I currently work shifts in the Clerkenwell area and recently did an extra shift finishing at 10p.m.. This gave me a chance to try a few local pubs which lead to a most pleasing discovery.
The Pakenham Arms, Pakenham Street WC1 is a free house open from 9a.m. to 1a.m. Monday to Friday, 9a.m. to 11p.m. on Saturday and 9a.m. to 10.30p.m. on Sunday. Beers from Harvey's, Fuller's, Adnam's and Rebellion are available with four beers being priced at £1.90 per pint and for all draught beers a four pint pitcher is available for the price of three pints. Food including breakfast is available throughout the day. No games are available but Sky TV is on for football.
The landlord explained that the extended hours were due to proximity of the Mount Pleasant Sorting Office which is a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week operation. Several pubs in the area were entitled to be open from 9a.m. to 1a.m. every day of the week but not all of them use this extension. The Pakenham used to open to 1a.m. at the weekend but problems with the noise of customers arriving and leaving led them to revert to normal closing hours. A few days later I was chatting to the barmaid in one of the early morning Smithfield pubs and mentioned this and she told me that barstaff in other nearby pubs sometimes go to the Pakenham after closing time.
Perhaps one day all pubs will be like the Pakenham. Well we can dream, can't we?
The Apple Tree, Mount Pleasant WC1 is a recently refurbished Greene King pub that opens from 11a.m. to 1a.m. Monday to Friday but is closed at weekends. Darts, pool and Sky TV are available in an upstairs bar and food is served until 10p.m.. As well as Greene King IPA and Abbot, Hook Norton Old Hooky was on. Customers were still arriving after 11p.m. and I was told both pubs are popular with students from nearby London university buildings.
The landlord of the Pakenham did mention four other pubs in the area that were entitled to the extended opening hours although he did not know if they used them. I will try to visit them for a further article.