I went to ‘London’s seediest stripclub’ and it was seriously depressing

It’s a pub that happens to have strippers in it

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Have you heard of The Griffin? It’s a pub in London that doubles as a stripclub. People described it to me as “grim”, “London’s seediest stripclub” and “a fucking shit-hole” so I knew I had to pop in during my lunch break and see what the fuss was about.

The Griffin operates differently from most conventional strip joints. Every ten minutes a scantily clad dancer walks around and demands a pound coin from every godforsaken soul in attendance, places it in a pint jug, and hits the pole. The DJ spins a track, and the lady removes her clothes.

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The decor is like the bastard child of an East End boozer and a downtrodden Ukrainian casino

After picking up a pint from the bar, I sat down next to a fruit machine and scanned the sullen faces of the suited bankers and the spotty polo-shirted punters. All five of them.

Lunchtime on a Wednesday isn’t the best time to go to a stripclub, it turns out, which made the lingerie-wearing ladies all the more eager to approach me and my £4.50 pint of Strongbow.

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They don’t do notes at the bar apparently – £1 coins only. That’s how they get ya.

Old-man-style ale mugs don’t really look right in the hands of a semi-naked woman, making it quite a surreal experience.

The experience was made stranger still were the big screen TVs showing Sky Sports and the signs warning us that any customer caught masturbating would be ejected.

This is the kind of place The Griffin is. The kind of place that needs to remind its customers not to wank.

Her dimple mug heavy with six pound coins, the first dancer of my Griffin experience made her way past a fat bald man and took the pole.

That chubby, unenthusiastic bloke was tasked with introducing the strippers and playing music for their dances.

He churned out such classics as A Horse With No Name by America and Space Oddity by David Bowie. Really great songs to get you in that ‘I fancy a lapdance’ mood.

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Such great vibes

The DJ managed to make himself sound (but not look) exuberant while misogynistically introducing each dancer to the stage, which is impressive considering the ambience was more fitting of an underground game of Russian Roulette than a London pub.

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If they catch you taking pictures, you could be ejected from the premises. Oops!

The strip-pub recently underwent substantial renovations, making me worry what it might have been like inside when it looked like this.

I’m guessing it was like The Rover’s Return but with Michelle Connor and Liz McDonald walking around in their underwear.

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This lonely bloke sipping on his pint of water was having a whale of a time

As well as reminding us not to take pictures or jerk it in the pub, there were signs in the toilets warning us against standing on toilet seats. Presumably the clientele of this particular pub have a tendency to peek at other people on the loo.

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There’s a lot of signs threatening “ejection”

As depressing as stripclubs are, this one really takes the dingy, shameful biscuit. Especially at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.

I went in terrified, I came out broken.

Apparently The Griffin is part of a series of strip-pubs dotted around London. What the fuck is wrong with this city?

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