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This is a question Dodgy boozers

Just a vagabond writes, "I once had a guy in a pub shout completely out of the blue at me 'OI! BIG NOSE!' and then ask coyly 'Fancy a fight?'"

Tell us stories of the dodgy boozers you've been to, and what happened.

(, Fri 7 Feb 2014, 12:32)
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This question is now closed.

A 'wine bar' in Grays, Essex
Someone said fancy a drink after work? I said OK then. Being new to the job and area, I would try and fit in with my colleagues.

Finally found the 'wine bar' after driving around for a while. Had to park the car in a rather distant and lonely car park but insight of the winebar. Turns out it was just a town centre pub that looked like it was halfway through a demolition. Pub was rough. Plain floorboards, the sort that generates and attracts loads of dust. Toilet urinal was a ceramic type that had been half smashed up. Function room was the size of a bedroom.

Had to have one eye on the car from a far and one eye on the pub's cliental. Was convinced some sort of bar room brawl or trouble was about to kick off at any moment. Seemed as if everyone of the punters drinking was in a silent who could be the hardest hard man competition.

I stayed for a while and made my excuses about traffic on the M25 and left.

And people complain about the demise of the local boozer. These sort of places deserve to die out.
(, Wed 12 Feb 2014, 22:10, 5 replies)
Flying Scotsman not been but my non-g bbf number 1 who has done a lot of drinking in a lot of
pubs around the world and lots and lots in London says that the Flying Scotsman is without doubt the most tawdry shitty dive bar he has ever experienced. He has been as a punter and recently in a professional capacity.

Other than that, he concurs that the craic in the wall (nee Hole in the wall), Colne and the Lord Nelson (aka The Zoo) in Nelson are the most violent and with the most threat of violence pubs. Everyday is a story in these establishments but the last time I was in the latter I left to get a cab. A cab arrived and within 30 seconds a drunk had smashed the drivers side window.

Other than that, he says I am usually such a cunt that any pub is potentially lethal.
(, Wed 12 Feb 2014, 21:55, 8 replies)
When I was a sweet sixteen year-old Dr. Chinaman
I went on a trip to France with the Venture Scouts (Scouts for 15-21 year-olds). As we were largely from Scotland, most of us had kilts to dazzle the locals and enamour ourselves to them (it works in foreign countries, as long as you don't have a football strip on too). The first city we arrived in was Strasbourg, where we were going to have a tour of the European Parliament. The night before, we strolled around the splendid architecture of that fine city, wearing our Scout uniform and kilts, getting pleasantly drunk.

Though we were were all about sixteen or seventeen, we tried our hand at a few bars and were pleasantly surprised to be served. Way-hay! So we bar-hopped from one place to another. Walking down one alleyway, some guys at the window of one bar waved us in, gesturing us to join them, so in true friendly Scout fashion, we go in.

First thing I noticed - there were no women there. Second thing - the classical statuettes of Adonis-type figures. Third thing - magazines with pictures of twink-type guys on the cover. Yep, somehow we had been invited into a Strasbourg gay bar, while we were resplendent in our kilts, woggles and all. I broke the news to the group of plucky young Venture Scouts, and we decided to leave promptly - which annoyed one young lad who said, "Oh! And that guy just bought me a drink as well!"
(, Wed 12 Feb 2014, 18:55, 4 replies)
Not a pub
but the bar at Wolves Civic back in the early seventies. I was at a Hawkwind concert and making my way from the bar with a pint in my hand. A HUGE Hells Angel with long mangey beard and full putrifying colours approached me from the opposite direction and stopped in front of me. "Give us a swig" he said reaching for my pint. His negotiating skills were persuasive so I offered him my glass. He took two slobbery swigs and handed it back. "Ta mate" he said and sauntered off. Blimey. That was close - I had what was left of my pint back and got to walk away. Two days later I collapsed at work with meningitis
(, Wed 12 Feb 2014, 16:56, 11 replies)
I remember when I were a lad, going down t'local meant letting the landlord take a shite into your mouth and giving him a crank o' yer old feller to make your balls spin round, and if you came up with two brown stars to match your arsehole, THEN you got a pint of stingo.

