The Goldsmiths Tavern, 316 New Cross Road

BC review to follow, please post your comments and reviews here.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

waited over 30 minutes to get a drink in here once - gave up and went to the New Cross Inn. Only went back once and after sitting down was told to leave as they had a power cut. Staff are rude and the service is awful.

Outraged of Brockley

Anonymous said...

I've always been of the view that, if you go in somewhere and see the place is busy, don't take offense if you end up waiting some time for your drink. You sign up to those terms when you enter the establishment - if a quite place with quick service is what you want, go elsewhere.

Its like people who sit down to the last table available in a heaving restaurant with one chef in it and complain that their food is taking ages to cook - dear god people take some responsibility!

fabhat said...

In a previous incarnation it was another home of my misspent youth. Huge (surely illegal) parties in the upstairs room, packed with underage drinkers and people sitting on the stairs while the walls ran with condensation. Downstairs in the main bar was the most reliable place to get drugs, and a little bit scary.
However, it does have at least one claim to fame. There was a room downstairs which hosted regular comedy nights, including one which started there called..."Vic Reeves and his big night out". I remember passing the board on my way upstairs to drink illicit vodka and oranges in a sweaty room,and sneering at the ridiculous name. Two years later I was paying £15 quid to see them at some enormous venue...

Mezzer said...

It's a strange place, with no clear identity. had alook through the door a while back and decided against entering.

Previously it used to be a bit rough and ready, with a club night adjacent. One of the most memorable gigs of my life was here: Gil Scott Heron about 6 or 7 years ago. Apparently, he liked the inner city vibes of New Cross and agreed to come down and do a show. It wasn't until he walked on stage that I even believed that it was going to happen. Magical.

Mezzer said...

I remember the Vic Reeves weekly event too, fabhat. Never went though.....

patrick1971 said...

The pizza restaurant upstairs is all right, if you can actually get a pizza. A friend and I went on the buy-one-get-one-free Wednesday night offer, at about 8pm, only to be informed that the chef had gone home...

The downstairs always looks a bit nondescript, and the hired goons on the door don't do too much for the image. There is a nice sofa area upstairs though.

neanderthal d said...

I used top love it before it was done up about five years ago.

When i first went there about 15 years ago it opened late in the evening and was very low key - you had to go in the side door. The punters in there were mainly West Indian gents playing dominoes (the game, not the Donald Byrd tune). Time was usually called around 3 or 4am when mine host's missus came downstairs and informed him that it was his bed time.

Apparently, the legality of the tenancy/operation was somewhat questionable - hence the low key nature of the place and the "flexible" opening hours.

When Nigel took over running the placein 94/95 it got a bit livelier and some of the Dewdrop Inn clientele gravitated there when it closed down. There were some decent music nights down there. Some nights down there were memorable, other nights would have been memorable but alcohol induced black outs precluded any memory of the previous night's activities. The near pitch black room at the back was my favourite - reggae, ska or techno music were often heard in there - it was also a handy place for a nap when the Jackboot Jive style of Techno was blaring out its incessantly metronomic and precise militaristic rhythms.

The clientele were eclectic to say the least - but a sound crowd on the whole. A memorable description of the place was "just like the bar scene from Star Wars".

The Gil Scott-Heron gig was in late '97 on a Sunday night. It couldn't be advertised locally because the Goldsmiths' Tavern didn't have a Music Licence on a Sunday night - hence the hush-hush nature of the gig. If i remember correctly, somebody knew the Promoter or Tour Manager for that particular tour and the gig was a kind of favour or something.

Sadly, i missed the gig because i was languishing pennilessly in Plumstead at the time after just moving in there the previous Friday. I was most upset at missing Gil Scott-Heron, particularly as he did a no show at the Jazz World Stage at Glastonbury in 95 - fair ruined my weekend i tell ya (both weekends actually). I did finally see Gil Scott-Heron at the Jazz World Stage at Glastonbury in 2000 - he looked like somebody had just pulled him out of a nearby hedge after a few days and plonked him on the stage, the set was dirge like and even "Lady Day and John Coltrane" was funereal. Very dissappointing all round - but at least he turned up. Mind you, he wasn't a well man and was imprisoned a year or so later for rock posession and has been in and out of jail since then on cocaine charges. A sad decade for such a witty, articulate and sharp wordsmith/musician.

Since the refurb about five years ago the Goldsmiths' Tavern has become a soulless, pointless heap of toss with barely any redeeming features. Another depressing tale.

Well, at least there is some Jelly Roll Morton being interviewed by Alan Lomax on Radio 4 right now to cheer me up.

Anonymous said...

@ neanderthal d...
That is a pefect description! I used to love the Tavern, drank there on and off from 92 until it closed. Even though I was 15 then and the place was full of punks and old rastas I never once felt in danger, maybe because of the enourmous bikers who did security! They once threw out someone who was giving me and my mates loads of hassle by picking him up by his shirt collar and the back of his trousers and literally throwing him out of the door, good times....
Also once a group of students and their lecturer came in with clipboards and took notes, apparently was a place that got sociologists excited.

It's rubbish now though
Trixie

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