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So you've never been to... Canavan's?

Everything you need to know about the cult pool hall turned club in Peckham Rye

By Kyle MacNeill

In a nutshell...
It’s a cult hero of a place, half club-pub and half pool hall with a compact dancefloor and some killer genre-bending nights.

Where is it?
Its letter-box-sized entrance is at the end of Peckham’s Rye Lane. It’s impossible not to grin at how gloriously shabby it is, or at the sign’s clip art of red and yellow balls for the Os in ‘Pool’.

What's the vibe?
Imagine if Felix Baumgartner redid his skydive in trackies – that’s how down-to-earth Canavan’s is. Most nights, it’s a good old boozer that functions as a pool hall for local junior teams and simple enthusiasts alike. It’s as authentic as it gets; no pretensions, no water-bottle posers, no hyped-up promoting.

What makes it a great venue?
Canavan’s has become well known for Rhythm Section, a bi-monthly all-vinyl night that’s all about deep cuts and unpretentious vibes. Nights at Canavan’s focus on the 100-capacity mini dancefloor, slap-bang next to the pool tables and bar. The owner, Ciaran Canavan, is one of the soundest guys you could speak to. He’s recently been facing problems with the council trying to dispute his licence and with flat redevelopments next door. He works tirelessly to maintain the cracking nights and keep the venue alive.

What's the booze situation?
Drinks at Canavan’s are cheaper than at most venues. Like its myriad pool tables, the night isn’t going to end with a load of empty pockets. Look out for the Sunday karaoke Happy Hour, which sees all pints go for £3 and offers the best shots you’ll do all night for just a quid apiece.

And what happens to the coats left in the cloakroom?
All clothes are held for 12 weeks, then donated to the local Age Concern shop in Peckham. The police don’t accept lost property, so apparently Canavan’s is holding on to 37 phones at the moment. 

Previously: So you've never been to... Ministry of Sound

Find out more about Canavan's


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