Wednesday lunchtime it were open mic, and anyone with the lungs on him to make himself heard when mashed between Five Fingers Flo's funbags got a free bet on the first afternoon race down at Whippet Real Good.

If you'd started talking to me about gastropubs back then, I would have said I hoped you were on antibiotics.

Course, it's changed a lot since then, has Islington.
(, Wed 12 Feb 2014, 13:16, 4 replies)
Once, in the Jolly Sailor on Portland,
a Russian sailor, who was jolly alright, tried to steal my dog.

I nearly ended up with 2 half dogs as he'd taken a good hold of the poor mutt and I was trying to wrestle him from this pissed up man-mountain's not inconsiderable grip. Obviously this fucking vodka sponge had taken a liking to my dawg and was resolved to take him home to the motherland on his ship.
It all ended reasonably amicably as I shook him warmly by the throat and his shipmates punched him repeatedly in the ear until he let go.
Later the captain told me that he did this in nearly every port and sometimes got the dog on board before being discovered.

The dog ate a discarded kebab on the way home and threw up shortly afterwards.
(, Wed 12 Feb 2014, 13:13, 9 replies)
Trent Tavern in Stoke can be an interesting place from time to time.
It has the ragtag cast of characters you'd expect, each with nicknames that make them sound like rejected Bash St Kids.

One afternoon saw a member of the gang, let's say Smiffy, get determinedly rat arsed having finished the morning's work as a labourer. As he used all of his focus on not toppling from his stool the more fuddy-duddy punters took umbrage when he pissed himself where he sat. Sending him off into the gents to clean up they got back to discussing pigeon keeping and breasts.

Shouts came from the toilet when Plug, intending to relieve himself and following in Smiffy shortly after, found our hero stark bollock naked having stripped his jeans and t-shirt, drenched them in the sink and was discovered wafting them below the hand dryer in an effort to save face.
(, Wed 12 Feb 2014, 12:01, 1 reply)
My local has 44,000 litres of beer on site at any one time but it tastes like stale tears, I think it might be gone off crying.

(, Wed 12 Feb 2014, 11:53, Reply)
This guy told me he didn't like me, and that his friend didn't like me either.
I said I'd be careful, and he said I'd be dead, and then I woke up and it was all a dream.
(, Wed 12 Feb 2014, 11:14, 3 replies)
Way back when, we were looking for a pub to stop at as we meandered around Woolloomooloo. The was one place that was right on the water and packed to the rafters with Yuppies. So we went over to the pub over on the other side. It was nice and quiet with just a few guys. A bit run down. Surprisingly empty considering how full ever other pub was. A few dudes in bikie leathers, but I really liked the wizzen old guy with a tracheotomy resolutely smoking at the bar as he read the form guide. Pure class.

Despite the heavy feel, we had a nice, quiet beer.
(, Wed 12 Feb 2014, 11:04, 10 replies)
The Mighty Fine.
Down in sunny Pompey it really was not the place to meet, or take a lady friend.

Though not really rough it contained to the oddest collection of people a naval port has ever thrown up.

A gay midget who dressed completely in leather;

An ex Chief Stoker who decided he was a transsexual after doing his 22 and collecting typical 'Jack' tats. In short, a pub it was almost impossible to get thrown out of.

Yet my ex wife managed to get barred for life.

She went on her first 'Run Ashore' (she was a baby Wren), and wandered in with her mates and for some reason they all had helium filled balloons.

They thought it'd be a great laugh to let them go then light the string.

Being just post Falklands they were somewhat surprised when, as the balloons burst, most of the matelots in there dived under the closest table.
(, Wed 12 Feb 2014, 2:32, 20 replies)
A local pub for local people..
Ah, uncomfortable pints, don't ya love em? I used to live in Royston Vasey, many years ago. The local pub had free pool and a free juke box on Tuesdays, which says something. The juke box hadn't been updated since the early nineties, so had some early dance classics on there, great for a spot of nostalgia, The Grid's Swamp Thing, Urban cookie collective, etc, etc.

