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Goldsmiths Tavern, New Cross

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user reviews of the Goldsmiths Tavern, New Cross

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

I'm a regular at this bar and it has a wonderful atmosphere.
Both customers and staff are very pleasant and the music is out of this world.
It has a brilliant sound system, any dj would love to get his/her hands on.
The pool night and poker nights are addictive.
The manager is a pleasure to meet. She makes everyone very welcome.
Its a big shame they had to scrap the karaoke as this was one of my favorite nights there.

smirnoffred1 - 7 Feb 2009 16:24

X! Dwarf and guests play electro, indie, post-punk and new wave.

316 New Cross Road, SE14 6AF (020 8692 7381)

9pm-2am /// FREE ADMISSION.
BR: New Cross/New Cross Gate



Stella Artois £2.20
Carling £2.20
Cronenberg £2.20


Tequila £1
Sambuca £1
Apple Sours £1


Red £7.90
Rose £7.90
White £7.90

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


The Friday night face of New Cross is changing.

It was once some post-apocalyptic war zone - resembling something akin to Mad Max 2 except with an abundance of kebab shops. One where ‘heading out’ meant watching Blind Willy McTaggart play Jenga in some crooked watering hole. One where you could purchase a hipflask of antifreeze and a monkey from the same seedy character.

Now, there stands a brave new world. One where the rabid local hordes mingle with the scholarly student types of the neighbouring Goldsmiths art college. One that saw Time Out herald “the new New Cross underground, a melting pot of ideas that takes in music, film, theatre, comedy, visual art, performance art and art for art’s sake”. One that led a certain cultural commentator to proclaim – without any shred of hyperbole – that contemporary New Cross is “like Haight Asbury in 1966”.

NO MORE DISCO is the heroic centerpiece of this innovative New Cross. While the New Cross Inn and the revamped Amersham Arms have enjoyed recent success, this night chose to return to SE14’s original home of artistic revelry and rambunctious raucousness – the GOLDSMITHS TAVERN. Seeking to revive its reputation as a creative hub, both night and venue offer a superior site for a gathering – EVERY FRIDAY.

Overseen by local scene siren X! Dwarf, No More Disco utilises his DJ talents, as well as the pristine, unsullied skills of weekly guests. A doubtlessly eventful evening will be soundtracked by a cutting-edge mix of fat-arsed electro, gritty post-punk, needle-sharp indie and newer wave of new wave – as well as head-warping visual accompaniments.

