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The Sparrowhawk - 2 Westow Hill, SE19


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Poll: How do you rate this pub? (34 member(s) have cast votes)

Please let other members know how you rate this pub

  1. Excellent (6 votes [17.65%])

    Percentage of vote: 17.65%

  2. Good (12 votes [35.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 35.29%

  3. Average (7 votes [20.59%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.59%

  4. Poor (9 votes [26.47%])

    Percentage of vote: 26.47%

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#46 Uncle Wilf

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 07:20 AM

No, it doesn't suit me and I won't be drinking there. £4 for orange juice an fizzy water? £4.50 for a pint of lager? In my dimension of South London I don't care how comfortable the place is. I refuse to accept 'ambience' as a reason to get ripped off.


What Nork said. The ambience argument does not hold together just like anything intangible does not really hold together.

Does there not come a point for any of you defending this pricing where you actually go "Actually that is overpriced. It's too much. It's unreasonable."? Will a £7 pint of Stella Black still be understandable if the ambience was aspirational?

What Andreas said is key - their intended clientele - pricing always has an agenda and in this case its agenda is abundantly clear.
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#47 CityView

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 07:59 AM

I had a food and drinks in there a couple of nights ago. Food and service were both good and I thought reasonably priced. I think it was £4 for a Becks, which I agree is steep for the Palace.

Got to say that I was hoping for somewhere with a bit more of a pub atmosphere and it seems to be confused as to whether its a restaurant or pub (I would have felt awkward sitting at a table if we weren't eating).

Definitely agree with other posters as well that it would really benefit from something on the walls. Exhibitions of local art talent would be great.

A really nice bright, fresh and welcoming addition to the triangle though and no doubt carves it's own market niche and will do well. I'm just not sure that I would go in just fro a drink and chat with mates.

Good luck to them.

#48 Norwood lad

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 08:28 AM

I may be being slow, but a pub is a business, isn't it? So if they charge you a fortune and it's a complete dive, last renovated for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee then, yes, you're being ripped off. But if they've done a lot more than that, then they will want to recover their costs somehow.

One's not just paying for the liquid in the glass.




Pretentious name, pretentious prices.

May pubs are refitted all the time yet I don’t see Sam Smith or Wetherspoon pubs charging over £4 for a pint ( and there refurbs are far superior to what has been done here). It sets a precedent for other pubs in the area who see the £4 barrier has been breached.

Lets hope they see sense and put the prices down ( like good taste did when they realised this is SE19 not the West End or Richmond) as after the novelty of a new pub wears off they may see the number of new patrons drop.

#49 Summit Lover

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 08:39 AM

I am ok with the prices being higher than the Spoons and the Albert. As with other areas I have lived with over the years some bars do charge more than others, it is their perogative after all, and your perogative whether you choose to go there. Drinks in the Hollybush were cheaper -so why wasn't it well supported by locals? If locals felt that strongly about the place then they should have helped keep it open.


Sniping about people who choose to spend their hard earned cash there isn't going to change anything. Suppport the places you want to remain in business - simples. To that end I will be supporting the Sparrowhawk.

Edited by Summit Lover, 08 September 2011 - 08:42 AM.


#50 Summit Lover

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 09:04 AM


What Nork said. The ambience argument does not hold together just like anything intangible does not really hold together.

Does there not come a point for any of you defending this pricing where you actually go "Actually that is overpriced. It's too much. It's unreasonable."? Will a £7 pint of Stella Black still be understandable if the ambience was aspirational?

What Andreas said is key - their intended clientele - pricing always has an agenda and in this case its agenda is abundantly clear.


Well as a new business you would be nuts not to have a target 'audience'. If the new owners wanted to attract the clientele that - for example - live in the Spoons then they would have decorated it differently and priced their drinks accordingly. I doubt Wetherspoons would have been too delighted with the competition :unsure:
The people that generally frequent the Spoons and the Albert probably won't be attracted to the Sparrowhawk - so what? Do we need generic old style, cheap boozers everywhere? Some may think so but others don't. I am delighted that the Sparrowhawk has opened - it fills a gap that I thought was missing. You won't want to go there - no problem. I don't want to go to the Spoons or the Albert - no problem. it doesn't make either of us 'bad' people does it? Let's support the places we like to keep them open - if people had supported the Hollybush it wouldn't have closed.

#51 Norwood lad

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 09:35 AM

I don’t think it’s a case of people sniping at people who are prepared to pay for £4 for a pint or fizzy water and a bit of juice but it is justifiable to question the need to charge such a high price? Yes the Holly bush may have had cheaper prices but its pretty much agreed the Holly Bush was in need of a spruce up as it was obviously not a viable going concern as a business and didn’t attract enough people. Price pays a factor in peoples decision where to drink amongst other things but is not the sole reason.

As I said if people are prepared to pay £4k for a pint then the Sparra will stay in business , if people think it’s a rip off then they will have to have second thoughts on there pricing.

I was on the Duke of Devonshire in Balham recently and was shocked that the bill for a pint of lager and a soda and blackcurrant came to £7.50. I thought to meself CP has some way to go before it becomes the new Balham/Clapham but it seems I was behind the curve. However the DoD is a Youngs pub ( always pricey) but they do spend hundreds of thousands on their pub refurbs and it showed as it was a very long way ahead in terms of fanciness that any pub in CP can match.

