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New Cross Inn / Bar Alchemy, New Cross

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user reviews of the New Cross Inn / Bar Alchemy, New Cross

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

As someone who walks past the New Cross Inn fairly frequently I've always been a bit wary of it. However, I plucked up the courage to visit to see a puerile musical comedy act of which I am a great fan. The experience was fine: both the staff and fellow punters were friendly and the pub rock band opening the night were most enjoyable. Not sure I'll ever be a regular here but will definitely pop in to see what's happening in future.
FreeBornJack - 26 May 2012 17:54
excellent venue to see bands, even has a choice of Ale. Mind you it wasn't very good quality last night. The old horsehoe bar has been removed & is now tucked into the corner, but that makes more space for the band & audience. However, it looks like they haven't finished decorating yet.
Wilson_MacDonald - 29 Jan 2012 18:11
The New Cross Inn has had a varying reputation over the last few years, largely due to a quick succession of managers and conflicting opinions on which direction the pub should take in order to appeal to everyone. I think, however, that the New Cross Inn has finally found its feet and is rapidly becoming a popular and thriving live music venue with something great to offer the area.

A combination of new management with innovative ideas, great staff and brilliant local promoters such as Polite Riot and Urban N.R.G. has given the New Cross Inn the edge when it comes to encouraging people of all ages and from all walks of life to get involved in live music.

There are many bands in the surrounding area who can attribute their success to being given opportunities to perform and develop material at the inn. A prime example of this is the popular and well-established open mic night every Tuesday, in which artists as young as 16 regularly perform and jam with musicians old enough to be their grandparents!

The New Cross Inn has no pretentions and makes no effort to be anything but a 'spit-and-sawdust' kind of pub, but the atmosphere is relaxed, the music is good and the beer is cold, so what more can you ask for? It is always well-stocked nowadays, and as for ' dirty alcoholic types', isn't everyone at 2am on a Sunday morning?!

The New Cross Inn seems determined to move forwards and I doubt it will be held back by the petty small-mindedness of a minority of local people still trying to hold on to their youth...
littlestuart - 19 Feb 2010 16:27
This pub generally has a pretty poor reputation amongst students in the area. Most of the nights there are terrible and the music is awful too. It is a shame other people who have left reviews look down on the 'trendy' people who go to pubs like Amersham, I think they are judging people too fast and if the new cross inn were to have a better reputation and put on better nights which attracted those awful trendy people they would probably have less of the dirty alcoholic type hanging around there and alot more money coming in. Maybe if local people who feel intimidated by the more extravagantly dressed types were to act less hostile towards them, they would not then feel excluded from local pubs they would like to visit which are classed as too trendy.
muffin1 - 9 Oct 2009 21:53
re creatures comments to me - customers who think they've come to dabble in an amazing "scene" they once read about in the NME a few years ago and are SO VERY DISAPPOINTED when it's actually a run-down old Irish boozer with crap promoters and shitty bands and psychopaths who try and assault you from across the bar. So when they come in, their faces downcast, noses wrinkling slightly, and look at you like you're not fit to lick their boots, you can understand a little bit of hostility

I hate to disappoint you but I've been going to the New Cross Inn since I first moved to London about 18 years ago and have no pretentions of an amazing new cross "scene". I also know how crappy bar work can be - however I dont expect a drama when I enter a pub because you're reading the paper and I've had the audacity to want a drink, in a bar!! As for your assumption that we came in looking down our noses at you - thats quite a joke- we've lived in New Cross for 15 years so we dont really have that kind attitude so again your assumption was way off mark.
iheartcupcakes - 11 Aug 2009 18:22
Passed by the other night to have a look seeing as its been taken over by new owners. Who exactly are they marketing it to? The music was awful cheesy soul/funk and the decor looked like it wanted to be a wine bar/boys club. Looks like all the band nights have been scrapped too which is what brought people to the Inn and made it well known as a live music venue for students and locals. Nice to see that there was actually booze in there but I don't think that'll be enough to bring people in.
Jane. - 24 Feb 2009 18:29
Before the owners buggered off, I ran Liar Liar Club @ New Cross Inn. A 60's Psych and Soul night with Live bands and DJ's.
The night has always been a great night nad has been run for the last year. Problem is that in all this time there has hardly ever been beer. This is down to the lack of care from the owners!!!
The barmen/maids have done everything they can to keep the pub afloat but its bloody impossible when you have doughnuts running your pub that dont want to fix shit.
Also I do agree with some comments. ALOT of the nights were shit. Too much electro brain melt crap that people had enough of hearing in the area about 3 years ago. Also the use of GAMEBOYS should be band from music forever. IT SOUNDS SHIT STOP DOING IT!!!

