Shaftesbury, Harrow, Middlesex   1 comment


After the Blues Tapas Bar and the Castle, it was nice to get to a bar that isn’t all up its own ass. The Shaftesbury reminded me, like so many of my favourite bars here, of the ones I grew up with in the Atlanta area: full of unpretentious people there to have a drink, a laugh (or a moan), and fellowship with their friends and neighbours.

I went out back to check on some messages I was expecting via my work email (I hate to use the mobile in public at all but the worst is doing it in what ought to be a social situation). Sitting in the outdoor smokers’ lounge, I found myself in a WiFi dead zone — there wasn’t even a signal available from the houses the pub backs up on so I was saved the time cracking these as well as possibly trying to reply to a work query on this tiny fucking device. I returned to the bar.

A loud couple was fucking with the bar maid (nothing mean-spirited or anything, just the sort of banter folks that know each other too well get up to). Loud Mrs went out with Abused BarLady for a cigarette and I wound up chasing the history of the Shaftesbury. Turns out, it used to be in the much larger 30’s estate pub building now housing the McDonalds across the roundabout. It was sold out to one of the food-and-family-based pubco chains then eventually became fast food.






The current location was opened by Wetherspoons as one of the ‘Moon’ named pubs, then went through a couple of other name changes as new ownership passed through before becoming the Shaftesbury again. “It used to be absolutely rammed in here this time of night, before this new owner,” Loud Mr reported; you could almost taste the bile raised by his contempt for this absent party. “Starting around 5, the bar was lined with builders trying to outdo the contestants on Countdown,” he explained, indicating the vocabulary and maths game show. Another guy at the bar (one of the only three others) chimed in that after that they would flip over to something that came on at half-4 on one of the one-hour delay channels and try their hands at that game.

There were decent meals, especially Sunday lunches, at decent prices and the drinks were kept well and kept affordable (as would befit a modest neighbourhood like this). And, it is the only game in town so, done right, this could be a gold mine on volume if not on overall margin (there’s no other bars north until Rayner’s Lane, and the other way there are substantial hikes to either the even more expensive Kingsfield or the non-ideally located Star.





Drinking up as BarLady returned, I had to pass on another round because I need to hit Homebase, a few miles away in the darkening evening, for some DIY crap. Friendly farewells all around, I left with this 70’s lyric goofily stuck in my head:

Who’s the black private dick
That’s a sex machine to all the chicks?
Shaft! (esbury)
You’re damn right.



Posted September 22, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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One response to “Shaftesbury, Harrow, Middlesex

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  1. Pingback: Militia Canteen, Uxbridge, Middlesex | The Endless British Pub Crawl continues...

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