Monday, February 07, 2011

Pubs closing and opening

More bad news (and a little bit of good) on the SE London pub front.

Southwark - one of the areas worst hit by pub closures in recent years - has suffered some more losses. On the Walworth Road both the Beaten Path (formerly Prince Alfred) and the Temple Bar have closed recently. The latter was one of the pubs where the artist Austin Osman Spare exhibited his work in the 1940s.

In Nunhead (Lausanne Road), the Swiss Tavern is seemingly being converted to flats. Until the death of its landlady Miss P (Patricia Walters) last year this was a popular African Caribbean pub. So many people turned up there when Miss P died that the police had to close Lausanne Road.

Up on Stuart Road SE15, the famous Ivy House has closed with its future uncertain. This is an iconic venue with a long musical history, including in its previous incarnation as the Newlands Tavern. The most recent managers pursued a policy of discouraging the previous locals with the aim of making it more of an event venue pulling in people from further afield. Some of the events have been very successful, such as comedy nights and the Brockley Jack Film Club Piccadilly showing. But I imagine that the pub's location, a long way from the nearest rail or tube station, makes it hard to keep it really busy like that on a regular basis.

In Brixton, popular pub/music venue Rest is Noise is closing (maybe already has) - a busy place so doesn't look like revenue was the major issue. For discussion of possible reasons to do with the building's landlord see Urban75.

Better news from the Old Kent Road, where the even more iconic Thomas a Becket looks set to reopen as a cafe/bar soon after being closed for a few years (other than being partially used as an art gallery). Not sure if they will keep the name, I would like them to because of the whole link to the Kent Road pilgrimage route. The pub stands on the site of St Thomas a Watering, mentioned in the Canterbury Tales as the place where the pilgrims stopped for refreshment on the road to Becket's shrine in Canterbury Cathedral. But if they do go for a name change can I propose Ziggy's or Stardust?

The relaunch of the Goldsmiths Tavern as the New Cross House is on track - new owners Captial Pub Company took possession today (see more about their plans at Food Stories). And Brockley Central reports a new bar may be opening soon in New Cross - but nobody seems to know where or when?

(any other news, updates or corrections, please comment)


Anonymous said...

A bit of a poor pub by my reckoning but I noticed the White Hart was closed at 10.30pm last night.

Transpontine said...

Had my disagreements with some of the landlord's plans at White Hart over the years (notably the stripper affair), but would hate to see that pub closed.

Shelfish said...

Ah, so that's why the Swiss Tavern closed down. That was a nice pub. The Golden Anchor should have got all of that business then - if it's not still a kids pub. Bloody ridiculous, went there and it was full of kids! Barely looked 15 some of them.Not that that was the problem, I'm not so old that I don't remember sneaking into pubs underage (see below) but that they were fairly menacing kids. Shan't be going back there for a while methinks.

So they're changing the GMT again? Shame, I remember it when it had no windows and a back room painted with UV craziness - sigh - the good old days!