A futuristic pub which invites people to pour their own pints has opened in Elephant and Castle.
Jeff Hussain, 44, bought the Crown and Anchor Tap House on New Kent Road, then an Irish pub, ten years ago, but closed its doors when business was slow.
Hoping that Elephant and Castle’s regeneration will usher in “new people with new expectations” Jeff, who used to work in technology for the Royal Bank of Scotland, has reopened the Victorian boozer with a modern twist.
On the self service system, he said: “It prevents the thing where you’re waving your card around at the bar for the first twenty minutes. It’s instant gratification!”
Customers put credit on an electronic card which they swipe at the tap, before dispensing themselves a drink.
The bar has a Korean theme, serving the country’s trademark fried chicken in three flavours, soy, sweet chilli and plain, and are setting up a ‘pocha’ downstairs – an underground drinking den.
“The pocha will have a different vibe – more dimly lit and a more exclusive feel with less beer and more spirits”, said Jeff.
It could also be used for music events, especially given the pub has a license to serve alcohol until 2am if it chooses.
Jeff is betting the pub on the area’s changing demographic. He said: “I think this area is going to change big time. There’s new people to the area and they have new expectations. We’re glad to offer something different.”
As well as the classic ‘premium’ lagers, they serve locally sourced beverages such as Partizan IPA from Bermondsey and Orbit from Walworth.
The pub, built in 1790, when it shared the same name, has retained its Victorian fixtures, while freshening up with TV screens and modern lighting.
Tom Jordan, 43, a local animation producer, who had popped in for the first time, said: “I love the concept. Just jump in and off you go and then you fill up on fried chicken.”