Sort file:- Erith, March, 2021.

Page Updated:- Sunday, 07 March, 2021.


Sept 2008

(Name from)

Potion Bar

Closed 2018

(Name to)

44 High Street


Potion Bar 2011

Above photo, 2011.

Potion Bar inside 2012

Above photo showing the inside in 2012.


Newly opened in 2008 it was described as a trendy bar aimed at the younger clientele. By 2012 I heard its description as follows:- Tatty, run down and with a terrible reputation. Having narrowly avoided losing it's license recently, due to violence and drug use associated with it as reported in the press. The large beer garden is an unkempt mess, the walls are cluttered with random bits of (badly) hand written paper, the furnishings have seen much better days and the televisions (too small considering they are mounted high on walls) had nothing but interference on the screen. In desperate need of investment and good management so avoid until it happens.


From the 25 February 2011.

Erith’s Potion bar faces licence axe after arrests and fights.

Potion 2011

Bar owners face losing their licence after a drunk woman was arrested for being in charge of a six month-old baby, cocaine was found in the toilets and a string of fights broke out between intoxicated customers.

Police have asked Bexley council to conduct a review of the licence at Potion in Erith High Street after 12 reported crimes involving drugs, violence or drunkenness were reported at the venue between May 2009 and January 2011.

The latest incident came on January 2 at 2.50pm when two drunk patrons were assaulted by a fellow customer who was arrested nearby.

This came after the arrest on Christmas Day, of a drunk 32-year-old woman in charge of a six-month-old baby, when it appeared she had been in the bar for more than seven hours.

The police letter to the council reads: “A majority of these offences are being generated by poor management at the premises and the lack of ability of the manager and staff to control the consumption of alcohol by their customers.”

When police asked for a meeting with the licence holders in January to discuss problems over the Christmas period, it was discovered that they had been operating with a designated premises supervisor.

Incidents date back to the summer 2009. In the August a drunk man was arrested outside the bar with a knife after being hit on the head with a bottle causing a two-inch cut to the head by customers from Potion.

On November 12 of the same year, at 7pm, a drunk customer rammed his car into the glass front door after he was refused service because of an argument inside with another drunk customer.

Last June police officers were assaulted in the beer garden when carrying a drugs search on a customer suspected of drug dealing.

The current licence holders took over in April 14, 2008. Residents have until next Wednesday (9) to make their submissions. The date for the hearing has yet to confirmed.

A spokesperson for the bar was unavailable to comment at the time of going to press.


From the 7th April 2011.

Erith's Potion Bar escapes removal of its drinks licence.

Potion Bar in Erith will remain open, with extra licence conditions.

A BAR with a history of drugs and violent incidents has escaped losing its licence.

Police claimed Potion Bar, formerly the White Hart pub in Erith High Street, had been the focus for problems virtually since it had opened in September 2008.

Bexley’s licensing officer PC Eddy Boston told a Bexley Council licensing sub-committee on Monday bad management had been responsible.

Among the incidents were numerous fights and assaults; a drunken man driving his car into the bar’s plate glass windows; drug dealing, including a bag of ketamine discarded in the beer garden; failing test purchases by under-age customers and complaints from nearby residents, of loud music and customers fighting.

PC Boston also claimed the bar had been serving drinks illegally for three months at the end of last year, because it did not have a designated premises supervisor (DPS), but had failed to tell anyone.

Bexley’s environmental health department was also concerned about loud music being relayed into the street, missing manhole covers resulting in a smell of raw sewage, lack of hot water in the toilets, standing water on the men’s toilet floor, substantial drugs contamination in the toilets and the bar area and locked toilets in the first floor function area.

On behalf of the bar owners, Metropolitan Bars, Robert Sutherland said the nature of the more recent incidents at the bar last year, had changed, showing the management had got control of the violence and drug problems.

But one particular cause for concern had been an incident on Christmas Day when a woman and her six-month-old baby, who had been reported missing by her partner, had been found extremely drunk in the private quarters of the pub after closing time.

Mr Sutherland said the staff member responsible had been sacked.

He said the company had appointed a new area manager and DPS who were taking the task very seriously and there had been no reported incidents since their appointment. The sub committee decided to add new conditions to the bar’s licence and there will be extra training for staff and regular meetings with police.



Jim Packer author of the "Lost Pubs of Bexley" says the following:- "In June 2008 the pub fašade was wantonly ripped out and replaced with a glazed floor to ceiling shop front without planning permission. I rescued some architectural fragments out of a skip. The carved capitals to the window frames were numbered by a series of chisel cuts like one had in medieval house carpentry. I was a co-opted member of the Conservation Advisory Committee at the time and we fought hard through several retrospective planning permissions to get a facsimile made. Their appeals to the Planning Inspector were dismissed the Council in the end took them to court in October 2012. Plans have now been passed 2017 or 2018 and I believe work has commenced."

CAMRA's WhatPub reported in August 2018:- This pub is currently closed. Facade reverted to original. Current plan is to keep ground floor bar and kitchen, upstairs has already been converted into flats, extension is being built and beer garden will be built on.

From current pictures, the pub is going to revert to its original name of the "White Hart" again.




If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-