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The Joiners Arms, Denmark Hill - pub details

Joiners Arms
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Address: 35, Denmark Hill, Camberwell, London, SE5 8RS [map] [gmap]

Tel: 0871 951 1000 (ref 6323) - calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras

Nearest train stations Denmark Hill (0.3 miles), Loughborough Jn (0.6 miles), East Dulwich (0.9 miles)

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> Current user rating: 5.5/10 (rated by 25 users)
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other pubs nearby:

Tiger, Denmark Hill (0.1 miles), Dark Horse, Camberwell (0.2 miles), Hermits Cave, Camberwell (0.2 miles), Sun and Doves, Camberwell (0.2 miles), Cube, Camberwell (0.2 miles) - see more nearby pubs

user reviews of the Joiners Arms, Denmark Hill

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

5 most recent reviews of 25 shown - see all reviews

1st things 1st - The review by SwedishLocal is very misleading. The kitchen wasn’t closed down due to hygiene issues – it simply wasn’t making enough money (though the pizzas were very good) and the bar staff aren’t know for being ‘scrappers’ (half of them are female students and the guys that actually run the place bar any trouble makers immediately and are intent on keeping the pub a friendly environment. The pub seems to have a reputation locally as being rough, but it’s anything but that and is simply an old fashioned boozer rather than a gentrified gastro pub (e.g. The Bear) or a trendy pub (e.g. The Tiger). It’s certainly not a ‘geezers’ pub like the Nags Head (not that there’s anything wrong with the Nags – I drink there too on occasion).

I’ve been drinking at the Joiners a couple of years now, and now consider it my local, although there are pubs that are closer to where I live.

Anyway on with my review......The Joiners is a ‘traditional’ pub with the ‘usual suspects’ available drink wise in regards to beers, but also a surprisingly wide ranging and quality whisky selection (by far best whisky selection in the area). The upkeep of the beers has improved, and is now just above averagely kept – before I thought it was poorly kept. Prices are typical of the area which means they certainly aren’t cheap, but I don’t think there’s such a thing as a cheap pint anymore unless you drink in Wetherspoons which I don’t!

The Jukebox (which has a huge selection of songs) and pool table are free on Mondays. There’s a quiz on Wednesdays, decent live music on Thursdays and Sundays (and occasionally other days), and a good DJ on Fridays and Saturdays who plays a mixture of funk, soul, rock and the occasional reggae classic (100% vinyl). There is a TV, but no SKY, so no football is shown except for matches available on terrestrial TV.

The decor in the front bar is traditional (think wooden floors, wood panelled bar and bar alcoves), but also houses gorgeous original tiling opposite the door (unfortunately ruined by, I assume, a dart board). The rear bar is quite large and has a stage for bands. Unfortunately the original HERRINGBONE flooring has been covered by tacky looking LAMINATE flooring – unbelievable! The toilets are OK – I’ve seen worse, but I’ve also seen better.

The Joiners has a mixed clientele ranging from students to bus drivers to barristers to bricklayers, the odd ‘arty’ type and a few out and out odd balls! Ages range from young students to retirees.

The bar staff are a mixed bag, ranging from the absolute happiest barmaid your likely to meet to a barman who can get a bit stressed and snappy when the place is just slightly busy!

So what of the atmosphere? The reason the Joiners is my local is because on a good day it is EASILY the best pub in the area for atmosphere (because of the aforementioned variety of clientele), it’s not an intimidating pub and the vast majority of people there are friendly and up for a chat.

I think it’s a great pub, not perfect, but a pub I’m definitely happy is my local.

drumnbassnbeer - 31 Oct 2013 19:34
Despite the desperate attempts to re-brand the Joiners Arms, it has failed on numerous counts, but this is categorically down to their poor management. I have lived near Camberwell for almost 3 years and believe I have a genuine say on how this pub should be perceived.

The only highlight is a Friday night where a DJ plays upbeat funk based tunes, but the other 6 days of the week are filled with grumpy, stern faced staff who would do better to be sent on a customer service course.

The service is as slow as a rainy day, and you almost feel bad for asking for a drink. According to police reports, the staff have been sighted getting in fights with customers, and despite their best efforts, the kitchen was closed down for hygiene reasons. My boyfriend was verbally attacked when he wished to play pool and we were told to leave.

If this is the English "pub experience" you are looking for then take a ring side seat. If not, then give it a very wide birth.
SwedishLocal - 18 Aug 2013 14:52
I do like this pub. It's a good mix of traditional old working man's boozer and contemporary food and drink style. Good for a pint of fosters Kronie etc in the back bar for a few games of pool accompanied by a well stocked jukebox. Or you can enjoy a real ale / proper cider / quiet chat out the front. Local history buffs will love the original 'arms' mosaic tiling in that bar.

Pizzas are lush and the whiskey selection is overwhelming. If you've never been before I recommend the quiz night on a wednesday for a bite to eat and a few beers.
carl2bob - 7 Nov 2012 12:56
This pub appears as though it can't make up it's mind, wether to go for a modern or old fashioned look.
Seems to be attempting to pull of both looks.
A 1940's radio situated next to a fruit machine.
An original tiled mosaic wall coupled with modern high tables and stools.

Seems to be targetted towards a younger crowd. However, on our visit (6pm on a Tuesday evening), there were only 3 older blokes in the front bar all sitting seperately and drinking on their own. 2 looked normal, but one was mumbling to himself.

There's an equally largish bar area at the rear with a pool table. To be fair, there were a few more younger customers back there, but the music was louder.
Music was a decent mix of 80's stuff from my era. Dire Straits and what have you.
I suspect this pub will attract a large crowd of young types on the weekend.

I was neither impressed or unimpressed.

Would nip in for a pint of Addlestones Cider if passing, but wouldn't go out of my way to return.
Pat_Bateman - 8 Dec 2010 15:27
I used to be regular at this pub in 1972, when I was in England as a student. There used to be a lady there named Anne she was really a wonderful lady who made me feel at home every time I visited the pub. I used to go by the name Toffee, I was known as Toffee since my childhood, and when I went to the UK I continued to use the name. Anne used to work there with her husband, there was a young Irish girl there called Pat, I loved the Joiners and the people there too, I loved my 'pint a bitter' do not get it here in Malaysia, Bitter is so English. I also used to love the Carlsberg Draft they used to have in that pub and most of all the atmosphere in the pub. If I ever come back to London that is the first place I'd visit. If Anne is still around send her and her husband my love.
toffeesturn - 7 Dec 2010 11:58

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