London – Wandsworth (Borough of) – London and South Western Pub

As we were walking back to the railway station from the Brewdog in Clapham, we thought we’d pop into this new JD Wetherspoon outlet near to Clapham Junction. I don’t do the whole argument of “I don’t visit Wetherspoons because they don’t pay staff” as I’ve heard that piffle before, but each to their own, as I’ve decided to work through the Good Beer Guide and there are too many outlets from this chain in there for me to avoid.

This pub only opened a few months ago and it has been converted from a Revolution bar, apparently at a cost of just over £850,000. They already have the relatively nearby Asparagus pub, which I rather like (but that one is more traditional than modern), and I’m not sure whether they’re planning to keep both. This one has more of a Lloyds feel to it, although I think that branding has pretty much gone within the chain now.

There’s a history about the building outside (too few pubs do this….), noting that before the building was used by Revolution, it was constructed in 1935 as a flagship store for Hastings, a furniture showroom. The pub name is taken after the railway company, a nice nod towards the local area. We had a bit of a wait to get inside, although there was plenty of seating available so it just seemed to be a matter of managing numbers rather than it being particularly busy.

Richard had already had his decadent cheeseboard at Brewdog, I went for a rather more affordable pint of Punk IPA with burger (classy, eh?…..). I did note that the pint of Punk IPA here is only slightly more expensive than at Brewdog, but it comes with a free burger. Anyway, they’re different places, and there are usually more exciting alternatives to Punk IPA for anyone who is at Brewdog.

I had a quick half pint of Urban Dusk from Redemption Brewing, as it cost the grand total of just over £1. Perfectly well-kept, at the appropriate temperature and all that. The service in the pub was also fine, everyone seemed friendly, with the environment feeling safe and well managed.

The burger. There is a Facebook group now where people post photos of their meals (which I accept is ridiculous enough as it is for me to do here) and they then count the chips and post that total number. I decided even I wouldn’t be doing that…. For the money, this was entirely reasonable, but I won’t spend too much time describing JD Wetherspoon food.

Anyway, I suspect this pub will end up in the Good Beer Guide in due course, although it’s too early for the current edition as they weren’t open at that stage. There’s more of a cafe style in the day it seems with its outdoor seating for those who like sitting outside inhaling traffic fumes. The reviews so far aren’t great, but I’m not sure that JD Wetherspoon are too much bothered about that since they’ve withdrawn from social media. For those who hate the chain, then that’s easy, don’t go, but, for others, this was a clean, modern and seemingly well managed JD Wetherspoons with a few real ales to choose from.