Sunday, 15 February 2009

Liam Og's (pub)

Ever read Charles Bukowski? Ever wondered what it would be like to drop into one of those bars where all dreams seem to have faded and hope seems like a thing of fiction writers? Welcome to Liam Og's! This dark and dingy pub--founded by Irish landlords--was originally situated in Elephant and Castle but now juts out from a corner on Walworth Road with a racing green paint job that reemphasises the fact that, this is indeed Irish. Having dipped in and out of the pub from time to time, on occasion--when spirits are high--the bar staff can be quite pleasant, and if you're lucky they'll regale you with an interesting story; but more often than not they seem unwelcoming, almost like they're unimpressed with your being there.

It's extremely quiet in here, and you feel that you would probably be better off not raising your voice beyond a whisper. Although there is never any violence, the tension is so thick you could almost bottle it. Yet there's something oddly romantic about Liam Og's: there's an Edward Hopper-esque charm, as if you had walked in there just before, or just after a rather untimely event. The d├ęcor is very traditional, like it's an old countryside pub that somehow became lost in the modern world. The furnishings aren't bad either, and there's various bit's of traditional English memorabilia strewn around the place; some of it exciting like the old fashioned bicycle harnessed to the ceiling; some of it rather questionable in it's content.

The drinks are somewhat limited in variation (despite this being one of the few pubs in London where I've found a half decent ginger wine), but they're cheap: one pint being under £3; and of course you'll be able to find one of the best pints of Guinness this side of the river. Liam Og's is definitely not for everyone, but if you think you can bear with the gripes, then it's probably worth a look in, even if it's just for an experience to muse upon at a later date. You may even catch the regular playing "Rhinestone Cowboy"... if you're lucky.

374 Walworth Road
London SE17 2NF
020 7703 3295

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