So.. one Tuesday, it started well. Nothing playing, so, up to the juke box, whack on some tracks..then

"You're not putting on any more of that *black* music" are you?"

Erm...nope.. but I fucking am now... Racks mental mind map for all bands with black members.. find a few.. then... on to pool.

This weasel was playing his girlf at pool, winner stays on, she won, I played her next..

Got to a couple of shots from the black.. potential for a snooker, so..

"You going to snooker a woman? Then you're a fucking wanker!"

Hmm. Fluffed that shot.. Stood my ground and won, played him next.. he got progressively pissed, sat down, looking at me daggers, and lit a ciggie.

Then he did that thing, I'd heard of, but never seen..

The cigarette stuck to his lip, and when he came to pull it out of his mouth, all that happened was that his fingers moved along the body of the cig to the glowing tip. His sluggish brain failed to register this for a good couple of seconds until the pain kicked in, and he jumped up, cursing.

I left, safe in the knowledge that I have the Medusa Touch.

"It's not just a damned headache!"
(, Tue 11 Feb 2014, 19:51, 5 replies)
Canadian Pubs
In the first half of the 20th century there was a cadre of rabid temperance fanatics that campaigned for prohibition like they had over in the States. Failing in that, they set about removing any chance of pleasant social interaction and enjoyment while drinking in public. You were not allowed more than two small glasses of beer at a time nor could you hold a beer while standing. You were not allowed to bring in your mother, wife or girlfriend. Barren rooms filled with sad men, arguing quietly whether Canadian, Blue or OV was the only beer worth drinking, and whether Ford, Chev or Dodge was the only car worth driving. If you nodded off you would be frog marched out the back door. You weren't allowed to wear a hat.

In the sixties it loosened up a bit, but there was always the assumption that habituating a beer parlour was something to be ashamed of. By the seventies there was entertainment, pretty good rock or country bands, and shakers up close enough you would catch the breeze when they queefed. But always with the assumption that this was only slightly better than getting drunk on vanilla extract in the bushes by the river.

Didn't stop me going though.
(, Tue 11 Feb 2014, 16:41, 21 replies)
I think it's a shame that b3ta is endorsing this sort of nanny state bullying.
Pubs are great.
(, Tue 11 Feb 2014, 15:26, 11 replies)
So I used to go to this place where
you used to have to punch the barman to get his attention. Punch him in the face.

If you were lucky, he'd then take a shit in a pint glass, and you'd have to eat it, and pay, and after that you were considered "a local".

Everyone there was on drugs, and the police used to drink there, but they'd raid it as well.

At exactly 9-47pm each evening, there would be a MASSIVE fight, and someone would die.

But the jukebox was good, so I loved the place.
(, Tue 11 Feb 2014, 15:20, 3 replies)
The old Flock and Firkin
To best illustrate how classy this place was, the florescent tube had gone in the gents' toilets and wasn't replaced for a year. This wasn't such a problem if the sole cubicle was vacant as there was a light bulb in there and you could just about see your way. If someone was shitting or snorting coke, you had to more or less feel your way to the urinal across a floor which - thanks to a slightly broken pipe - was always flooded with about half an inch of pissy water.
(, Tue 11 Feb 2014, 14:47, 1 reply)
Misty's Wine Bar, Hove
Last winter I took a date for a quiet drink on the way to walking her home.

The place was about a third full, music playing and a handful of people dancing.

Two heavily refreshed gentlemen kept taking frequent turns in the bogs to get even more obviously and unsubtly coked up

The bouncer eventually put one hand on one the chaps' shoulder and quietly asked them to leave after their drinks were finished.

They kicked off in a way I have never seen before.

