The Goose opposite central station was the first pub I visited in Walthamstow, I have had a love hate relationship with the place ever since. The convenience of having a boozer right opposite the station is great, and I have spent many an evening propping up the bar. But even though It had a bit of a refurb a few years back, the Goose went down hill, the furniture started to disintegrate and the floor slowly got stickier and stickier. I’ll pretty much drink anywhere but even I gave up on the place earlier this year as the decay really started to set in. When I heard the Goose had a newmanager and was having a refurb, I expected the standard paint job and a bit of bleach squirted around the toilet. It took me by surprise when I saw the scaffolding go up and rumours of a vintage theme for the opening night started circulating, maybe I had underestimated the size of the task the new manager had committed to.
Thursday 29th November was opening night, I had already seen the new black and white frontage of the building but didn’t know what to expect inside. I nearly ended up going home due to some confusion with the door staff thinking the opening was invite only, but that was sorted out and in we went. So whats changed? well firstly the floor was clean and not in the slightest bit sticky, new furniture has been installed and walls and ceiling have been redecorated. The old Goose did sometimes feel like a drafty neglected waiting room, but it feels much cosier, friendly and clean now. The opening night was great fun, a good mix of people with music courtesy of Champagne Charlie & the Bubbly boys and vintage sounds from DJ Auntie Maureen. The atmosphere inside was unlike any night I have ever spent in the Goose before which was a really pleasant surprise.
Somethings havent changed, the menu for instance is the standard offering that can be found in all pubs in the Stonegate estate. And of course the Goose still stands in the same place near the station, this one fact could be its greatest advantage and biggest problem. Pubs by stations are tricky things to get right, a transient crowd of post work and pre west end drinkers can sometimes void them of atmosphere. I have to admit though that I have high hopes for the place, the attitude of the new manager seems to be different from that of previous guvners, which was evident at the opening night, seems to me she wants to do right by the pub. It has had a bit of a bad reputation in the past but don’t let that put you off, change is in the air at the Goose and it has the potential to make a nice addition to the Walthamstow pub scene.