London Region

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Capital Pubcheck Update 147

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.

There have been five new pubs of note reported over the two months since the last update; the most notable being the huge new Wetherspoon bank conversion in EC3 City, a new Hall & Woodhouse pub in W1 Soho, the latest Bass 'All Bar One' in WC2 Cambridge Circus, a Tat Cat Cafe Bar' in E3 Bow Wharf and the latest Whitbread Hogshead in E18 South Woodford. The latter, together with two recent Hogshead refurbishments in the West End and Covent Garden, marks a move away from the `traditional pub' style towards the 'middle ground' of lighter decor, pine furnishings etc. The same influence has been noted in many recent Wetherspoon and Regent Inns openings and presumably reflects market research aimed at attracting a wider clientele, particularly women. The result however is a rather bland predictability about most recent openings and refurbishments. The five Eldridge Pope 'Bar Excellence' outlets in London were acquired by Marstons just before the takeover by Wolverhampton & Dudley. Two no longer sell real ale and the other three dispense Pedigree including one absorbed into the Pitcher & Piano chain. Shepherd Neame have acquired three more pubs in SW1 Belgravia, SEll Kennington and Bexley Village. Regent Inns have acquired and renamed a pub in SE19 Crystal Palace. More Greene King pubs that were given crass names during the 'Magic Pub' era have thankfully reverted to their original titles.

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, 9th edition.



EC2, BAR MED, 14 Finsbury Sq. No real ale. Free House/bar created on ground floor of office block.

EC3, CROSSE KEYS, 7-12 Gracechurch St. Courage: Directors Bitter; Fuller: London Pride; Shepherd Neame: Spitfire; Theakston: Best Bitter; 2 Guest beers. Latest Wetherspoon Free House opened late June 1999 at a cost of almost £2million in former bank premises; a listed building believed originally built for the Hong Kong Bank in 1912. Very large (8000 sq ft) and imposing, with huge windows, grey stone columns, dark wood panelling and ornate ceiling picked out by subtle lighting. Named after former pub once located nearby, the `cross keys' emblem is displayed in the carpeting. The centrepiece is an oval shaped bar surrounded by a tiled area. A no smoking area at the rear leads through to two quiet 'club rooms' and stairs rise to a small balcony area with another 'club room' off with a few history panels on banking, bankers, livery companies etc. Food, wheelchair accessible, disabled WC, open all permitted hours (unusual for the City).

W1(S), MIDAS TOUCH, 4 Golden Sq. Badger: IPA, Dorset Best, Tanglefoot, Seasonal beer. New single bar pub opened June 1999 by Hall & Woodhouse in former office premises in an area of Soho just opening up with restaurants etc. Clear windows open into longish bar with raised eating/seating area at rear complete with leather sofas and booths. Clean lines, nice woodwork and subtle decor. Food and wine prominent alongside beet Open 11-11 Mon-Fri and experimentally 12-5 Sat. Closed Sun.

WC2, ALL BAR ONE, 84 Charing Cross Rd (at Cambridge Circus). Draught Bass; Fuller: London Pride. Latest example of the Bass-run chain opened late June 1999 in former commercial premises. Large rambling interior decorated in typical style with polished light pine flooring and furniture, exposed ventilation, clock, board games on request, blackboard displaying menu, mirrors, ceiling fans and the odd sofa. Disabled WC. Open 12-11 Mon-Sat, 12-10.30 Sun.


E3, FAT CAT CAFE BAR, Bow Wharf, Grove Rd. Free House. Boddington: Bitter, Courage: Directors Bitter; Theakston: XB; Wadworth: 6X. The first London pub for a Midland and North of England centred chain opened November 1998 in converted warehouse and part of the Bow Wharf canalside development Bare wooden floor and wooden furniture, yellow painted brick walls covered with assorted framed pictures, ceiling fans and exposed ventilation. Raised seating area to rear. Outside drinking area etc. at front overlooking car park. Food including snacks, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Open 10 (for breakfast) every day and all permitted hours.

E18, HOGSHEAD, 184 George Lane. Boddington: Bitter; Brakspear: Bitter, Flowers: Original Bitter; Fuller: London Pride; Marston: Pedigree; Wadworth: 6X. Up to 4 Guest beers on gravity dispense behind bar (currently Adnams: Bitter and Morland: Old Speckled Hen). Whitbread 'Hogshead' in new building on site of car showroom opened May 1999. The interior design marks a move away from the traditional Hogshead-style towards a more contemporary decor with the inevitable cream painted walls, pine furnishing and flooring, exposed ventilation etc. Stone flagged flooring surrounds the bar with a raised seating/eating area to the side and comfy sofa and mock fireplace near the front. Framed pictures of cars and the occasional old photo of Woodford adorn the walls. Outside drinking is available on a front terrace and small patio at the rear. Food 12-9 (8 Fri/Sat), Belgian bottled beers. Background music. Disabled WC. Open all permitted hours.