In short, it was like a scene from a comedy Western: fists and glasses and blood flying everywhere. The majority of the customers were at the back of the pub holding chairs out in front of them like a lion-tamer would to a lion. Not only was the wooden front door kicked to splinters, but the huge glass windows were repeatedly smashed until nothing was left.

A couple of the larger braver punters did everything in their power to heave these guys out into the street, but everything time they hit the pavement, they just came flying back in for more.

Their faces were covered in blood with bits of broken glass poking out and everyone was continuously screaming. Myself, my date, the bar staff and a good handful of the other punters rang the cops a number of times desperate for some sort of assistance.

The police kept telling us someone was on their way immediately. This went on for THIRTY FIVE MINUTES! The longest bar brawl I have ever witnessed.

Eventually the aggressive duo got bored or fed-up or tired and eventually fucked off, smashing shop windows along the street on the way back into town.

Suddenly, as if by magic, the police finally appeared just minutes after the pair had disappeared.

The bouncer cried 'where the FUCK have you been?!' and was immediately reprimanded by the cops for sounding aggressive.

I haven't been back since.
(, Tue 11 Feb 2014, 13:18, 8 replies)
I work in a shit country pub
run by a mad bloke and his wife, who yesterday (before going on a cruise with the band Train, who they love - mad), decided to pay me £200 in pound coins and the other £247.97 by form of a cheque that was left as payment for a large dinner for 25 where the recipient had not been filled in. I'm still in shock.
(, Tue 11 Feb 2014, 13:02, 1 reply)

When I venture out for an afternoon / evening of happy drinking in a new pub, it's not the toilet floor awash with piss and chunder that really fazes me, nor the random outbreaks of violence between steroid bloated Neanderthals, and the enticing offer of a session of keenly priced oral gratification from a grey-skinned scabby junkie whore seems almost romantic, when compared to the absolute insult of being served beer in a plastic cup.
(, Tue 11 Feb 2014, 12:59, 4 replies)
I was a white van man. Worse, I was a white van man’s assistant. We trawled the charity shops of the north east buying up their ‘discontinued’ stock to sell on at a profit to people with no money or taste.
It was a bleak existence of dual carriageways, sandwiches, and illegal parking. I was 19 years old. I thought I’d flushed all my existential angst away with the passing of my 15th birthday, but had never reckoned for the experience of standing in a yellow office at a weigh bridge on a deserted industrial estate in Blyth, while two fully grown men snicker “Look at the tits on that” and the woman behind the desk tries not to cry.

It was a Friday, around 11am. I'd spent the last hour carrying half a ton of awful coats into the alleyway at the back of the People's Dispensary For Sick Animals. Me and the driver had had enough.
“Fuck it,” he said, checking his watch. “We’re off to a pub I know. That’ll kill a few hours. If we hurry we’ll make the lunchtime special.”
I nodded and smiled, not having a clue what he was on about.
Miles later, we approached Middlesborough. I fucking hate that place for good and obvious reasons. Our route took us past the centre and out into the industrial wastelands of this shithole. We ended up entering some sort of decaying retail park, all single storey buildings and tyre fitters. And inexplicably, a pub.
We walked in. It was packed with men only and they all seemed full of anticipation. We ordered two pints of lager and sat down, and almost immediately the bell rang. Everyone cheered. Some music came on, the back door opened, and the only woman on the premises walked through.

