Railway Telegraph changing hands [Summer 2017]


Oh dear. We went in last week for food and it was… disappointing. :unamused:

There is a lot of established local competition which is great for us pub users but it must make it hard to attract new clientele. The Honor Oak seems to be doing quite well but with The Signal, All in One, Sylvan Post, Chandos, Blythe Hill and others we are well catered for.

It’s such a shame they got rid of Dusan as I think he done a brilliant job with that pub, but Shepherd Neame got rid of him because he wasn’t selling enough of THEIR booze even though it was doing well other than that, especially on the food front.

I guess this will keep happening until someone manages to attract a customer base that suits Shepherd Neame :frowning:


Can anyone point to a Shepherd Neame pub in London which is thriving? Dusan appeared to do a great job, investing a lot in the pub, and while I didn’t find the food very consistent, it was something slightly different and it’s a shame he didn’t have longer.

We used the function room recently for a meeting and it felt very much like the current landlords had given up trying. Only 1 or 2 working lightbulbs, no tables and chairs and very little interest from the team behind the bar. It’s a shame it’s gone so far backwards in the last year.


The Westminsters Arms does well but I suspect that this may be the wrong question. The location matters.

I happen to like Shepherd Neame beers but if the posts above are true then this is another example of how tied pubs can be bad news.

We went there out of curiosity one Friday evening and left as soon as we could finish our pints. It was empty apart from us, two other unhappy punters and a small gaggle of drunks who were holding court at the bar and generally being a nuisance. To add to the atmosphere there was a music act who seemed to be doing acoustic “pub singer” style covers of nineties indie hits.

I think the management is only one issue with it. It is a very large pub in a fairly quiet residential suburb with a lot of better options nearby. The location right by the busy south circular but away from the main “high street” areas is terrible. I imagine if it was in a quiet street or by a park and had a large beer garden it would thrive with the right management.


It has a large beer garden. And the thriving Honor Oak would suggest a pub like this in a location like this could do well.

As my closest pub I want it to do well.

It’s an odd place. Been in there several times with the mgmt who are leaving and preferred it to the previous incarnation of the Honor Oak, but it was a little bit too far away for us when we had the much improved new Honor Oak, the salt-of-the-earth Prince of Wales and the consistent All in One closer.

Main trouble is that Shepherd’s Neame beers aren’t really that popular with the market they seem to be aiming at with the decor.

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Dusan did a fantastic job doing the place up when he was in charge, and having Darren stay on as the bar manager was a great move - the garden is a dream and the food WAS really good, but for me it’s let down by it’s limited choice of draught beer and will always struggle with its location.

Even increasing the range of Shep’s beers would be a start, but they don’t sell enough of it to make this worthwhile so it’s a bit of a catch 22, and another example of how greedy and prohibitive this brewery is (and I’m a Man of Kent).

It’s my local, but it doesn’t feel like my local anymore.


It would do better if SN sold it on to an independent or individual who can source whatever beer they want and do what they want to the place. I stopped going there because of the poor offerings of beer compared to other establishments. Pubs these days have to have an edge - they need great food or a good range of beer or a good ambiance to get punters through the door. The RT doesn’t stand out in any regard so I go elsewhere.


Frankly I dearly miss the Hob :pensive:


I suspect the estate is the major asset for SN…

It’s a real shame, as in the right hands (as it was with Dusan in charge) this pub could be a huge asset. I am closer to the Honor Oak but have never really felt the vibe in the pub was that close to what I was after, and the RT offered a better option. As others have said, poor location and offer combine to something not so appealing. I liked what the current tenants tried to do - but it was so hit and miss. Just hope it doesn’t get redeveloped as flats - but as The Chandos (our very closest pub) is now so great, it would need a really great USP to draw us back.

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Continues: Railway Telegraph [2018]