A 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.