She was a vision. Black wig, fake tits, a carefully looked-after backside. I’d put her around 50, judging from the creases she’d tried to hide with make-up. The place erupted. She sashayed around the room, dropping items of clothing and pouting at old men while Tom Jones bellowed in the background.
She marched towards me. I mumbled a greeting and tried not to glance at her sore-looking bald vagina. She took my pint from my hand, rammed a distended nipple into it, and swilled loads of warm Carling all over her right tit. Everyone cheered again. Then she shook the sopping breast in my face.
I was 19. I hated my life. I liked beer. I misread the situation and thought I was being invited to suck cheap booze off an ageing strippers silicon bosom. I wondered what my parents would think. I looked at the nipple. It was very dark. I put it in my mouth.
There was a collective intake of breath, and she leapt backwards. Men with large hands spat disapproving comments my way. She looked very let down. I wanted to apologise but just creased my eyebrows together instead and went hot. My driver muttered “You fucking idiot” and we left. He treated me like a rapist for the rest of the day.
It tasted like my balls smell.
(, Tue 11 Feb 2014, 12:58, 12 replies)
Gay bar in Soho, some poor bastard had been tied naked to a lamppost just outside while he was passed out.
There was a long queue of homosexuals waiting to take turns in "sausaging" him.
(, Tue 11 Feb 2014, 12:51, 8 replies)
It's not always the dodgy pubs
I was in posh St John's Wood in that there London one time, when a patron being physically ejected by the Police from, I believe, Cafe Rouge, decided to conduct a baffling dirty protest.

Whilst screaming obscenities, she knelt down, hoiked up her frock, and let loose a gushing piss. Directly into the waitrose shopping bag that she'd placed at her feet.

Would never have happened down the Dog & Duck.
(, Tue 11 Feb 2014, 12:03, 11 replies)
Anyone mentioned The Old Bell in Derby yet?
Fuck me, I loved that place. It's an old coaching inn, going back to the days of Bonnie Prince Charlie and such. Since then it had gone very downhill, and become the local metal pub.
It was possibly the best venue for such a pub too. It had a large outside courtyard for smoking, huge gig room, I think a few of the bar staff lived upstairs, and a very relaxed attitude to most things. Never saw any trouble there either. I still find it odd that you could have a relaxed night at the Bell, then on the walk home pass through some kind of post apocalypse wasteland of fighting drunks and police.

TRhere was, briefly, a bloke out back who sold various burgers. I had a spicy chicken burger once, very nearly blew my head off.

We were in there one night, and watched in awe as a bloke stood drinking, then calmly threw up on the floor, before carrying on drinking. Barely a minute later, a girl he (presumably) knew ran up to him, wrapped her arms round him and started snogging his face off.

Of course, all good things come to an end. The Bell got shut down after the only fight I ever heard of there, unfortunately this ended in a lad dying. The pub is now being restored, and much as it needs it, I'm sad every time I walk past and see the new, up market clientelle.
(, Tue 11 Feb 2014, 11:45, 2 replies)
More of a dodgy regular than dodgy pub, but have it anyway

"Ere," said the drunk stumbling up to my friend, "Are you a bloke or a bird?"

When informed that she was, in fact, female, he then proceeded to try to chat her up.

Classy opening gambit!
(, Tue 11 Feb 2014, 10:41, 1 reply)
Back in the mists of time (insert wavy lines).... I went to work in Glasgow........
I was working on a warship, overhauling/upgrading the engine control systems. The work itself was piss-easy, the people I was working with were generally OK with a hint of psychopath, and as I was in digs outside Glasgow my evenings were somewhat staid. After a few days I asked one of the least mental of the welders where I could find the kind of pub 'You know, like Billy Connolly describes'. He very kindly offered to take me to the roughest pub he knew - that very evening!
I turned up by taxi outside a beaten-up, half boarded-up semi derelict shithole where he was waiting for me. Before we went in he said (in a Scots accent that I can't adequately write) 'OK come in but DON'T say anything. We went in
Fuck me it was a vision of hell. The bar was chainlinked off from the room, with two 'hatches' for serving and paying, there were no seats and the tables were basic wooden circles atop what appeared to be scaffold poles concreted in to the floor.
I got into the company of his mates, all of whom seemed quite friendly - compared to the rest of the denizens who seemed to spent their time either singing, vomiting or punching each other - sometimes all at the same time. After a few pints I realised I hadn't bought a round so I said 'My shout'.

Oh fuck.

I'd spoken.

In an English accent.

