Green Dragon breathes some life into local cultural scene

The Green Dragon pub, on the junction of Surrey Street and the High Street, a cultural oasis in a desert, and the beer’s good, too

Last weekend it was free beer (yes, in a pub!), as they helped to launch the New Addington-based Cronx Brewery to the world, plus free entry to a Rhythm ‘n Blues and Soul Club. This Sunday, the impressive Green Dragon is offering jazz and comedy.

One of Croydon’s best pubs has over the past few years developed a reputation as something of a cultural oasis in the arts desert that is central Croydon, with its open-house policy of encouraging local groups to use its room upstairs for meetings, often for no charge, and in staging music and comedy gigs.

This Sunday, from noon to 3.30pm, the Brandon Allen Band, featuring on of the finest young sax players around, is performing – again admission is free, though clearly the pub would like you to buy a pint or two – while in the evening, there’s a comedy session from something called the Happy Hooker (that’s rugby-themed, rather than any other hooker, we are led to believe).

There’s further jazz at the Green Dragon next Tuesday lunchtime (May 29; 1-3pm), while on Sunday June 3, the afternoon jazz act is the Tony Kofi Organisation.

The pub gets its fundamentals right, too, with its friendly staff, good but inexpensive meal deals, and award-winning real ales.

To contact the Green Dragon, call 020 8667 0684.

  • Meanwhile, virtually just across the road, at the Spread Eagle – the pub favoured by local councillors and Town Hall workers, but we won’t hold that against them… – next Tuesday and Wednesday sees the last showings of the latest series of films selected by the Save the David Lean Cinema Campaign.

On Tuesday (May 29), they will be showing The Artist, the multi-Oscar-winning 2011 French silent film at 2.30 and 8pm on Tuesday, with a 2.30pm matinee performance of the Hollywood classic Singin’ in the Rain on Wednesday. Again, entry for the movies is free, though the organisers do ask that film-goers buy at least one drink at the bar…

To contact the Spreadeagle, phone 020 8781 1134. To contact the Save the David Lean Cinema Campaign, call 020 8656 0168.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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1 Response to Green Dragon breathes some life into local cultural scene

  1. croydonite says:

    Establishing a diverse cultural economy is not expensive when you look at the regeneration it encourages and the economic returns it provides. For every £1 that’s spent on culture, more than £2 is returned as what economists call Gross Added Value to the Economy.

    Well done to The Green Dragon for recognising the role that the arts play. I hope we will see more cultural entrepreneurs emerging soon.

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