E18, MORTIMERS, 186-188 George Lane. No real ale. Free House/bar and restaurant in former shop premises.


N1, DISGRACELAND, 196 Essex Rd. Reopened and renamed NUBAR. No real ale. Free House that has had numerous name changes over the years. (N40, U127)



EC3, BAR EXCELLENCE. Acquired by Marston from Eldridge Pope and now inherited by Wolverhampton & Dudley, H unused. (U124, U139)

W1(F), CLEVELAND. Renamed MATRIX, Corporate Catering, H removed. (W28, U74, U101, U105)

W1(May), BAR EXCELLENCE. Acquired by Marston from Eldridge Pope and now inherited by Wolverhampton & Dudley, H unused. (U131)


E1, CARPENTERS ARMS (YE OLDE). Phoenix, closed and converted to housing office. (E70, U75, U112)

E1, FISH & RING. Free House, now converted to residential use. (E65, U143)

E5, BRITISH OAK. Ex- Grand Met (Watney), closed and boarded up. (E99)

E9, RISING SUN. Free House, closed and boarded up. Formerly RETREAT. (E122, U54, U96, U119)

E15, GREEN MAN. Ex-Grand Met (Truman), closed and boarded up. (E153)

E16, CHURCHILLS. Renamed JIMMY DEANS, Free House, now closed and boarded up. (E157)


N1, MARQUIS OF SALISBURY. Ex-Belhaven, previously Grand Met (Watney), closed. (N51)

N1, TIBBERTON ARMS. Ex-Grand Met (Watney), closed, for sale. (N60)


SW3, RAT & CARROT (BEEHIVE). Reverted to BEEHIVE. Now a Free House, formerly Greene King. H unused. (SW57)

MITCHAM, RAVENSBURY TAVERN. Allied, closed, for sale, future uncertain. (SW147, U133)


W10, NEW LATIMER ARMS. Free House, being converted into flats. Formerly LATIMER ARMS. (W86, U74, U92, U133)

W11, SUN IN SPLENDOUR. Bass, H removed. (W90, U66)


HOUNSLOW, BEAVER. Now Morland, ex-Free House, Runused. (W126, U56, U91)

HOUNSLOW, EARL HAIG. Now badged as part of the Tanners Pub Co by S&N, H removed. (W126, U95, U107)



EC1, NEW RED LION. Renamed BULL. -beers listed; +Fuller: London Pride. Now a Free House, ex-Grand Met (Watney). (E21)

EC1, ROYAL MAIL. -Bass; +Fuller: London Pride. (E22, U79, U92).

EC4, BAR EXCELLENCE. -beers listed; +Marston: Pedigree. Acquired by Marston from Eldridge Pope and now inherited by Wolverhampton & Dudley. (U139)

EC4, BIERREX. Renamed COOLIN. No longer a speciality continental beer bar, still fizz only. (U109, U110)

W1(F), GRAFTON ARMS. -beers listed except Flowers: Original Bitter; +Boddington: Bitter; +Wadworth 6X; +Guest beer (H) +4 guests (G);+Inch's: Stonehouse Cider. Still badged as a `Hogshead Ale House' but refurbished in more `contemporary style to appeal to a wider market, lighter colours etc. (W29, U74, U84, U95)

W1(S), COACH & HORSES, 29 Greek Street. -beers listed except Ind Coope: Burton Ale and Tetley: Bitter; +Fuller: London Pride. (W41, U53)

WC2, BAR EXCELLENCE, 40/42 Kingsway. Renamed PITCHER & PIANO. -beers listed; +Marston: Pedigree. Acquired by Marston from Eldridge Pope and now inherited by Wolverhampton & Dudley. Opens 11-11 Mon-Fri, closed weekends. Note correct address. (U128)

WC2, FLYMAN & FIRKIN. -beers and ciders listed except Dogbolter; +Firkin: Best Bitter, Flyman Ale, Firkin guest beer. Refurbished in more contemporary style. (U101)

