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Pubs/bars you shouldn't have gone into

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Pubs/bars you shouldn't have gone into

Old 11th Sep 2014, 10:21
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Pubs/bars you shouldn't have gone into

On another thread tony draper was talking of low dockside taverns he had frequented and I thought it was worth a thread about bars or pubs that you walked into and suddenly realised you probably shouldn't have done.

Here is one of mine. I remember going into a low Dockside Tavern in Rotherhithe, then a dock area in London. It had about 20 drunks in it, which was surprising since it was noon. They had obviously been there for some time. There were two blokes holding another bloke down on a pool table and one of them was trying to push a pool ball into the poor guy's mouth.

The barman looked at me and my mate.

He said slowly, "Get out."

We did.
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 10:45
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Early '80's and I was attending a company function in London. Afterwards about a dozen of the women wanted to go for a drink and asked a couple of us chaps to accompany them, as they weren't keen on going into a pub on their own.
So we all piled in to a nearby pub, I went up to the bar to order drinks and got a very frosty look from the barman, then looking around I quickly realised
it was a gay bar. The ladies were looking a little confused at seeing men sitting and standing around in very obvious cosy situations and not another women in sight. We made our excuses and left!
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 10:48
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A mate asked me to meet him in the "Railway" at Grimsby Dock station, I got there a bit early and as i was walking towards the door a chair came through the window and landed at my feet, followed by much screaming, shouting and swearing. Very soon after two women fell out having a pretty violent fight with blood and hair everywhere. Looking through the broken window it seemed as if half the pub was having a go at each other.
I waited for my mate on the corner..
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 10:54
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Many, in nearly 100 different countries Not realising that they were, shall we say, locals only, drug dens, brothels, gay, gun running, just plain disgusting and so the list goes on. But you can't just walk out can you? It just isn't cricket. One has to deal with these situations in a colonial manner and just order a gin sling

The most recent was the Irish Bar at an airport hotel at DXB. Only had two pints of Guinness, just got the credit card bill

Currently leaning on the bar at The Maun Lodge, all very civilised.
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 10:59
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The only bar/pub I ever regretted entering was the Swedish Seamen's Church in Rio de Janeiro in 1970. Terrible atmosphere drenched in religion, and yes, they did serve beer.
Apart from that? A few scars, but no regrets.
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 11:17
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When I was about 20 and still innocent of the ways of mankind, I went into a bar in Athens and ordered a beer. A friendlybut decidedly middle-aged (well, probably about 30!) lady came and sat next to me and started chatting, or at least would have done if I'd spoken more than two words of Greek and she more than ten words of English. A 'drink' appeared for her and when I tried to leave a few minutes later have gulped my beer down I was presented with a bill for what was then a lot of money, I seem to remember the equivalent of about 50.

I refused to pay and it was made clear that violence would result from non-payment. Fortunately I'm small and in those days was very fast, and I managed to create a distraction and was out of the door and up the stairs like a rat up a drainpipe and into the safety of the street before you could say 'malaka' or 'skata sta matra su'.

More recently, I went into a most unpleasant pub called the Phoenix in Sunbury-on-Thames. Here is one of the more 'interesting' reviews on TripAdvisor.
Popped in for a quiet Sunday evening drink. Shortly after receiving our drinks the landlord entered into a foul mouthed abusive tirade at his staff. This continued for 30 mins with various other members of staff becoming embroiled and abused. Finally one member of staff came over to apologise. I replied that I was disappointed that our drink was spoiled by the events and that it was wholly inappropriate. She agreed and we heard her pass the comments on. The landlords reply was "f**@ em." As we left I pointed out I had heard his response and that I had expected better. His response was tough but if I wanted to fight he was there waiting. All in all not great for a quiet drink but ideal if a drunken abusive landlord or bare knuckle fighting is your thing. Not for me though.
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 11:36
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Similar to Goudie...walked into a pub, pretty sure it was in the Covent garden / Neals Yard area.......it was many years ago now......ordered a beer and then it slowly dawned on me it was a gay bar.....slowly retreated....back to the wall....