Because Disco - to paraphrase the great Fred Astaire - is just jitterbug…
carteraa - 27 Jun 2008 09:12
dude, you clearly havn't been here recently. you have no clue. they ID everyone that goes in there. The food here is great, like it or not and the new staff are friendly as f****. stop living in the past and accept that things can change.
carteraa - 5 May 2008 18:48
i dont know what all the bad press is about but i was there yesterday afternoon and had a nice lunch, staff seemed friendly enough
carteraa - 28 Feb 2008 22:48
awful atmosphere, freezing cold in the dancefloor area, rude barstaff (not all but some of the time). Doorstaff aggresive and surly especially when enforcing the no hats or hoody rule, needs a complete change of direction. There was some talk of goldsmiths college buying it a few months ago but it seems like that has falling through. Interesting as goldsmiths owns most of the street
workshop6 - 16 Dec 2007 14:41
went in there for the night as it was open till 5am, the music was ok, not great but the same tunes it plays every friday. could do with something new coz the crowd it pulls is not that great!! toilets flooded i think, but thats normal on a friday nite aswell. staff busy but friendly. manager not that friendly, somebody please give her a drink and cheer her up!!!
jamesdean - 1 Oct 2007 13:02
Distinctly average and never my pub of choice when in New Cross. Saying that its perfectly acceptable and does have a pool table which is appealing.
anonymous - 7 Sep 2007 16:25
i used to be one of the many regulars who attended the old tav,it used to be a great meeting place for me and my buddies especialy on a friday its just another souless chav hangout with rubbish music, what a complete is truly one of the worst pubs in the area.
cronos - 24 Mar 2007 04:58
There does not seem to have been a posting on this pub for some time now that i think everyone has given up on this place. I therefor hope the owners read and reply to this post and wake up to the fact that it's going nowhere fast until it's given a good Manager who knows the area and it'clientele and is prepared to work. It is no good leaving it in the hands of inexperienced staff who you never see and when you do all congregate at the end of the bar talking leaving customers waiting.Other local pubs seem to have pushed forward and are very busy but the Tavern seems to be going backwards very fast each month. Friday is a good night of late but the music/dance area needs better decor - its like an NHS walk-in centre. Tuesdays are also fine and as a previous post said its only saving grace is the well kept pool table buts thats only because i understand the pool team look after it.It would have been wrecked by now by the occasional headers as staff have no interest in keeping an eye out. So come on owners wake up and get someone who will have an active and hands-on interest and listen to constructive criticism such as : brighten up the place -its bland, get a better range of beers - only one bitter, have a well-staffed bar with efficient staff tha are looking at all timesto serve - not chatting and reading mags. and finally put other events on by consulting the regulars. I hope this post will push others to reply and wake the owners up from their past years of hibernation. By the way the new lads on the door are much more polite and friendly, thanks - Kevin take note lighten up - good evening/night , please and thank you costs you nothing.
rfc1 - 9 Jan 2007 16:06
I used to go to GMT a lot, before the doormen started behaving like apes. Most of my friends have been barred for ridiculous reasons and the air conditioning scam is dreadful (they put the heating on in the summer and claim the air con is broken so people buy more drinks)plus, GMT is the ONLY place I know that doesn't have mirrors in the loos! It's only saving grace is the pool table!
ST2004 - 27 Jul 2006 12:32
I miss the Friday night Ska. Where can we go for that now. Its all so sterile
sabina - 15 May 2006 21:09
The Goldsmiths Tavern now sells the most expensive Guinness in New Cross (or South East London for that matter)! Don't bother going!
If this place is to get back its old popularity it should do the following:
*Bring back live bands (to do this the accoustics will need to be improved. These were messed up with the last refurb)
* Change the decor to something a bit alternative. Or combine something old-fashioned and cosy with alternative and hip. Maybe get a local graffiti artist to re-style the dance room.In other rooms put up rock posters on the walls.
*Bring in better beers (why no real ales?) and why is Guinness so expensive?
* Get the bar staff to be friendlier and get a new lot of bouncers who aren't so menacing.
*Put local bands on the jukebox as there used to be.
* Bring back comedy nights (Reeves and Mortimer met here you know)
*Bring back the Friday Ska night and the occasional punk night/drum and bass/rockabilly/rock n roll/reggae/ whatever.
*Look at why the Montague Arms has become so popular since the tavern changed i.e. live bands and dj's put on independently by local music fans who are in full control of the night.Bar staff just run the bar.
*do something unusual like they used to i.e. an art show night, or even an s&m night.That sort of weirdness often happened in the old tavern.
JamesW - 23 Feb 2006 19:41
I use this place predominantly to have a laugh and relax after work, I'm a barman so dont normally finish till midnightish, so i love the place for the very fact that they're still open midweek. The bouncers actually seem fairly pleasant to me. I dont know their names or anything but they've always appeared willing to smile back when smiled at.
The music can be a bit loud, especially as theres not always that many people on the dance floor (except of course for the lone crazy guy (dont worry, private joke)).
dwaine - 31 Jan 2006 05:58
The Door people are a nightmare, this place was so much better before. Enjoyed being verbally assaulted by one of the MCs last time for not wanting to go and dance to his music (I cant help it, I just dont like 'Little bit of luck' By DJ Luck and MC Neat).

That being said, its open late and you dont have to pay to get in apart from on Friday and Saturday so if you can get up for work the next day you're alright. The beer is alright and its less than £3 a pint so in my eyes they're heros. They should also definitely bring back the Thursday night jungle, that was amazing and by far the best jungle night I ever went to in South London in a pub.
reverendlionelblair - 26 Jan 2006 21:53
Beer could be better, seems very empty most nights which is great if you want a quite drink and to play pool.

Bring back the Aussie Barman
ARD - 24 Jan 2006 13:06
Sounds like sour grapes to me mate! if you've a cv as long as you claim maybe you'd better review where YOU are going wrong - oh! and by the way, bouncers are there to prevent ensuing problems and management, in my experience, trust them and their experience - they aren't there to make friends!
screentrader - 15 Dec 2005 14:24
Being an ex-staff member of this establishment, I can say that they are the worst company I have ever worked for (and I have a fair few comparisons)!! The bouncers do think they run the pub with their limited intelligence (if any), and their despicable attitude problems insight more conflicts than prevent them. The management are sneaky, underhand, and down right sly. As for the staff, the only one I ever had 100% respect for is the lovely Californian chick!!
They think it's the bloody Ivy Rooms, when it's just a pub in bloody New Cross!!!!
anonymous - 25 Nov 2005 22:39
We always welcome constructive criticism and those below will prove very helpful. It takes time to build a good team behind the bar and due to previous losses of staff the bar team fragmented somewhat. New management are now in with an emphasis on higher standards in all four of the points outlined and more. We aim to make this place the most relaxing and refreshing bar in the area with efforts being ploughed not only into the bar area but also the restaurant on the first floor. There will be alot of caretaking to do over the coming weeks, but watch this space and give it a go.
anonymous - 27 Oct 2005 14:05
How sad is all I can say.
If you have any taste please leave this place and try somewhere else. It has recently been taken over (aug 05) and the new bar staff are awful at best.
1) They now only stock "1" wine?!
2) The beer tastes awful
3) The new bar maid is rude but seems to think by wearing a low cut top is a workaround for waiting 20 minutes for a pint
4) Assistant manager seems to think that wiping a dirty glass clean with his grubby fingers is a better than getting a decent dish washer!