Other than that the place has brought me many a fond memory and hope the new owners see it for what it really is rather than making it into another Princess Beatrice joint like the Amersham!!!
liarliarclub - 12 Feb 2009 13:35
Working in a pub that you love where the owners don't give two shits about the stock or reputation is the worst thing- it used to be packed for great nights of music and those nights still happen but it's rarer. When you've said for the millionth time 'we only have fosters or stella' and you've made the same light hearted joke about it to ease the customers, how can you keep a smile on your face? I try because generally the people and most of the promoters who come in are great, and nights like Modern Love and Zombies Are People Too have a mix of locals and students dancing to bands and popular indie/punk/electro music. Prices are pretty cheap now but it can only last so long. If this place is up for sale, like the promoter below said, I only hope that whoever buys it keeps to the spirit of the inn- we don't need just another regular pub or an overly trendy one like The Amersham Arms.
Jane. - 5 Feb 2009 19:54
Went in the other night for a couple of drinks - quite liked it despite some of the beer being off and no crisps. Suspect some of the staff work hard to make this a good place despite the problems outlined below - I think if you were young and coming to hear music you'd remember this place with huge affection in years to come.
spincat - 29 Jan 2009 06:15
Great Pub! Got a real punky vibe these days. (I suspect that this has something to do with a certain Big Jon, and his monthly punk night! XD) On a serious tip, if you're not careful you are gonna catch some serious tuneage in this joint! XD On a less positive note these guys frequently run out of the more popular draught lagers (Yes I am talking about you Stella! ;0) ).

Also, heads up to all to the young, single guys out there... There is some serious lady action going on round these parts.

MrRight - 6 Nov 2008 12:47
Reading the reviews, I can't wait to come down from Suffolk and see the Bimmies there this friday...! I promise to smile nicely at all the barmaids and barmen if they could please smile equally at me and serve me a cool pint!
peter_m_keogh - 16 Sep 2008 16:06
I am one of the promotors at the New Cross Inn, and i can see both sides of the coin. The staff and promotors do all they can to make the place as inviting & fun as possible, but when (as others have previously mentioned) the owners dont care enough about the place to keep the bar fridges well stocked and fix the draught pumps-what more can you do!?
I hear rumours that the place is up for sale. i really hope this is the case so we can all get this place back to the great venue it once was!
BettyBlue - 15 Sep 2008 16:01
Ha! At the poster below. I probably was that "petulant madam" serving you. And you know why? Because it's actually painful working at a place you care about a lot, yet has no beer, no money, owners that come in and treat you like shit - and customers who think they've come to dabble in an amazing "scene" they once read about in the NME a few years ago and are SO VERY DISAPPOINTED when it's actually a run-down old Irish boozer with crap promoters and shitty bands and psychopaths who try and assault you from across the bar. So when they come in, their faces downcast, noses wrinkling slightly, and look at you like you're not fit to lick their boots, you can understand a little bit of hostility! And for your information darling, there's only so long you can keep the "have-a-nice-day" smile fixed on your face while the postmix taps won't work! So sod off. You're lucky you didn't get a cockroach in your pint glass, or that the toilets weren't flooded that day.
I'm glad I left - too many people with too much attitude for a shitty dive like the New Cross Inn...
creature - 29 Aug 2008 18:11
I've not been to the New Cross Inn since it "gentrified" itself and became Bar Alchemy..and after the appalling night I had there last week it'll be even longer till I return
Firstly the service is appalling. God forbid we interupted the petulant madam reading her newspaper to serve us. When she finally put her paper down she poured a pint for my hubby and then I asked for a diet coke. Seriously I've never had such a palava over a soft drink - she couldn't get any of the dispensers to work so kept filling the glass with the water that comes out when the things empty and then finally some syruppy stuff on top. I then asked what other soft drinks they had....NONE. Joy. Also the beer (guiness/newcastle brown) is more expensive than the Underworld in Camden and thats a gig venue.

Then the loos - no soap, no hand drier. Typical dive you may thing - till approx 8.30 pm when a woman takes up residence in there (and I'm told a man in the gents) SELLING you soap and hand towels - seriously this is a crappy gig pub in NEW CROSS - not some socialite club in Knightsbridge! PAYING for soap - utter joke.

