View Full Version : Dodgy Boozers

22-01-2005, 11:14 AM
Any nominations for grimmest local? I have fond memories of an Irish bar called the Bohola House on Bethnal Green road, opposite the MacDonalds’s near the tune station. Think it might have been done up now, but when I lived there five years ago, it was on a class of its own, despite fierce competition from a street of many, many, erm, louche hostelries. All of the necessary elements were in place for the truly authentic drinking experience: a long thin room, more of a corridor now in memory, with no windows, just some guttering wall-fittings that could have been gaslights. Ceiling stained by aeons of nicotine, woodchip wallpaper, of an indeterminate hue, curling from the walls. There’d be a warm fug of smoke, damp and dogs when you went in, and often the smell of chips too from somebody eating a takeaway standing at the bar. The racing would be always on the telly above the door, with some hysterical commentator competing with ‘That’s what I call Rebel Songs Vol. 529’ blaring from the tapedeck behind the bar. Tremendous.

22-01-2005, 12:53 PM
the star and garter in Montpelier, Bristol. Famously run by Ken, dutty ken as he's known, this isn't a pub so much as Ken's front room. Daubed with graffitti outside and packed with bric-a-brac and household oddments inside. DJ Derek, britain's oldest DJ and the star of several documentaries, plays several times a week.

22-01-2005, 04:21 PM
the belgrave on finchley high road, not grim, just really, really shite, but we kept on drinking there. Described by a friend as " Cayote Ugly, directed by Jim Jarmusch" . Im sure it must have shut down by now and opened as something else

22-01-2005, 04:27 PM
i like anonymous pubs best. ones with no distinguishing features, where you just fade into the background.
there's a pub on the chatsworth estate in maryland where darts stop in mid air when you open the door
'a stranger!'
everyone turned around to stare
i let the door shut again, i didn't want to get lynched.

22-01-2005, 04:35 PM
know what you mean, Ive never understood people (men mostly) who seem to think that just cos the guy behind the bar nods to you when you come in means that you're part of some sort of high status "local" caste, it just means your're drink far too much and you dont go anywhere else, you're not part of a community or nought

Randy Watson
25-01-2005, 10:55 AM
The, now defunct, Sir Winston Churchill in Walthamstow. What a cess-pit.

25-01-2005, 05:42 PM
too many to mention.

any boozer that has no windows, charges protection money as you walk in, syringes and other ephemera clearly lying about, blah blah.

in an urban context, and from what i know, the West Midlands, Glasgow, Manchester and Dundee seem 'good' for this.

what about pubs you know are rough (frequent brawls, some weaponry, etc.) contrasted with pubs that are perhaps less rough but have had the odd far worse incident? e.g., a fatal shooting once in a blue moon.
if you had to go in one, which would it be? i suppose i would take my chances in the latter.

there's a long road called the Portway round our way and if you drive down there on a Sunday arvo you'll see loads of rough looking blokes hanging outside the car-parks drinking cases they didn't buy at the pub, lot of pubs necklaced down there. just hanging around. some of those pubs are pretty grim.

obviously not as bad as anything like the above but it's quite a rum sight, all told.

i'd rather take my chances in a lot of rough urban boozers than be outed as some pretentious townie in an unfriendly rural pub...

25-01-2005, 05:43 PM
hey Luke, where's Maryland?

i mean assuming you mean somewhere in London of course, not the state in the USA...

25-01-2005, 05:54 PM
it's in between stratford, leytonstone and forest gate, it doesn't have it's own postcode though, it's part of stratford. i went to maryland primary school and my infamous mate mark lives there.

26-01-2005, 06:14 AM
vancouver's got a good share of dirty bars. the downtown eastside is an extremely poor neighbourhood with massive problems with heroin, so plenty of dirty dirty bars there that the cops keep shutting down cuz they also double as open drug/stolen goods markets. The whole area also sits right next to a big clubbing district and right at the intersection of these two areas there's this terrible disgusting fried chicken place called Prime Time Chicken. I think it must be kept in business by completely trashed and hungry people at 3am, becuase i don't think anyone sober or in the light of day has ever been desperate enough to eat there. Anyway, the really great part is that the place next to Prime Time Chicken went up for sale, and so what do they do? Yes, the fried chicken store decided to open a bar there called Prime Time Spot, done in pretty much the same decor as Prime Time Chicken. I've never actually been in it, but it looks trully awful in there. nevertheless my friends and i always feel strangely compelled to go in there as it's just such a bizarre place.

26-01-2005, 12:42 PM
this is every other pub in liverpool and *every* pub in birkenhead. hackney has a fair few, too. but my fave rough pub was on lodge lane, toxteth. full of hard blokes and tired women, with karaoke and scraps but the landlady was lovely - got us cheap veg from her bother-in-law, who ran a market stall, and made a tray of spam sandwiches for me and my mates on my birthday

26-01-2005, 12:53 PM
as luke was saying -
how many times have you walked into a pub, everyone stops, turns and you swear you can heard a record being torn off a turntable.. most recently at the 'General Crack-Pipe' (not real name) in White City - on the outside it looks like a gutted building, burnt out cars in the car park, no sign and mostly boarded up with metal shutters and planks. Half the pub's a betting shop, the other's been converted into an off-license (more like a cash and carry). I didn't stay for a drink.

26-01-2005, 08:10 PM
any place where the bar is in a cage
MODERN GREEN BAR (http://commando.org/somalia.php?page=randr.txt)