Forum Sponsors

www.takeflightacademy.co.uk
xxxx
https://www.tutorfront.com

http://www.gardenia-gardens.com

Advertise here

The East Dulwich Forum
The Bishop, The EDT, The Great Exhibition, the Actress or another?
messageA tale of two Pubs (Phoenix and the Grove)
Posted by jimlad48 February 17, 03:32PM

Thought readers may want to get a take on two slightly local pubs in the wider area. Last night I was in the Phoenix at Denmark Hill Station with a few friends. Saturday evening is always a quiet time in this pub, and as we wanted a quiet catch up, we thought we’d stop by.

We entered a nearly empty bar, and got a table at about 7.30. It took nearly 10 minutes to be served even with only two people ahead of us, with a monosyllabic sole member of the bar staff taking a long time to serve a simple order – they then asked another member of staff sitting at the end of the bar to help – he refused, and went back to surfing his phone.

We ordered some beers and a plate of cheesy chips, and a few minutes later the monosyllabic phone surfer dumped a plate of clearly microwaved cheesy chips on our table. We were about to order some food, when the same person suddenly at 8pm mumbled to the pub, ‘kitchens closed’ (their website clearly states that on a Sat, food is served till 11pm).

We asked if there was any chance that we could order food, and the chef refused, even though we pointed out that we’d ordered a few minutes previously and they’d not mentioned closing the kitchen then. To add insult to injury the beer I’d ordered was off, so they were down to a really small range.

We felt pretty unimpressed with the shockingly bad customer service and sullen staff, so left and walked into Camberwell. We happened on the Grove Pub on Camberwell Grove which reopened last week – what a contrast.
Light, welcoming and friendly bar staff delighted to see us, plenty of beers on tap and a very good looking menu. The burgers that we had were excellent and it clearly wasn’t too busy as they’ve only been open a short time.

I’d not been to it in its old incarnation, but this new one was a very pleasant surprise and left me and my friends feeling impressed. The whole place is well designed and looks like a nice local pub to use. I hope it recovers from the fire and makes something of itself.

Sadly it feels like the Phoenix is in a bit of a slump at the moment – I’ve been there a few times in the last couple of months and the staff seem to be surly, and uninterested and there are clearly issues with beer supply too, judging by how often beers are out.

If you’re looking for a non Dulwich local, I’d suggest avoiding Phoenix and trying the Grove right now.

messageRe: A tale of two Pubs (Phoenix and the Grove)
Posted by PeckhamRose February 17, 04:37PM

Thanks for this. I used to love the Phoenix and saw it's arrival in 1980s when it arose from the fire of the station and David Bruce opened his Firkin branch. Oooh I can still remember the taste of DogBolter as we speak. I worked there for 3 nights but didn't last as my maths let me down and I kept shortchanging people. There was a model train track around the wall. It was a fab place. More recently we'd occasionally go in and it was either empty or KCH medics were noisily filling it. So sad to hear its further demise. It's such a beautiful building. Thanks for Heads up about the Grove.

--------------------
Humanist Funeral Celebrant

messageRe: A tale of two Pubs (Phoenix and the Grove)
Posted by uncleglen February 17, 07:28PM

PeckhamRose Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for this. I used to love the Phoenix and
> saw it's arrival in 1980s when it arose from the
> fire of the station and David Bruce opened his
> Firkin branch. Oooh I can still remember the
> taste of DogBolter as we speak. I worked there
> for 3 nights but didn't last as my maths let me
> down and I kept shortchanging people. There was a
> model train track around the wall. It was a fab
> place. More recently we'd occasionally go in and
> it was either empty or KCH medics were noisily
> filling it. So sad to hear its further demise.
> It's such a beautiful building. Thanks for Heads
> up about the Grove.

You probably undercharged them and gave them too much change sometimes- but they wouldn't tell you about that!

messageRe: A tale of two Pubs (Phoenix and the Grove)
Posted by GSJ57 February 17, 08:29PM

I remember the train track! It was a great pub when it opened...I think I still have a Phoenix sweatshirt somewhere - 'Phoenix my pint, I'll Firkin thump him'!

messageRe: A tale of two Pubs (Phoenix and the Grove)
Posted by rendelharris February 17, 08:32PM

Sorry to say Phoenix staff are not the best - a few months ago I walked up there with a Parisian friend on a Sunday to have a quick pint before seeing him back off to Kings X for his Eurostar. Arriving a bit early (11.45), we bought coffees from FCB and sat at the tables outside the Phoenix to have a chat and a smoke until they opened. A member of staff unlocked the door, came out and told us that the tables were for customers only - we pointed out that we would be customers as soon as they were open, but she was adamant that we couldn't sit there and then went back in and locked the door behind her - so we buggered off up the hill to the Fox instead. Also, popped in for a quick one with Mrs.H on the way home from a gig recently, being in need of the facilities I made my way to the Gents before going to the bar, only to be stopped by a loud hail from behind the bar that "The toilets are for customers only!" I would have left but it was almost closing so I explained I would be back to order, and was begrudgingly permitted to proceed. The beer's not much cop either. It's a real shame as it's a smashing space and was lovely when it was a Firkin pub, I feel they're just now relying on the trade from Kings and only interested in turning over as much a possible rather than being a decent pub.

Sorry, that's a bit of a long rant but I do think it's a shame that a once decent boozer now seems to be more of a faceless factory pub.