There was a pub in town, called the 'long bar'....'cos, you guessed it....and at the end of the long bar was a hole in the wall roughly twice the size of a regular doorway...this was smashed through a wall, and padlocked with steel gates after closing......rather than ever being properly repaired.

That hole led out to a wasteland of a demolition site, and haunt of druggies etc etc...it was a good trick to take 'hard' people out there to gauge their reaction...all ok for me, the previous owners Godson was a good mate of mine so knowing most all of the regulars I was OK....(Here's to you 'Scalper' if you're still alive )

The long bar was one of those establishments where you could by anything, and drinking in there one sunny afternoon someone asked if they could buy a bird (somehow it was known he was referring to the feathered variety)...lo and behold, not 10 minutes later, one of the local boys walks in with a caged Cockatoo.....'How's this mate?..........glad the place is gone actually it was an eyesore, and a rough joint..interestingly (for us at least), in the same building/complex, a remnant from 1960's Australia was the 'Quarter Deck' bar...interesting because a sign on the door still remained that said 'Mixed Drinking'.

Edited to add: I remember now all the locals complaining one day that the beer tasted like $hit (their words) all of a sudden........the reason? Apparently the beer lines were cleaned out for the first time in 20 years!
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 12:09
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What about bars you should have gone into? Like the Tokyo Bar in old Singapore. A Tiger was S$1:00 a "Tiger Special" was S$5:00. If you ordered the 'Special' it was best just to enjoy it and never to look under the table.
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 12:18
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After weeks of low pop culture in the USA I was walking past a bar in New Orleans when I heard Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" being played.

Thinking it must be a place of sophistication and culture I entered. When my eyes got used to the dim lighting I noted that (a) men - only men - were sitting at tables rather than standing at a bar (b) the same people were all dressed in black leather, and (c) most of them had handkerchiefs of various colours dangling from one or the other of the rear pockets in their leather jeans.

Oh and (d) I was receiving welcoming and encouraging smiles from many of the folk there (It was a younger and prettier OFSO who travelled the USA back then).

It being obvious what sort of clientele were there and what sort of bar it was, I beat - as it were - a swift retreat. Interestingly I didn't know the handkerchief code at that time but an American friend explained to me later. His explanation didn't encourage me to return to the bar.
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 12:27
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I had an 'experience' in Central Hong Kong.
Having been importuned to enter with the promise of a fixed price beer, when I went to leave the bill was significantly higher.

I had previously been told (by British ex-pats) that, in the event of trouble the HK police would side with the British visitor, so I was standing my ground.
Inevitably the situation escalated, and when it looked like it was going to get really nasty, three large Aussies emerged from an alcove (it was that kind of place) and stood by me whilst telling the staff that we were leaving, and escorted me safely out and we went in a group to the next bar along where we spent a pleasant couple of hours without rancour from the staff there.

Whether the advice of the British ex-pats was reliable remained untested.
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 12:43
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Pubs/bars you shouldn't have gone into

The Wee Beastie in Forres. We stayed in a lovely hotel in Forres (Cluny Bank Lodge) whilst on exercise and one Friday went on a minor bender. As us very English young men entered it felt like a scene from Trainspotting.
However we did order a pint of Mcewens each before leaving. We didn't dawdle though.
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 12:54
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In the early '60's we lived in Cambridge. Having bought a fridge we found a voucher inside for 12 bottles of Coca Cola. One evening I thought I'd try to cash it in at a pub round the corner, which I knew was frequented by American airmen, so they must sell the stuff, I deduced. On entering, it was heaving with airmen and girls and I had to fight my way to the bar.
The barman was huge,''whaddya want?'' He grunted. Handing him the voucher I explained to him that the voucher entitled me to 12 bottles of Coca-Cola.
He briefly perused the voucher then flung it back at me and said, ''f***k off you c**t...and I did!
Told Mrs G they were 'sorry but couldn't accept them.' She wasn't privy to the barman's language in those days.
We never did cash them in
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 13:05
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Quiet beer in a Korean bar in Hawaii one evening when I noticed a "hostess" crawling under a table and putting a smile on the face of a Japanese businessman. I didn't go back; I don't look at all Japanese.
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 13:15
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Just started university and on a trip to Broken Hill with a few mates in a stuffed old Wolseley 4/44. We arrived in Quorn at the Transcontinental Hotel (sounds classy; isn't).

