For many many years I did bar work when I wasn’t doing DJ work it helped supplement my income.
In 1998 I’d had enough of the Committee of the Conservative club I’d found myself working in and quit my bar job… I hate the Tories BTW!
I decided to give London another go as I’d been down there previously in 1994.
I moved down from Scunthorpe and moved into a friends flat.
I tried a few pubs in and around the Camberwell and Walworth areas to see if they had any full time work most of them only had P/T hours.
Then I stumbled upon this place Liam Og’s supposedly an Irish bar.
I walked into a gloomy dark pub & the resident dog (Paddy) made himself known with a bark & a growl. All I felt were eyes staring at me like I’d walked into some Amityville horror film.
It was all dark wood with a Bicycle hung from the ceiling, Various Guinness posters dotted around the place and a sign saying Tipperary 30 miles.
It was an utterly bizarre pub think downmarket O’Neill’s.
Possibly as far away from an legit Irish boozer as you could ever be. It smelled of stale dog.
I asked the barman if I could speak to the Manager and got the Owner who then decided to interview me there and then. Needless to say I got a job. I started the next day.
The regulars were a hostile crowd, Wasn’t just the Irish customers who could be utter arseholes, some of the flash Harry’s who drank up the top bar were just as rude as you could ever be to a barman.
I had to bite my tongue (A LOT) behind that bar.
Thursday Night up the top bar was Cocktail night. None of the cocktails were Irish themed even though most had Baileys in them.
At one point they had me flitting from pub to pub as they owned two other pubs in South London in Kennington and Tower Bridge.
I worked St Patricks day and it was full of Irish Cliches all day & they had me up to my elbows in Guinness.
I’d moved into the pub in Walworth by this point which they charged £50 a room per week and the lovely Irish cook (Bridget) would do me an evening meal.
On a typical week they had me working 80 hours a week with 2 days off. Which were days when I escaped the pub and went elsewhere.
My pay worked out at £1.90 an hour when I calculated it. That was after they’d taken the money for accommodation and meals.
It was the most FAKE Irish bar ever! Ran by an owner who didn’t give a feck! He’d come in and empty the till of 20 pound notes and go and put it on a horse then I had to explain to the manager why the till was down.
That’s if Michael the Manager hadn’t gone off on a bender, that was a fun week where I was in charge until he sobered up and came back to work.
I’d been there for a good solid few months when the long shifts and a sudden illness caused my Anxiety to spike. I came down with food poisoning (Yeah thanks for that McDonald’s)
I ended up stressed to the max then the managers henchman turned up on the day before I was due back telling me to get downstairs or I’d lose my job… I wasn’t well enough to start back.
Anyone who has had food poisoning from chicken can attest to how much it wipes you out.
After a lot of shouting & swearing I lost my job and I lost my accommodation. Not proud of myself but I ended up trying to take an overdose.
Ended up in A&E under observation. The Manager wasn’t sympathetic & he gave me 24 hours to move my stuff out.
I ended up storing my stuff in a large room at the front of the pub until I could retrieve it, I was lucky to get it back.
I was left homeless for a few weeks until I made contact with someone I’d met previously who then offered me their spare room for a few months.
After a while I was offered a job in another pub not far away from Liam Og’s doing P/T hours. I managed to get back on my feet but only just.
I hear the pub has been white washed and is now standing empty after being “The Banana’s Bar” for a while after Liam Og’s closed down.
Of all the pubs I’ve done shifts in Liam Og’s is one that stands out in my memory so much because it was the hardest I’d ever worked behind a bar.
I got call from the Tax office in 2002, Turns out the owner (Willie) hadn’t been paying tax on my wages despite them having my tax details, I presume he got done for tax evasion as I never heard anything back from the Inland revenue.
There should have been an sign outside saying “Not an actual Irish Pub”
Last updated on: 24th April 2020
at 11:12 AM Europe/London