If students and people with silly fringes are willing to pay their trumped up prices then let them - I for one will go to the Albert down the road, where I can wee and wash my hands in peace after a good choice of beer or soft drinks.
ickleprincess - 27 May 2008 17:02
I find this place very clicky and studenty, the odd local that you do find in there is definately one too few. The music is a bit hit and miss especially since the students have total control of what's played in there. The decor I have to say is brilliant and I love the fact that it almost has the appearance of a very intimate trendy bar... shame about the music cause if I could go in there for a quiet drink n a chat I would
newcrosslover - 30 Apr 2008 15:32
I find this place very clicky and studenty, the odd local that you do find in there is definately one too few. The music is a bit hit and miss especially since the students have total control of what's played in there. The decor I have to say is brilliant and I love the fact that it almost has the appearance of a very intimate trendy bar... shame about the music cause if I could go in there for a quiet drink n a chat I would
newcrosslover - 30 Apr 2008 15:32
Times were I would enter here and think "Blimey, this is a bit rough" (the blood on the ceiling was off-putting). Nowadays, the boot is firmly on the other foot as I found out much to my suprise some weeks ago - it's turned into a trendy wine bar, and the bouncers seemed rather pleasant! In my dismay, and bacuase of the lack of violence bubbling under the surface, I had to leave.......
easyskip - 15 Dec 2007 15:19
Clueless, sceney crowd most nights...
Music's hit and miss. Should be transported to Shoredich for the Trustafarian hordes. That's who promotes the place, by the way...
The locals stay loyal to the odd good night mind?
Thunders - 19 Oct 2007 05:41
Clueless, sceney crowd most nights...
Music's hit and miss. Should be transported to Shoredich for the Trustafarian hordes. That's who promotes the place, by the way...
The locals stay loyal to the odd good night mind?
anonymous - 19 Oct 2007 05:39
I have been in acouple of times recently with my pal.Lots of fun ,but at the end the customers start fights outside ,throw bottles,bricks anything.Very young crowd ,most are ok some tare street trash,estate born ,bred and die types..The place needs to be more picky about its crowd,everyone gets in ,Apart from that its fine, just leave early or fight...
newby - 18 Jun 2007 18:36
In reply to previous post it might cash in if the bar staff did not disappear en masse to the cellar (must be a private bar down there) and did not keep customers waiting whilst blowing up laughing gas balloons for 1st year students.Definitely not a patch on the Marquis for service and beers.Music can be good at times but avoid certain nights with live bands if you do not want your eardrums perforated.
rfc1 - 20 Mar 2007 17:40
This place looks like it's cashing in on the whole I heart New X thing.

About time someone in New Cross did, hopefully it'll put the Tavern out of business.
reverendlionelblair - 26 Feb 2007 22:32
I've warmed to the place greatly - it's filling the hole left behind by the old Goldsmith's Tavern.
MrScott - 3 Jan 2007 11:11

Now under new managment!

it's been decorated from head to toe, walls covered in murals and pieces of art by local artists and lovely friendly staff.

also they throw great parties, for example this weekend and at new years too. it's packed with local acts and bands and djs and events so go here if you want to be involved in something a bit special :)
biscuits - 25 Nov 2006 12:17
I love the live bands on the Thursday, but I dont understand why a disco DJ comes on at midnight. Other than this its an excellent evening and I'd highly recommend it.
walflower - 28 Mar 2006 15:04
This place is alright for the footy or to play pool during the week but god forbid you go there on a Friday night as it is full of people on their way to The Venue.

Barmaids are incredibly miserable, but hopefully they have new ones as they weren't there last time I went.

Chinese food is alright but the Thai food down the road at the Walpole Arms is much better.
reverendlionelblair - 8 Jan 2006 14:44
Still has some ropey live bands, I should know I play in one. Nice place, excellent and friendly music promoters and sound engineer, some student clientel and a friendly old fella with a big grey beard who can sometimes be seen defeating the youngsters on the pool table.