Bearing in mind that even though I was young/foolish/believed myself to be immortal this still was a bowel loosening moment.
One of the welder's mates pushed his (heavily tattooed) face into mine and garbled something along the lines of "seeyoojimmehwharey'fee". I had no idea what he'd said but my welder friend translated it as 'He's asking where you're from'.
I thought fuck it, I can only die once so I replied 'Coventry' - fully expecting to be nutted/booted/punched/stamped into a semi liquid stain on the floor - when tattoo face beamed at me!
'Coventry! Ah heard it's a bit rough doon thare', shook my hand and patted me on the back, exclaiming to the rest of the pub 'This cunt's English - leave him alone'
I got back to my digs some time later and vowed NEVER to go out in Glasgow again.

TL;DR - I went out in Glasgow in the late 70's and didn't get punched
(, Tue 11 Feb 2014, 10:27, 9 replies)
I liked it when two female punters kicked off and had a cat fight
and one of them vomited on the other, but they carried on fighting.
(, Tue 11 Feb 2014, 9:47, 1 reply)
you can visit sydney and see the coathanger, but to really appreciate the true racist redneck wonderland of australia, you've got to go bush
I was hitching from Melbourne to Perth and was stopped in Port Augusta, a nothing town on the edge of the scrub. I went for a beer to the local and it was like I'd walked into a secure facility for the criminally insane. Corrugated steel plates covered the floor, the walls, and the bar, which was behind a wire fence. There were no seats, and no tables but the bar.
There was no one else about. I ordered a beer and the barmaid asked pointedly "wouldn't you be more comfortable in the lounge bar next door?", and "Are you sure you don't want to come next door?"
I said I was fine and had a schooner of West End, a beer of exceptional bland shitness found only in that state. I'd walked into the "Abo bar". The furnishings such as they were, had the twin function of not being breakable and easy to hose down. I stuck around until after a few of the brothers came in and we had a chat, more to prove a point that I found them better company than the fucking lounge bar's dying white pensioners, than to slake my thirst. Not that it made much difference
(, Tue 11 Feb 2014, 3:03, 25 replies)
I live in Scunthorpe, all the pubs are shit holes.

(, Tue 11 Feb 2014, 2:50, 5 replies)
Popping in to a nondescript village boozer near Northampton, we chanced upon the pub quiz. Eventually, the final question rang out; "What is the largest predator in the world?".

You're thinking Blue Whale, right*? Wrong. Apparently, it's a badger.

* Or your mum.
(, Mon 10 Feb 2014, 23:09, 34 replies)
Pride of Fort Erie
In the late 70s there were quite a few shitholes in Fort Erie (a small town in Southern Ontario across the Niagara River form Buffalo NY). Down by the river there was the Anglo American Hotel, the Courtwright Tavern (aka the Bucket of Blood), the Queens Hotel and the Royal. The Anglo and the Bucket were the sort of places where, if they liked you, they would throw empty beer bottles - if they didn't, chairs, pool cues and any kind of missile was fair game. First time I went to a fight call at the Anglo, my partner, who had been working there for a while, told me "Keep an eye out for the FBI". Turned out that this was not the American law enforcement agency. FBI stood for Fucking Big Indians. And there were quite a few. These guys would get their welfare checks on a Wednesday and drink it all up by Saturday night , then go home and beat the shit out of the wife and kids because there was no more money for booze. But the absolute worst was the Crystal Tavern. You had to be really something to get thrown out of that place, but it did happen. I got called there one night for an "unwanted person". We got inside to find this guy pretty much passed out at the bar. As we were dragging him out he suddenly came to life and the fight was on. After smashing the screen door of the hotel and rolling around for a while in the mud, cigarette butts and broken glass on the front sidewalk, we got him cuffed and into the car. On the way to the cells I became aware of a horrible stink. Yep, he'd shit himself. Turned out he had done that while still in the bar and the place smelled so bad we didn't even notice it. All those places are gone now, thank God.
(, Mon 10 Feb 2014, 22:31, 3 replies)

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