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Canterbury Arms, Brixton

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user reviews of the Canterbury Arms, Brixton

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

May be closed soon.
leon99 - 10 Sep 2015 16:51
Avoid this pub unless you're a regular. Was in there recently and was given a mouthful by a local because I dared to stand near him whilst trying to get served. And the barstaff need to lighten up.

Plus, there is only one ladies loo.

Ps. I used to love going to this pub in the 90's when I lived in London and frequented Brixton academy regularly. I rather give my money to Wetherspoons.
chipstick - 5 Jan 2011 17:33
Not a bad pub at's an old boozer with the cheapest pints you'll have in any given month. I've been coming here for pre-gig pints over the past few years and have quite an affection for it now. It can get very busy on big Academy nights, but the service is normally pretty good. I'll be back!
beammeup - 11 Dec 2010 15:11
Known affectionately among locals as the ‘Copperbury’ or the ‘Porkerbury’, the Canterbury is an Irish run pub in a fine, majestic building across the road from Brixton Police Station.

Hence, it is a favourite watering hole for weary plod as they stagger across from the nick once they have clocked off after another day of back-breaking toil keeping us all safe from crime and defending democracy. It is probably because of this reason that drinkers are usually 90% white, despite the pub being located in one of the most mixed and multicultural areas of the United Kingdom.

The landlord is a strident, forthright man who suffers no seditious nonsense in his establishment and seems to enjoy the loyalty of his established customers. He is always generous enough to explain patiently and forcefully to visitors why the sports team from their local favoured area are considerably inferior to the sports team from his favourite area. Few can be in any doubt for example of the magnificence of Manchester United or Liverpool football clubs following one of his informative and friendly lectures.

Indeed, sports seems to play an important role in the Porkerbury’s cultural chemistry, the pub boasts two large satellite screens for grateful fans to watch football and rugby as they down their pints. Sagacious, thoughtful and drink-fuelled commentary is often to be heard accompanying important league and national games.

The Copperbury can also get be fairly busy at dinner times as office workers from nearby Unity House and people shopping in the market sometimes make use of the place in their lunch breaks. The pub can become very busy when there are concerts at the local Academy, especially for those who lack the stamina required of the nearby anarchic Beehive and are overly concerned about being safe in ‘dodgy and scary Brixton’.

In fact overall, revellers in this pub generally tend to be on their best behaviour and mind their Ps and Qs accordingly - conscious as one always is there of the proximity of the boys in blue and the fact that the cells are a mere kicking and tazering away. Not the sort of place to go and see a bloke about a witness statement. If you know what I mean. Cheers.

UncertainTrumpet - 9 Dec 2010 14:57
Well worth a visit before going the Academy - had an awesome night in there before and after The Specials on Monday night this week. Great bar staff and reasonably priced. Well recommended
anitas - 13 May 2009 11:56
This is the first pub I went to when I moved to Brixton, and have been back almost once a week since then. The Landlord is an absolute legend and a massive Manchester United fan, and his running commentary during the games is great for a giggle. This place has a lot of character, and probably some of the cheapest beer in the capital.. who cares about ale, as long as they have Stella or Guiness, I certainly don't give a rats! Great pub for football, and a great pub before gigs. Love it.
Muggaz - 31 Mar 2009 15:01
Mixed bag real ale so had a bottle of newcastle brown in what was probably the dirtiest glass ever. Friendly enough landlord but wouldnt ruch back here.
nickthefish - 27 Jun 2008 06:40
This is the best pub in Brixton as all the rest are shit with shit beer! The other pubs in Brixton seem to be serving piss in a pint glass!
anonymous - 4 Apr 2008 19:14
one of the better pubs in the area.
good drinking pub
becks007 - 28 Nov 2006 20:14
Disappointed to see the TV boxes removed and the 1970s tvs replaced. It has a hall out the back for club nights and gigs. It has character, there is wood panelling around the main room and some interesting mirrors and woodwork behind the bar. Decent atmosphere. Loads of beers on offer and all of them taste like sh*t!! If they got rid of half of them and srarted keeping some ales, it would make this place a winner.
mitomighty - 15 Oct 2006 14:11
A good place to meet before a gig at the Academy, larger than it looks at first as there is a back bar. No real ale.
beeronaut - 23 Sep 2006 09:31
If you like a limited selection of poorly kept beers and lagers, uncomfortable seating coupled with rude and arrogant staff the Canterbury Arms is the pub for you. On the plus side it is close to the Brixton Academy and has its own Police Station.
BrixtonReporter - 23 Jul 2006 21:10
this is the best pub in the area a real nice traditional pub not many of these left now a real shame the beers are not very good but a good pint of guinness needs a new landlord and staff they are very rude and ignorant
anonymous - 3 Jul 2006 18:17
I recently spend over 12 hours in here over a weekend so It cannot be that bad! Had to have Boddies most of the time and then onto Guiness when I got bored of that. Excellent atmosphere, just needs better beers!
Matthew_of_Ham - 15 Dec 2005 20:13
Best pub around there that i've found. Great old TV cases. Nice ornate bar. No Real Ale. but good to hang out in. a Dying breed
anonymous - 29 Nov 2005 20:54
Typical. The day after doing my review I find myself having to meet someone in the Canterbury Arms. It is the first time I have been here for about 3 or 4 months and waddya know. There were tables and chairs on the outside patio, the back bar was open (and virtually emoty) and no sign of a pool table. Even the seats appear to have been reupholstered. The TV screens are still dreadful and the pyub still appears a bit drab but it is still one of the best of it's kind in the area. I am happy to move my previous rating up a notch!
RogerB - 28 Oct 2005 09:27
I usually drink in here before Academy gigs mainly because it is slightly off the beaten track and does not get rammed with people like the Beehive and Goose round the corner. It is basically an on old-fasioned pub run by an Irish landlord (as opposed to an Irish pub in the usual sense of pub vernacular). Prices are OK but the choice of beers is bland with no real ales. There is an open terrace area in front of the pub that is sadly underused (maybe the licence does not allow them to have people drinking outside). I have yet to be there when the back bar is open which means all the pre-gig punters have to use the front bar and unless you are there early, there is little chance of a seat. There are 2 large (but poor quality) TV screeens for sport and a pool table that takes up far too much room. If you are lucky enough to get a seat, you will probably find it the most uncomfortable you have ever encountered in a pub – the word lumpy springs to mind. One interesting feature to note is an increasingly rare tiled corridor leading to the toilets. Service is always fine and with the local cop shop 20 yards down the road, there is less chance of encountering any trouble here than probably any other pub in the area. Fine as a meeting place but little to deserve anything other than a passing glance.
RogerB - 27 Oct 2005 16:20
Erm, I meant pub, rather than club. Obviously.
newmalden - 22 Mar 2005 12:54
Wonderful old dive of a club, and has a top indie/soul night on in the back room every month ('how does it feel to be loved?'), which is incongruous but works.
newmalden - 22 Mar 2005 12:53
Good pub to meet up in pre gig. No problem getting served. Not overpriced. Has seating / standing outside.
snowdog2112 - 27 Jan 2005 13:50
Cracking little pub, ideal pre gig drinking hole. Big screens for the footie but don't let this put you off. They sell rizzlas behind the bar, always a sign of a decent boozer for me.
Spot - 1 Nov 2004 10:44
nice friendly bar staff, live football, ideal place for berfore a gig at the Carling academy Brixton. Good "atmosphere" and good prices.
me n me m8's - 6 Jan 2004 13:54

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