Nice place, good atmos, great food (Chinese). Good music and bands too most nights. Give it a try.
chubbykipper - 20 Oct 2005 14:25
I much prefered this place when it was tatty, dark and with the ropey live bands!
Now its lost most of its charm and atmosphere and you are served by miserable chain smoking barmaids.
I really detest all the naff posters in the window and on the walls advertising drinks promotions or two for one offers and pictures of the faded food menu. This has such huge potential but its sadly lost on who ever owns or runs this place now.
Esty - 27 Sep 2005 11:07
better than the tav. free entry and much nicer bouncers
sarah_pilay - 12 May 2005 03:04
I still know this place as New Cross Inn and go most weekends. The bouncers are really friendly once you get to know them and the drinks arent too badly priced really. I like the music on Saturday nights (mixes of hip hop and garage) but its nice to go in and play pool during the week too.
ST2004 - 21 Feb 2005 13:15
every other thursday. a well known local dj jesse james, rocks the place. get down and check it out, wicked crowd and top tunes, although could do with some drink promo's
sarah - 17 Jun 2004 22:22
this place used to be an alright late night pub when it was the new cross inn - however since becomming bar alchemy has gone the down the route of many pubs in new x and become pretentious cattle markets for drunken louts en route to the venue.
where once new x had a thriving alternative scene it now has places like bar alchemy
anne - 14 Jun 2004 21:16
very packed!!! but one of da only free places 2 go in new cross that aint full of under aged drunken kids!!! bouncers r nice and i always have a giggle!!!
katie - 28 Apr 2004 17:27
To correct the last person the new cross hardly plays garage anymore, your more likely to hear modern reggae. Most of the bouncers are very friendly as it's the same group of bouncers that man all the late night pubs in new cross and deptford and it's great they search people poperly on the way in cause far to many stabbings happen in the other pubs in the area.
anonymous - 7 Apr 2004 13:15
Utter, utter, utter Kentish cattle market on Saturday night with swarthy, half-pint bouncers who feel everyone up on the way in and thin kit's a good idea to get people to move tables so some sad, half-cut suburban types can bend thier knees to some gormless garage nonsense. Dispicable.
MrScott - 30 Mar 2004 11:41
Has lost some of its charm & atmosphere since the refurb, even though it was a bit rough & ready, with some good cheesy bands. Good selection of beers, friendly staff & the toilets are a major improvement compared to what they used to be like
lolly - 10 Feb 2004 15:29
had a great night out in bar alchemy, like the new decor haven't beenin the area for a while nice to see people enjoying new cross without the fights, love the array of sprits, keep it going, new cross on the up!
pete - 7 Jan 2004 16:23
Some good comments it would be good for bladdered to come back, It would be good for the Irish band that was there for 6 years to come back and it would be great for Anthony to come back as he was a very good landlord. But it don't look like they! So instead you'll have to put up with DJ Alex and the dre Zone who have been DJing in the area for at least 5 years now and the over crowding of the new cross inn on Fridays and Saturdays. It must be really bad in there to be so packed every weekend!!!
Real newcross regular - 16 Dec 2003 11:22
man, i lived in new cross for six months and new cross and bladdered was the best night ever. i went back and the new place sucked. i dont know about this place, but im very skeptical. why change good things?
rich - 2 Dec 2003 01:23
Oh dear now they've even got rid of the Irish folk band on sundays. This is now just another bar in just another part of London, with music (RnB yuk!)so loud you can't even chat someone up if you wanted to - were they not all essex girls on their way to The Venue. Aaargghh! Bring back old New Cross please!!!!!!!!!
james wild - 1 Dec 2003 23:41
bring back 'bladdered' - it was only a 1 a drink and there was a damn fine dj who only played what he wanted, i seem to recall killing in the name of??? -
jimbo - 21 Oct 2003 13:54
Anyone who hasn't been back to the new cross for a while all i can say is it's back, the Dre zone is back, the regulars are all coming back and tony the new landlord is doing a brilliant job of bringing back the Old New cross inn. It's about bloody time too!
Emma - 21 Oct 2003 12:45
The Alchemy is an excellent meeting point at the heart of New Cross. Tapas and salads are fresh and succulent. The Trendy and always updating art that is beeing exhibited makes it the ideal context for Goldsmiths'students. Prices are fair and the music is accessible for all. I wouldn't hesitate to give it a try, wether it is for a sunday Brunch or a Saturday night out.Enjoy!
Nina Adler - Sursaar_el_Sursaar@hotmail.com - 14 Oct 2003 22:27
Once past the intimidating airport style security - correction, airport staff don't search your wallet with a fine toothcomb - this is a nice bar with nice art and nice furniture. However the v loud music on Friday night before 11 (when the bar was a little over empty) spoilt what could have been a pleasant place to drink. Is the full body search worth it?
Stuart Williams - 10 Sep 2003 09:04
Used to be a cracker of a pub but now sterile and pointless. Over zealous security at door makes you feel like a terrorist. Lost it real local feel. Real shame.
andy Steven - 23 Aug 2003 15:44
great food tapas is the best outside of spain, had a great night, realy good bar staff quick service, kicking raregrooves from the dj and no door charge. quality!
dave - 7 Jul 2003 18:12
To many wannabe trendy irish mugs. Worse than the crap club next door .... go to the Goldsmiths and meet Brian and Miky Pearce!!
Bef Liddings - 1 Jul 2003 17:28
The food is good, but a little over priced for New Cross.

Could do with some live bands or and open-mic night and some monthly events with RnB
Natasha - 23 May 2003 15:26
Too trendy. Awful dance music except very occasionally on Sundays when there is live Irish music (weird music mix eh?). Used to be quite cosy a couple of years ago. It had live bands several days a week, playing anything from folk,blues to student rock. Now sadly the live music is all gone except for a token Irish folk rendition. The stage is now a place where people pose on uncomfotable chrome chairs.
james wild - 13 Mar 2003 19:38

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