Need I go on?!...
So to finish the reason it's sad is that this trurly was a good pub with great service and decent atmosphere. If you're not that bothered then try by all means otherwise I'd recommend the bars around the Deptford bridge area, Polar Bar, Live Bar, North Pole etc.
anonymous - 23 Sep 2005 16:43
Could be a great pub, but insisted on turning the juke box off at 8pm sharp and replacing it with music (albeit good music) so loud we had to stop talking to each other despite the pub being practically empty.

Maybe it's better when the students are back...
anonymous - 21 Aug 2005 11:21
Possibly the SH$TEST door staff in the country, never new a pub where the bouncers are in charge of the bar staff, let alone run the pub, was a great bar 3 years ago, then spend all that money doing it up to put a couple of apes on the front door, never been so rudely stopped and searched when entering a bar no f'ing manners, at least the old security would say hi or alright mate.
anonymous - 26 May 2005 08:21
Used to go there a lot in the late eighties with 2 fellow aupairs from the Netherlands to a clubnight called Totally Wired. Great place, great music, great people. I remember vaguely some parties upstairs, flooded toilets and a very strict barlady (or whatever she was doing there).
Marianne - 18 May 2005 19:52
i see it says here that richie is back in charge. funny that, everyone i speak to thinks it's run by the bouncers/doormen
sarah_pilay - 12 May 2005 03:01
Not a bad place really, used to be better a couple of years ago but has a decent sized dancefloor that's a great place to watch the sad old dudes dancing to cheesy 80s music during the week! Prices of drinks are about average for London I suppose, but I prefer New Cross Inn, over the road.
ST2004 - 21 Feb 2005 13:03
Sadly, I don't think the live music will help as the revamped version will still look like a train station waiting room in rugby....
anonymous - 17 Nov 2004 16:01
NEWSFLASH! The tavern is putting on live music again! Richie is now back in charge and is putting on a gig featuring Redroute (New X stalwarts who used to rehearse above the old tavern) and The Sly Ones (who now DJ at the new place but are a very cool band also). The gig, "Back to Live", is on Saturday 20th November and it is pretty much guaranteed that many of the old tavern lot will be there. Vive la renaissance!
Rich J - 9 Nov 2004 13:05
Haven't been since the revamp, but don't really want to after reading this. LOVED the old Tavern, walking through the bogs to get to the games room, the crap jukebox, the great staff. The first time I ever went in there, I remember being in the bar, and wondering what was through the door to the left. Answer - a black hole, reminded me of a derelict ballroom - a rough and ready stage with decks on milk crates, guys skinning up everywhere, rastas, old folk, young ones all getting on great. The toilet was a hole in the floor in the Gents - and everyone always had time for a chat. Used to travel through from Croydon just to go out in GMT for a night - such a shame this classic venue is gone.
Matt - 15 Oct 2004 17:07
i lived in new cross in the late 80s, and the goldsmiths tavern was a well-established gay pub. it sounds like it's changed. it was vaguely bohemian and not to all tastes, but always good for a laugh.
richard - 31 May 2004 18:27
not as packed as da inn!!! n u can get 2 da bar!! music good, and atomsthere!! not 2 keen on door staff!!! but u have 2 pay!! terrible
katie - 28 Apr 2004 17:31
The Montague Arms on the edge of New Cross Gate and Peckham (Queens Road) is the New Tavern. It has an alternative vibe like the old GMT and has live music and a similar crowd. Give it a try and you'll forget the old GMT ever existed.
James - 14 Apr 2004 03:30
They shouldnt charge on the door and the women on the door picks and chooses who she wants to let in. if you aint got the face, GO HOME!they shouldnt have refurbed.
new x inn regular - 12 Mar 2004 13:06
This could have been a great place but instead they haven't quite pulled it off and its just okay. An excellent selection of beers & a good juke box but a bit bright with swirly carpets that give it a bit of an airport lounge feel. They also charge £3 to get in after about 10pm on a Saturday night. Outragous!
Lolly - 10 Feb 2004 15:33
The Paradise Bar (a fairly decent bar) now does a 'GMT (the Taverns nickname) Fight's Back' night with ska and reggae like the old Tavern Friday nights. Altho you have to pay (unlike the old Tavern) its worth it as you pay for the new Tavern at weekends now anyway.
james - 27 Jan 2004 23:29
Everyone here is right. if you want some alternative music. come to the paradise bar 1st friday of every month. Drum and Bass and Hiphop. Live DnB band and Live Hiphop band to. inc. Bad Company and Fierce in Feb and March.
Dan - 16 Jan 2004 19:44
Goldsmiths is OK as long as you don't go in expecting it to be the same as it was before. Its got a fantastic jukebox type thing, pool tables, huge screen, leather sofas and friendly staff. It's not an alternative pub any more but its a decent place to sit and have a quiet drink with your partner, or even just a coffee and a fag while you read the papers they have in there
Helen - 9 Jan 2004 19:28
