I called in at the 'newly refurbished' Castle on Portobello; you know, the troubled pub without a hope in hell save a place to buy drugs and steal handbags. A friend was playing there, you know the Castle is pretending to be a music pub. Jesus wept!
I bought myself a beer, listened to some extraordinary Bill Withers cover while I watched cockroaches cross the floor. Big cockroaches. Massive fuckers.
I asked the barmaid (probable age 15) where was the landlord, she said dunno. I asked who was the manager, she pointed me at a boy who had been sitting the customer side of the bar all night chatting up plain girls and playing with his hair. I approached him, pointed out the cockroach situation whereupon he informed me that, and I quote: 'This is Portobello Road mate'.
He was absolutely right. It is Portobello road and we expect better than that from a scuzzy pub masquerading as a gastro pub charging a fortune for overpriced average food cooked and served in a place riddled with vermin and managed by a kid more interested in anything other than his job.
I will talk to the principals involved in the Castle and ask why they think that what they are providing is anything other than shoddy. Portobello Road is screaming out for some good quality, reasonably priced food.
We do not need cockroach infested, badly managed shitholes.... If we wanted that we would have kept the old Castle as it was;