Maybe its the sense of impending doom that makes this pub seem a little weird. But then maybe it’s the fact that the place looks like it hasn’t been refurbished since the 1970s doesn’t help. It’s the only Young’s pub I’ve seen that still has the company logo that was abandoned some point in the 1980s.
The wallpaper needs replacing yet alone repainting, and the gaps where several pictures used to be are marked by some serious differences in colour. A blackboard proclaims ‘Daily Specials’ but its list is empty – a second blackboard proclaims hot and cold food served all day, but none is to be seen.
The King’s Head is a rather big pub located on Merton High Street, just round the corner from Colliers Wood tube station. It’s rather attractive – with lots of wooden panelled walls, although does have some rather ugly modern seating. It’s even in CAMRA‘s Regional Inventory for London – a list of pubs with interiors of special historic interest in the London area. It’s quite friendly, but it’s cards are marked.
Young’s apparently want to close it down. Quite why is anyone’s guess – this is a pub with some serious potential. With other quality pubs in the area thriving, there’s no reason why, with some paint and redecoration, the King’s Head couldn’t live some more. Tart it up, get in a good chef and you could have a popular food destination – hey if the Riverside Jazz pub round the corner can offer kangaroo, there’s some serious potential in there.
Colliers Wood is an up and coming area – a new wave of young, working professionals live in the areas surrounding it. There’s a large flat complex being built nearby. So why Young’s are contemplating closure is anyone’s guess. This could be serious boom time for the place – a chance to re-invent and revitalise.
But for now the place looks set to become offices – it’s historic interior will probably be no more. It’s a sad fate for what was obviously once a popular destination. And it’s unnecessary.
If Young’s don’t want this pub, I’m sure someone else could make a go of it – it’s ideally sized for a Wetherspoons for example. But offices… well that’s what it looks like its destination could well be… How sad.
- 2.5 out of 5. Mainly for the kitch value and that impending sense of doom.
Merton High Street, Colliers Wood, SW18
- Beers on handpull during visit:
Young’s Bitter, Young’s Special. A small range of Young’s bottled beers were also available, although not the full range – this is obviously a pub which is keeping its stock low…
UPDATE: Sadly the Kings Head closed on 4 July 2004.