If you liked the old Tavern the only similar bars in the area are The Catapult Club (although you have to pay at least a fiver to get in), The Amersham Arms if they have a decent band and The Fox and Firkin in Ladywell, Lewisham. Maybe one day someone will take-over the Goldsmiths Tavern and turn it into a decent alternative venue again.
james - 1 Dec 2003 23:33
it used to be so classic and now its a pretentious dive.
they've got rid of all the interesting old furniture and men in studded leather jackets and replaced them with a mish mash of furniture and boring wetherspoons drinkers.
new tavern hater - 28 Oct 2003 10:51
Reading this, does anyone notice that all the people who hated the tavern come from Bromley, Abbey Wood etc and all the lovers are local. I spoke to the new owner on the opening night and he told me that they were aiming at people from Greenwich, Bromley, etc, so from that point of view they obviously got it right. But why, begs the question, did they not open in bloody Bromley and leave New Cross be. Greed that’s why! Pure and simple; this is a crap attempt to be a feeder bar for the Venue and they will fail! What will get NX back it life?
sad for NX - 16 Oct 2003 11:26
yes boys and girls morpheous is had a little problem with her magistry's counsel after the raid on the last night of the tavern, to deal with.anyway plans plans plans were holding gmt style nights just round the corner from tavern just to get back into the swing of things, before we decide to shake things up a bit in new cross. keep watching this space for info.
MORPHEOUS - 4 Sep 2003 21:44
End of an era indeed. Yes it was a shit hole before, yes it was a bit mad from time to time, and they let it slip in it's last few months before re-furbishment... but it had character & a bit of history and some decent alternative music nights. Now it's fallen victim to hemogenised high street culture. Inevitable but a shame. No more free mid week drum & bass and techno nights, or live bands. A great loss. The new owners should have re-named it cos it aint the tavern anymore.
local bloke - 18 Aug 2003 14:38
I don't think the new bar is any good. It is like every other souless bar in any town/ major city. What is a shame that in my travels round England, every town is morphing into another. derby no different from Bristol, same chain bars and shops.
But how can that damp hell-hole have bought pleasure to anyone..still if you crawl in from the underworld...
Leila - 5 Aug 2003 00:35
ok it was a bit of a crusty dive but that's just a sign of much love over a long period of time, right? As a member of the band redroute, who rehearsed upstairs in the Tavern and played some memorable gigs there, I can say I have fond memories of the place, and was gutted when...well - when it was gutted! It was the black hole of the area - a place of no return but where all surrounding energy was sucked in and concentrated into a few glorious hours each night. It is now a brown dwarf in the New Cross system, tepid and cosmically uninteresting. Roll on the Tavern II !!!!
Rich Jordan - [email protected] - 23 Jul 2003 20:15
Its the end of an era for New Cross. I rate this new version of the pub 2/10. 1 for having beer and 1 for opening the patio up again. As for everything else - what happened to the old music policy?, what happened to the live bands, why do they now charge 3 quid on Friday and why can't you get in after 11.30 when you used to be able to get in up to 1.30am? All negative changes. Afraid the only decent bars now are the Hobgoblin, the Royal George,The Amersham Arms, and the Paradise Bar or Moonbow Jakes in Brockley.
James Wild - 18 Jul 2003 18:51
Im with Morpheus. Lets 'reclaim the Tavern'. Where do all the ex-tavernites go now? Of course there is Area 10 in Peckham but that's not open all the time.where do all the old lot go now?
james - 18 Jul 2003 18:45
It is sad to see another trendy bar take over a venue that had something for the community and could be said to represent its ethnic diversity. They should at least change the music policy to play some less atypical trendy fair. Personally my idea of a cool pub would be one with lots of international and otherwise interesting games - karom, backgammon, chess, pool, french bowls, space invaders. The music should be irrepressive and varied. The beer should be untypical but they should serve London Pride, Hoegarden, Budvar, Becks etc
Ben Brown - 18 Jul 2003 13:35
New fiiting looks good (a big improvement on the previous eyesore). However, expensive and the 2 pints I had there were as flat as pancakes. Visited on a Sunday and found the sound system way too loud given the number of people in there (probably ok Fri/Sat). Wouldn't venture to the food on the evidence of their attempts to serve beer. New Cross doesn't need another clubby bar with a late licence where's the micro-brewery pub that would've gone done well.
Billy fisher - 16 Jul 2003 13:20
The refurb of GMT's is a huge shame for the people of new cross! I have had many of my best nights out there and it was the place where i met my true love! i shall by no means be setting foot in 'Aldos'(!!!!!!) and i am 100% behind any revolution headed by Morpheus to ressurect the wonderful tavern to its former glory!
Pinki - 7 Jul 2003 18:05
yes forward the revolution!! lets all get behind this ressurection of the tav, im in morpheous i can help in any way let me know. cmon everyone support this and lets not be controlled by corporate management. well done morpheous!!.