However, as much as the Sparra has been spruced up its hardly an opulent den that you think to yourself well it might be £4 but the surroundings are fitting for such a price. You can’t really compare it to the Bell or Wetherspoons but it is now in the same bracket of the WH,Westow etc but its not anything special. I just hope these comparable pubs don’t think they can get away with the £4 pint norm.

#52 Summit Lover

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 09:53 AM

NL - I agree that the £4 for an orange juice and soda was far too much, they do need to watch their prices, even if some don't mind paying a bit extra. I, for one, don't mind paying a bit extra to have a decent glass of red or white - I don't rate the wine they sell in the Albert or the Spoons - or the White Hart for that matter.

Hermit pointed out though that the ales were comparable in price to other places in the triangle though, so they are keeping their feet on the ground to some extent. As I said before, I realise the Sparrowhawk won't suit everyone's taste - indeed how could it? I remember when Patrick's opened up, I have never set foot in there and probably never will - it holds no attraction for me. I am pleased that it has found a market and done well though, as I am pleased for any business in the area that does well and keeps the area vibrant and avoids empty shop fronts.

ps - quite like that, the Sparra :P

#53 Uncle Wilf

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 09:54 AM

Summit Lover - absolutely - it is business sense to know who you are there for.

If the Hollybush wasn't getting the punters in then fair enough its demise was on the cards and I'm not sentimental about that at all.
But the real answer to the failing Hollybush is not a £4 pint.
The Sparrowhawk is a gastro pub for a small tranche of moneyed local people. And as such it don't interest me. But like you say that doesn't make those who like a bit of Sparrowhawk action bad people. And it doesnt make the old boys shuffling off to the Spoons for a Ruddles at 10am bad people.
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#54 Summit Lover

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 10:02 AM

....The Sparrowhawk is a gastro pub for a small tranche of moneyed local people. And as such it don't interest me. But like you say that doesn't make those who like a bit of Sparrowhawk action bad people. And it doesnt make the old boys shuffling off to the Spoons for a Ruddles at 10am bad people.

I couldn't agree more. I spent a fair bit of time in the Spoons years ago due to an ex of mine having a penchant for cheap beer - lots (and lots and lots) of. I got to know a lot of the elderly regulars in there, and it was great that the place almost became a social centre for them. Most virtually had their own seats, and others would notice of they hadn't appeared for a day or two - and if so someone would check on them at home to make sure they were ok. I am all for pubs like the Spoons, even if I prefer pubs like the G&G and the Sparrowhawk (not that they are similar I hasten to add).

#55 Dazza

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 10:16 AM

My point exactly its not a pub !

The good food guide guide have now removed the term gastro pub form their dictionairy ( very sensible people ) for the fact that no one could reasonably explain the difference & people hate the term !

My favourite definintion explaining the differnce from a pub that serves grub to a gastro pub was that pub that serves food call gravy , gravy & gastropubs call it Jus

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#56 Uncle Wilf

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 10:21 AM

Yeah my regular stopping points for a light ale are The Royal Albert, the Grape & Grain and The Railway Bell (since a certain other forum member got me on the Light & Bitter). I used to pop in the Alma as well and hope that doesn't go the exact same way as the Sparrowhawk has done because I ain't feeling a Jus hegemony as a good thing.
I would always prefer the Royal Albert to the spoons as in the Albert the staff remember you. In the Spoons the corporate ideal is that you don't gather at the bar and don't talk to the staff.

Dazza -as for your definition I came upon another one last night. It was mine and Mrs Wilf's wedding anniversary yesterday and she wanted to go to this place in Beckenham (i tried to twist her arm re palace spice but she weren't interested in a ruby) and their definitions for a beer are no longer pint or half pint but the much more discreet large or small. Discourages the 8 pint crowd see. 8 large doesn't have the same ring as such. It was an aspirational bar/kitchen where they called me "sir."
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#57 Summit Lover

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 11:03 AM

My point exactly its not a pub !

The good food guide guide have now removed the term gastro pub form their dictionairy ( very sensible people ) for the fact that no one could reasonably explain the difference & people hate the term !

My favourite definintion explaining the differnce from a pub that serves grub to a gastro pub was that pub that serves food call gravy , gravy & gastropubs call it Jus

Daz

I would see it more as a bar than a pub - but it doesn't send me into paroxysms of outrage that they call themselves such.

#58 Elmo

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 11:17 AM

Think your right SL. I've just got to look at it not as a traditional boozer - and they would never describe themselves as such anyway. Sometimes you need a sticky carpet and a bag of pork scratchings, sometimes you want the finest ales available, and sometimes you may fancy a dining experience... Sign of the times that a pub is no longer just one thing.
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#59 Sylvester

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 11:40 AM

Presumably those snipers who will not be entering the Sparrowhawk portals don't use the restaurants on the triangle which charge considerably more than your average pub for drinks - I'm thinking Joanna's, Mediterranea, Exhibition Rooms etc?

Edited by Sylvester, 08 September 2011 - 11:42 AM.

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#60 Nork1

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 12:00 PM

Presumably those snipers who will not be entering the Sparrowhawk portals don't use the restaurants on the triangle which charge considerably more than your average pub for drinks - I'm thinking Joanna's, Mediterranea, Exhibition Rooms etc?

What's your point? They're restaurants. The Sparrowhawk advertises itself as a pub. I don't go to a restaurant just for a drink.