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The Casuarina Tree, Mitcham

407 London Road

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 4 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Crown Inn

This old pub has re-opened and is now trading as the Casuarina Tree restaurant and bar. The "restaurant" coming before the "bar" reflects the relative importance of the two functions of this place, in that it is now a food led business. This is essentially a South Asian (Sri Lankan possibly) restaurant and takeway. But there was plenty of seating for drinkers in a bar area at the front, mainly consisting of black and red upholstered banquettes and normal tables. The Crown Inn signage still remains on the front of the building, but it has now been joined by a couple of Casuarina Tree signs on other walls either side of the pub. There is also a sign saying "Shisha Garden" - there is a garden at the back (but I didn't explore it), and I reckon this "shisha garden" may have one or two middle eastern touches and is somewhere that smokers can indulge themselves.

Anyway, there are no original pub features inside, where the dominant colour is black, and the ambience is that of a high street Indian restaurant. However, no dedicated pub reviewer will be put off by things like shisha garden signs, and on entering I was rewarded by the sight of a lone handpump on the bar, Doom Bar clipped. I got charged £2 for a pint, and although Doom Bar is far from my favourite beer, my pint was in reasonable nick and certainly worth a couple of quid. There were also a bunch of keg fonts including for Worthington Creamflow, Cobra lager and other fizz products. During my mid-afternoon visits there was a small group of chaps at the bar drinking and talking, and effectively treating the place as a pub. For some reason behind the servery facing me there was a large TV on showing some animated film, to which no-one was showing the slightest interest.

This is certainly nowhere near being a destination pub, but it does have a dedicated drinking area, and if you fancy a curry with a pint of real ale then this place fits the bill. In any case, it's good to see a long closed pub brought back to a semblence of life. It's better off than being just another Tesco Express.

On 1st January 2015 - rating: 4
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