On the face of it, this unassuming corner shop on what’s trying desperately to be a village green looks for all the world like a chancer’s paradise. You can take your craft beer bingo card in here and shout ‘house’ before you’ve even got to the bar which, given this is a micropub, is not all that far from the door. Stripped bare brickwork. Iconography. Bicycle bottle cages as a feature. Pallet as shelving unit. Railway sleeper bar. Clipboard menus. Unfinished floor. Ostentatious display of casks. Abstract paintwork. Christ, I should hate this place.
But despite the litany of crimes against pubiness, this little corner of Nunhead quietly gets on with serving exceptional beer with the minimum of fuss to anyone who chances upon the gaff. It’s the kind of venue this area has been craving since the Old Nun’s Head opted for relative safety. And the clientele couldn’t be more apposite if they tried. This is the quieter, more discerning end of Peckham and here is its common room. And in all honesty, it’s needed one. A hang out. A dispensary. A watering hole. Somewhere you can drop into, sink a beer then disappear without being noticed. So far, so mixed. But that seems to be the point of this place. Sure, you don’t get many of Nunhead’s old guard in here, but why would you when there are two other more apt juicers for them within spitting distance.
Perhaps it’s the fact this place so obviously displays its credentials that makes it a winner. I don’t now. What I do know is that I can spend several hours sitting and sipping and listening to the sounds of new Nunhead without ever feeling like I’m wasting my time. As a micropub, it’s entire raison d’être is to be transitory. Much like its denizens. Much like London’s. I hope it’s still there when I finally get this book published.