Cheap and not particularly cheerful, the Gate Clock is a soulless and unimaginative option among Greenwich’s many drinking
Located right on the doorstep of the Cutty Sark DLR station in downtown Greenwich, the Gate Clock belongs to the JD Wetherspoons
chain of pubs, a fact proudly advertised on its otherwise all-white exterior, complete with smoking area. Inside, the bar is
aesthetically horrendous, with garish purple carpeting, ungainly faux-wood pillars and a sloped floor which makes for unstable
seating on any of the high bar stools laid out around the room - the only saving graces are the presentable WCs, and the array of
full-length windows which look out on to the main road and provide much-needed illumination.
A fiercely compartmentalised bar (designed for maximum turnover, one can only imagine) can be found at the far end of the cavernous
venue, and a raised mezzanine level near the front acts as a separate dining area. Another room with extra seating is laid out in a
similar fashion on the first floor, albeit with some locally-themed prints lining the walls to add character, and flatscreen TVs for
live sporting events and news.
The atmosphere is pleasant enough, with locals and tourists filling out the venue’s impressive capacity throughout the day. The staff
are devilishly efficient, and there are certainly worse places to repair to after a hard day’s work or sightseeing, despite the lack
of music or any kind of aesthetic sensibility. However, given the relative wealth of charismatic, family-run bars in the immediate
vicinity of Greenwich village, it seems a shame to settle for such an eyesore of a venue.
The passable pub fare meted out by the Gate Clock kitchen will appeal to those on a budget, and indeed the burgers, curries and fish
& chips (£5-£7) all represent good value for money. Sunday roasts cost a mere £7, often with a drink included in the price and with a
full complement of vegetables and Yorkshire puddings, and are surprisingly decent if you blank out the surroundings. Cheap and
filling, but once again there are superior alternatives nearby.
As well as Heineken and Fosters on tap (£3-£3.50), the Gate Clock has a rotating selection of real ales, and occasionally holds ale
festivals and promotions, in a nod to local breweries like Meantime. Elsewhere, the drinks are generally cut-price and available in
vast quantities – mojitos and cosmopolitans can be ordered by the pitcher for £12, and a decent selection of wines and bottled ciders
and lagers are in bountiful supply, as are soft and hot drinks.
The Last Word
If you can see past the ghastly interior design as far as the recession-happy prices, then the Gate Clock is an eminently affordable
boozer in an enviable location. Everyone else would be advised to look further afield.