncertain. (N125)

N22, POACHERS. Greenalls, closed, boarded up, future uncertain. (N156)


NW1, LOCOMOTIVE. Renamed BLAKES, now a bar/restaurant. H removed.. (N 169)

NW1, VICTORY, 41 Clarence Way. Grand Met (ex Watney), closed and converted to catering company's premises. (N177)


SE8, GLOBE. Grand Met (ex Watney), ground floor now converted to Indian restaurant, upper floor converted to Christian place of worship. (SE79, U125)

SE8, WINDSOR CASTLE. Belhaven, now converted to 'youth enterprise and employment centre'. (SE82)

SE10, GREENWICH INN. Free House, closed, future uncertain. (SE95)

SE10, NORTH POLE. Now possibly Free ex Whitbread, with a bar downstairs and restaurant upstairs. H removed. (SE99)

SE12, GROVE PARK TAVERN. Whitbread, demolished. Site being developed for housing. (SE113, U102)

SE13, ANCHOR. Free (Labatts). H removed. (SE118, U102)

SE13, MID KENT TAVERN. Bass, now demolished to make way for Docklands Light Railway Extension station. (SE121, U120)

BROMLEY COMMON, BRICKLAYERS ARMS. Shepherd Neame, closed, future uncertain. (3SE221, U83)

CROYDON, STAR, 296 London Rd. Grand Met (ex Courage), closed, future uncertain. (3SE250, U98)

CROYDON, KINGS CELLARS. Whitbread, closed, future uncertain. Formerly KAISER BILL'S BEER KELLER & ALE HOUSE and before that GOODYS. (3SE243, U55, U82, U98)


SW1 (B), HORSE & GROOM, 1 Kinnerton St. Renamed MUSE now a bar/cafe, Scottish & Newcastle, H removed. (SW38)

SW1 (P), SUSSEX ARMS. Inntrepreneur, closed future uncertain. (SW44, U137)

SW8, PAVILION. Inntrepreneur, H unused. (SW79)

SW14, MARKET GARDENER. Inntrepreneur, closed, future uncertain. (SW98)

SW14, QUEENS ARMS. Free House, closed, future uncertain. (SW98)

SW18, FORESTER. Phoenix, now converted to flats. (SW111, U132)

SW18, GROSVENOR ARMS. Inntrepreneur, H removed. (SW113)

SW18, JOLLY GARDENERS. Inntrepreneur, H unused. (SW113)


W12, NEW TELEGRAPH TAVERN. Free House, closed, boarded up. (W91, U46, U95)

HOUNSLOW, HUSSAR. Free House, H removed. (W126, U56, U75, U91, U99)



WC1, OLD CROWN. -Beers listed. +Draught Bass. Now a café bar_ (W74. U81, N26)


E1, BROWN BEAR. -Beers listed. +Marston: Pedigree. +Marian& Old Speckled Hen. +Wadworth: 6X_ +Guest beer. Despite appearing on Nicholson's list of pubs, it remains an Allied Domecq tenancy. (E62)

E1, CLUTTERBUCKS. Reverted to WHITE HART. (E95, U92)


E14, TOLLESBURY BARGE. +Harvey: Best Bitter (G). (alternates with Adnams: Bitter already reported) (1:119)

E17, COLLEGE ARMS. -Beers listed except Greene King Abbot.. +Adnams: Bitter. +4 Guest beers from large and small breweries. Now Greenalls owned inherited from Inn Leisure. (E166, U70)


N8, ELBOW ROOM. Acquired by Ambishus Pub Co from Wetherspoon. (N93)

N15, GOAT. -beers listed_ +Wadworth: 6X. Lots of unused handpumps_ (N124)

N15, JJ MOONS. -Beers listed except Tetley: Bitter (not always available) (N 124)

N17, CLUTTERBUCKS ALE HOUSE, 803/805 High Rd_ Reverted to BRICKLAYERS ARMS. -Beers listed except Clutterbucks. +Webster: Yorkshire Bitter. Note full address. (N133)

N17, ELBOW ROOM. Acquired by Ambishus Pub Co from Wetherspoon_ (N134)

N17, GILDED CAGE. Renamed FAMILY TREE, Still fizz (N134, U 109)

N17, NEW MOON. -Beers listed except Greene King: WA. +Greene King: Abbot +Bass: Toby Cask. Acquired by Ambishus Pub Co from Wetherspoon (N135)

N19, DOG. Acquired by Ambishus Pub Co from Wetherspoon. (N143)


NW1, HARVEY FLOORBANGERS. Reverted to BUCKS HEAD. -Beers listed except Courage: Best Bitter. +Courage: Directors Bitter. +Greene King: Abbot Ale. Now badged as an 'ale bar'. (N162, U107, U109

NW1, SPORT DOME. Renamed O'BAR (CAMDEN), still fizz, formerly ROYALES. (N174, U132)

NW9, WHITE LION OF MORTIMER. Acquired by Ambishus Pub Co from Wetherspoon. Omitted in error from N guide. (U109)

EDGWARE, HAS, BLACKING BOTTLE. Acquired by Ambishus Pub Co from Wetherspoon. (N255)


SE10, MORDEN ARMS. - Courage: Best Bitter. +Shepherd Neame: Bitter, Best Bitter, Spitfire. Now a Free House with support from Shepherd Neame, ex Grand Met (Courage). (SE98)

SE12, DUKE OF EDINBURGH. -Beers listed. +Shepherd Neame: Bitter. (SE113, U102)

SE23, BIRD IN HAND. -Beers listed. +Bass: Toby Cask. +Courage: Directors Bitter. +Greene King: IPA, Abbot Ale. +Guest beer (currently Courage: Best Bitter). Acquired by Ambishus Pub Co from Wetherspoon. (SE204, U102)


SW5, EARLS. Reverted to (almost) original name, RICHMOND. No real ale. Free House. Acquired by Bass and branded as part of 'It's a Scream' chain. (SW62)

SW18, SAILOR PRINCE. +Tolly Cobbold: Original Best Bitter. (SW114)

SW18, SPOTTED DOG. -Beers listed except Courage: Directors Bitter. +Bass: Toby Cask. +Greene King: IPA, Abbot Ale. Courage: Best Bitter +Guest beer. Guest beers are from independent or micro breweries. Acquired by Ambishus Pub Co from Wetherspoon. (SW114)

SURBITON, DENBY DALE. Renamed SURBITON FLYER, beer range unchanged. (SW161)


W4, JJ MOONS. Renamed ECLIPSE. -Beers listed. +Bass: Toby Cask. +Greene King: IPA, Abbot Ale. Beer range may increase. Acquired by Ambishus Pub Co from Wetherspoon. (U79)

W6, CARPENTERS ARMS. Renamed LE ST PIERRE. -Beers listed except Fuller: London Pride. Now Free House, ex Grand Met (Watney). Revamped as a bar/restaurant. (W74, U55, U84, U89)

W12, MOON ON THE GREEN. -Beers listed except Greene King: IPA, Abbot Ale. +Bass: Toby Cask. +Courage: Directors Bitter. +Guest beer (Currently Jennings: Bitter). Acquired by Ambishus Pub Co from Wetherspoon. (U58, U71)

HANWORTH, SWAN. -Beers listed except Courage: Best Bitter. +Boddington: Bitter. Free House. Refurbished by new owners Wizard Inns ex Grand Met (Watney) (W108, U101)