A fight broke out and was spreading to include the entire bar. Decent lads that we were, we waded in to try to break it up. How surprising that both (local) warring parties turned on us.

One of us, quite worried, mentioned the police. Obligingly, one of the locals identified himself as the town's policeman and escorted us out of the pub and down a couple of doors into the lockup, where we were put, despite our protests, until the next morning, 'for brawling'.

A law student among us assured us that the cops had to at least give us breakfast, and advised the constable of this obligation the next morning.

The policeman said that was bullshit, and sent us on our way, adding words to the effect that if he ever caught our preppy young selves in Quorn again he'd throw us straight back in the lockup.

We detoured around Quorn on the way back.
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 13:20
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Always remember my fathers letters to me when I was away,he always wrote across the bottom "Stay out of the dives son"
He was in the Royal Artillery during the war but served on merchant ships in the DEMS,he knew the ways of ships and seafarers.
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 13:23
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I worked here for a while in the early 90's

Chandos Restaurant Reviews, London, United Kingdom - TripAdvisor

Vastly different place now I guess.....but I did work one insane New Years Eve there, when we were the only pub open within a range of Trafalgar Square???? Open from 18:00-22:00, when we managed to get everyone out the door, the floor was made from broken glass, I was sent into the 'Ladies' bathroom to hose it out with a fire hose reel, I didn't know then that used tampons were thrown about 'Ladies' toilets..but I instantly knew why I was sent in with a fire hose......amidst all that I threw as much alcohol down my throat as I could and

I spent the last moments of '91.....(my log book seems to indicate '91), atop the roof of the Chandos, peering down at riot police on horses with perspex shields fending off hordes of drunken English hoodlums trying to get into Trafalgar square.........a mere few hours later and we were summoned out of bed to remove the 'glass floor' in preparation for opening hour.....
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 13:30
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The pre-cyclone Parap Pub in Darwin - concrete floor, fire hose, steel roller door.

You wouldn't know the place now.
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 13:35
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I reckon my story is the most horrific of all!

The first time I stayed at a new crew hotel in Dubai I opened the curtains looked out and saw a very fine looking Irish pub, Paddy O'Connors, or some such name.

That's for me I thought Ill walk over and check out the Guinness. On entering I was quite surprised at how pristine and also how empty it was. I approached the bar and asked the little Phillipino bar maid for a pint. She looked at me as if I had just demanded unlimited sexual pleasures. 'No alcohol, no alcohol' she said 'only soft drinks, tea or coffee'. Thinking it must be too early for alcohol I asked what time I could get a proper drink. 'No alcohol, no licence' she virtually screamed at me.

A bloody pub with no beer! It transpired that the owner had been told if he built the pub he would get a licence no problems. However the hotel who had a bar raised objections to him being licensed, and no doubt with a bit of palm greasing bt them, he was refused. It ended up a coffe bar.
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 13:41
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The British Hotel in North Adelaide was sold several times with its resident barman Warren, who lived upstairs.

Warren would announce 'Time' by turning the lights out and yelling "**** off!"

I took a young lady into the front bar once and asked Warren for a beer and a gin and tonic.

"This isn't a cocktail bar," he replied, turned his back and went into the adjacent 'parlour bar'.

We walked out into the hall and made our way to the inner bar, where Warren was waiting, all smiles.

"What can I get you?" he asked.

It wasn't the extra few cents the drinks cost in the 'parlour'; Warren disagreed with ladies in the front bar. (The law had changed to allow them there years before).

On another occasion, a group of us were standing outside the front door of the recently closed pub discussing what to do next. Warren's bedroom opened on to a little balcony over the front door. From there, he threw a bucket of cold water over us, telling us to 'shut up and **** off'.
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 13:44
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Sir Draper:
He was in the Royal Artillery during the war but served on merchant ships in the DEMS,he knew the ways of ships and seafarers.
When my father wished me goodbye upon me leaving for my first ship, he gave me a Ronson lighter engraved with my name and the date of departure, which coincided with my 16th birthday.
He also gave me names of bars in various ports around the world, which he said was worth visiting. Some were.
My mother should have known.
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