WC2, HOGSHEAD (IN COVENT GARDEN). No longer sells beers direct from the cask or draught cider. The 8 handpumped beers include 1 or 2 guests. Refurbished in more contemporary style with some loss of character. Formerly GILBERT & SULLIVAN. (W54, U53, U85)


E1, COLET ARMS. Now owned by Inn Business, ex-Wiltshire. (E63, U71)

E9, CHESHAM ARMS. -Crouch Vale: IPA. (E120, U71)

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

E11, HEATHCOTE ARMS. -beers listed; +M&B: Brew XI, not always available. (E128, U85, U140)

E13, LORD STANLEY. -beers listed; +Shepherd Neame: Bitter, seasonal beer; +Young: Bitter. Now a Free House, ex-Shepherd Neame. (E136, U124)

E14, RAILWAY TAVERN. Now run by Inn Business, ex-Bass. (E147)

E16, HENLEY ARMS. -beers listed; +Greene King IPA or Wadworth 6X. (E159)


SE1, MARKET PORTER. -beers listed; +6 guest beers at any one time from extensive list. (SE25)

SE11, PRINCE OF WALES. -beers listed; +Shepherd Neame: Spitfire, seasonal beer. Free House acquired by Shepherd Neame in October 1998. Refurbished. (SE109)

SE19, SPORTSMAN. Renamed OCCASIONAL HALF. -beers listed; +Courage: Best Bitter; +Flowers: Original Bitter; +Hancock: HB; +Young: Bitter. Free House acquired by Regent Inns and extensively and attractively renovated with cream and pastel decor, polished wooden flooring, wood panelling etc. Large patio at front. (SE181)

BEXLEY, RISING SUN. Renamed OLD WICK and became a Free House, ex-Phoenix. Now acquired by Shepherd Neame. -beers listed; +Shepherd Neame: Bitter, Spitfire, seasonal beer. (3SE210, U59, K40, U112)


SW1(B), NILE. Renamed SUNDIAL. -beers listed except Draught Bass; +Flowers: Original Bitter; +Guest beer. Refurbished in light and airy style. Effectively now a Free House (leased from Bass). Formerly RED LION. (SW39, U133)

SW1(B), HORSE & GROOM, 7 Groom Place. -beers listed; +Shepherd Neame: Bitter, Spitfire. Acquired by Shepherd Neame from Greene King ir. March 1999. (SW38)

SW1(W), BAR EXCELLENCE. -beers listed; +Marston: Pedigree. Acquired by Marston from Eldridge Pope and now inherited by Wolverhampton & Dudley. (U130)


SW19, GROVE TAVERN. Renamed DOYLE'S. Now a Free House, ex-Allied. (SW117)

MORDEN, BIG HAND MO'S. Reverted to former name, CROWN, still fizz. (SW150, U142)

MORDEN, VVETHERSPOONS. Refurbished and renamed LADY ST HELIER. Still Wetherspoon owned. (SW151)

RICHMOND, BAR CENTRAL. Renamed PITCHER & PIANO. Acquired by Marstons from Grosvenor Inns and now inherited by Wolverhampton & Dudley. (SW154)


HOUNSLOW, BIG HAND MO'S. Reverted to former name, TANKERVILLE, still fizz. (W128, U95, U98, U107)

HOUNSLOW, COACH & HORSES. -beers listed; +Courage: Best Bitter, Directors Bitter. Newly badged by S&N as 'Chef & Brewer. Formerly BARNABYS. (W126, U68, U95, U99, U107)

HOUNSLOW, DUKE OF WELLINGTON. -beers listed; +Greene King: IPA. Formerly HUNGRY HORSE. (W126, U91, U98, U99, U101, U117)

HOUNSLOW, DUKE OF YORK, 175 Martindale Rd. -beers listed; +Draught Bass; +Greene King: IPA; +John Smith: Bitter. Now Phoenix Inns, ex-Grand Met (Watney). (W126)

HOUNSLOW, HONEYCOMBE. -beers listed; +Greene King: Triumph; +Taylor: Landlord. Previously HUNGRY HORSE and RUBY TUESDAY. (W128, U91, U95, U98, U102, U117)

HOUNSLOW, PICKLED NEWT (PALMERSTON'S). Reverted to former name LORD PALMERSTON. -beers listed; +Greene King: Martha Greene's, IPA. (W128, U95, U98, U117)

HOUNSLOW, ROYAL ALBION. -beers listed; +Ushers: Founders Ale. (W128, U57, U81, U101, U108).

HOUNSLOW, WINDSOR CASTLE. -beers listed; +Greene King: Martha Greene's, IPA. (W128, U91, U98, U117)