labrat - 4 Jul 2003 20:18
Nah.The birds were alright after a few too many cheap pints. This gaffe looks much better now though, its slick right? Dean Cotton, Bermondsey

Dean Cotton - 4 Jul 2003 12:58
I agree with Barry. The birds were all well rough. Did lose my Vplates there though against the sink(thats why it was well loose from the wall) Terry, Abbey Wood
Terry Hayward - 4 Jul 2003 12:54
I think that this pub was a filthy hole and good riddance to it. The only dress code was six months worth of dead skin. Barry, Bromley
Barry Tobbell - 4 Jul 2003 12:50
Forward the revolution!
covertindustries - 4 Jul 2003 10:25
the gmt, tavern, goldies whatever you lovingly new it as has really and truly died. i spent 4 years of my life there made loads of friends and lots of enemies too. i can honestly say that ive never worked at a more diverse place in my life.... anyway im planning a ressurection for the TAVERN will it work i dont know, but i could do with help getting this project off the ground. this is not about money its about a way of life coming back to us all in new cross. my plan is quite simple first i need to know who is interested in my ideas. please leave a msg on this site with your support. i will visit every day and enlighten everyone on my progress. yes the tavern will be back in new cross.
morpheus - 3 Jul 2003 22:14
ANIMAL Est libre, Down with Milky.
Long Live Lager Daleks.
Joe Wollen - 3 Jul 2003 16:00
I loved that pub - I'd been going there and The Dewdrop for donkey's years (I'd even done parties upstairs as a youngster)

I essentially grew up there, a vast proportion of what i call "me" was created by that pub.

It reminded me of The Cantina Bar in StarWars for some reason (dunno why - haha)

I was there on the last night when it got raided by the cops - a black day in the history of New Cross.

oh... and the new version looks proper duff - i bet it'll be full of Preened blokes with nice hair and shiny shoes and the standard issue Footballer's Wives looking for someone to buy their next LV clutch purse.

Tragedy... That's all I can say.
covertindustries - 2 Jul 2003 19:09
Ah the Tavern's closed! Gutted. Let's hope they don't ruin it's ambience! Amazing pub that was v.popular with students during term time. There was a wicked drum & bass night on Thursdays as well as good Ska on Fri. Hopefully during the clean out they'll clean the pipes though!
Spoe Jeck - 23 Apr 2003 12:50
Used to be a great pub for late night drinking (open till 2am). Its clintele were a mixture of middle aged punks, rastas, hippies, students, rude boys, sharpy skins, goths, hells angels, crusties, essex girls, and Irish men named Brian. The music was good - Ska and Reggae on Fridays especially and sometimes they had live bands such as local band Redroute or One Jah. It was a bit smelly and needed better loos and ventilation but it had real atmosphere and was a darn sight better than the tarted up New Cross Inn which is now rubbish (once it was ok with good live music). The GMT or the Tavern as it is known is being done up now. Will it remain a good boozer? We'll have to wait until June 2003 to find out.
james wild - 13 Mar 2003 19:13

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