I did email them about the being turfed off the tables whilst waiting outside incident - no reply.

messageRe: A tale of two Pubs (Phoenix and the Grove)
Posted by wonderwoman February 17, 11:20PM

Never liked the Phoenix not even in 90s it's always had obnoxious staff. Much prefer going to Fox cheap n cheerful, bound to get served.

messageRe: A tale of two Pubs (Phoenix and the Grove)
Posted by Sue February 18, 10:03AM

GSJ57 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I remember the train track! It was a great pub
> when it opened...I think I still have a Phoenix
> sweatshirt somewhere - 'Phoenix my pint, I'll
> Firkin thump him'!


Yeh I remember it when it first opened.

Good ale, too!

Haven't been there for decades, and judging by the comments above don't think I will now.

Do they still have that circular staircase, or have I imagined that?

messageRe: A tale of two Pubs (Phoenix and the Grove)
Posted by Abe_froeman February 18, 11:01AM

Which one is the Grove? Is it Grove House?

messageRe: A tale of two Pubs (Phoenix and the Grove)
Posted by JohnL February 18, 11:07AM

LOL I think I just saw Jim's 1 star review (you have to add it would be zero stars if that was allowed)

I gave a one star yesterday for inappropriate comments (not saying which pub - not in the area)

messageRe: A tale of two Pubs (Phoenix and the Grove)
Posted by malumbu February 18, 12:40PM

Two of my favourite London pubs in the 80s and 90s. I used to look at the Fox with some disdain, but that would be the place I go to now. I didn't like the last big refurb at the Grove as it lost much of its charm, but hey ho that brings the punters in.

The demise of the Phoenix is just shocking.

messageRe: A tale of two Pubs (Phoenix and the Grove)
Posted by jimlad48 February 18, 01:11PM

I don't normally do 1* reviews, but sometimes a place just warrants it.

Its such a shame how good pubs can quickly fall by wayside as the staff change over - I genuinely can't believe difference its made, or how much of a good impact a smiling member of staff behind the bar made in the Grove pub.

I don't ask for much, a friendly welcome, reasonable range of beer/ales, a spot of food and a place where I can sit with my friends and play boardgames quietly without shouting into their ear due to the music, and I'm a happy bunny.

My current wider favourite is the Goldsmiths in Penge - except on Open Mic nights!

messageRe: A tale of two Pubs (Phoenix and the Grove)
Posted by Sephiroth February 18, 01:32PM

The Phoenix is a Mitchell and butler pub (just like the Dog in DV)

So of course it’s shit. It will always be shit with them in charge. At best they will find a bright young manager, who doesn’t know how m and b work. That manager might improve the pub briefly. But will do so at the cost of their physical and mental wellbeing

This is the m and b way

messageRe: A tale of two Pubs (Phoenix and the Grove)
Posted by PeckhamRose February 27, 09:12PM

Went there this evening. First time in years. Not the same vibe and I was saddened to see the balcony is now a block rather than the bars so you can not see down into the main area, nor look up from below to see if your mates are there, so it looks less friendly. However, to my absolutely amazement and delight they stocked my favourite ever beer since Dog Bolter. Belgian Fruit beers. This is a massive issue. I love that stuff but not keen on the pub anymore! What a conundrum!

--------------------
Humanist Funeral Celebrant

messageRe: A tale of two Pubs (Phoenix and the Grove)
Posted by Sue February 27, 09:39PM

PeckhamRose Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
Belgian Fruit beers.
> This is a massive issue. I love that stuff but not
> keen on the pub anymore! What a conundrum!


If memory serves there's a pub on Railton Road that has them on draught.

Also one near Borough Market, at the main road end that Borough station is on (sorry, can't remember the name of the road).

messageRe: A tale of two Pubs (Phoenix and the Grove)
Posted by PeckhamRose March 01, 02:59PM

How thoughtful! Thank you!

--------------------
Humanist Funeral Celebrant

messageRe: A tale of two Pubs (Phoenix and the Grove)
Posted by binkylilyput March 05, 01:54PM

Phoenix is dreadful- I avoid it at all costs. Which is a shame because if in the local area and using the station then it's the most convenient. It still gets plenty of business on a weekday/ Friday with the after work crowd but this tends to only last a couple of hours

messageRe: A tale of two Pubs (Phoenix and the Grove)
Posted by DovertheRoad March 08, 07:16AM

Mitchells & Butlers - living proof as to how cynically running a pubco from spreadsheet, not investing in your staff training and maxing out margins with low quality microwaved food will eventually hit results as others "out customer service" you. There's a similar menu at The Pheonix to the Dog but you'll find some dishes exactly £1.45 more expensive in DV, exploiting the Dogs monopoly location and well heeled clientele. Still the same shitty service there as the Phoenix though. I use the Plough because my young kids like it and the team there are decent enough. They also do a decent pint of Ghost Ship. But it's the same joyless experience with microwave pinging food and atmosphere. Cynical pub co management at it's worst. They've just fired their CEO and profits have fallen by half. So here's hoping it's the start of the end for M&B and that someone else buys the group.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was march 10, 08:01pm by DovertheRoad.

messageRe: A tale of two Pubs (Phoenix and the Grove)
Posted by Sue March 08, 01:20PM

The Plough is the pits sad smiley

messageRe: A tale of two Pubs (Phoenix and the Grove)
Posted by malumbu March 10, 07:06PM

I worked for M&B once, the mild was great but Brew XI sucked. [www.beer-coasters.eu]


Back to top of page
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
Donate                   Terms of use                  Help & FAQs                   Advertise               RSS rss feed               Copyright 2006 - 2018 East Dulwich Forum