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Coborn Arms, Bow

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user reviews of the Coborn Arms, Bow

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Well I havent left a review in 5 years. But going to the Coburn today compelled me to resurrect my account. Its the first time ive been since the refurb. Im by no means a regular; I work nearby but usually visit once a month with colleagues for a good booze up. We Always loved the genuine honest feel to the place and its why we always went here rather than the Morgan.
But that character and charm have been gutted along with the old furniture. I couldnt put it better than the reviewer below - it looks like a bloody tea rooms where old women eat cake. I dont know if the place was struggling but it always seemed pretty busy to me. If it where my regular local i'd feel quite betrayed that the pub had comletely changed identity in order to find a better class of customer. Only had the one, it wasnt particularly nice. I think I'll be using The Little Driver or BowBells in future.
sir_adam_of_downham - 15 Apr 2015 20:38
Alistair - Bummer news about my old haunt. I believe I was the first to post on this site years ago about how much I really liked it. At that time, my old gf lived at the Wellington Bldgs, so I was always here. It was a proper 'hood boozer with really good food. Glad I was there back in the day. Cheers. Joe USA
Joseph65 - 9 Apr 2015 17:33
The refurb is absolutely awful!

The inside now looks like a little old ladies' Team Rooms in the Cotswolds. I'm not a dinosaur and understand that pubs have to adapt with the times and that pubs rarely survive in residential areas just on wet trade. However what was once a pleasant proper East End boozer with bags of character has now become a ladies that lunch / crèche play area.

East London pub culture really is being slowly eroded away. There is almost no middle ground boozers anymore - it's either sanitised £12.50 for a Burger places or ghetto dives where, unless you're a local face, you wouldn't be comfortable in. The Coborn was a decent middle ground but, alas, no more.

Avoid and go to The Tredegar around the corner which has been tastefully and subtly refurbished, unlike this horror show.
AlistairVonLion - 9 Apr 2015 16:00
I am afraid it isnt a pub at the moment Its shut whilst being rebuilt. It is being turned into yet another Gastro bar. Youngs got turned down once by the council (many residents objected) but as always they went to the secretary of state who overturned the councils decision. In the last year three of my favourite pubs, the Coborn, the Bulls Head in Barnes and the Richard 111 in Greenwich (all Young's) have all been turned into gastro's with their internal architecture ripped put

Youngs pulled out of brewing a few years ago, their sole interest pubs these days seems to be in selling food. Where will the Youngs tour of pub destruction arrive next.
hearson - 1 Mar 2015 18:16
Really great proper, friendly (but not too friendly) local pub. They turn the non-footbll Sport / music down if you ask (if not a football fan time your visit around major matches). Music and football usually pretty good though. Food is excellent, including just-right veg that taste like veg (they have a vegetable garden too), home-made pies as well as Youngs (tho' also nice) mash instead of chips if you want mash, and at least two veggie options if are a veggie. At prices that are about half of what might pay in City. On other hand, don't want everyone to know about it or we'll never get a table (but its got a lot!)
RMW - 12 Jan 2014 20:44
Toilets stank of piss. Completely overpowering. However there was a nice feel to the pub and it is a lot more real than the Morgan Arms. Would return.
AlistairVonLion - 26 Oct 2013 17:05
Massive pub, nice location and great on a summer's day. Slightly lacking in character and not cheap.
Beer_in_the_morning - 18 Sep 2012 22:45
My first visit was a happy one, maybe because West Ham had just beaten Millwall 2-1 and I wanted a drink! This is a Youngs pub with two ales 'on tap' and plenty of others in the fridge.
JonnyConsumer - 15 Feb 2012 12:52
Not a bad pub but the new landlord (not sure how new he is) is a massive misery-guts. Rest of the staff are very friendly though.
jodyjo - 3 Feb 2011 10:45
I'm still undecided about this pub, Sometimes it's good, sometimes bad.

The food is hit and miss aswell, I had an INCREDIBLE bangers and mash in there and one of the most average sunday lunches at 9 quid! The staff arn't local; I think that takes a bit of the charecter away from the pub. Also there seems to be a fair few yuppies in there, got nothing against them but where a pub was laught's and jokes, they make it feel more like a library, I've even see one of them trying to pay for a bag of penuts on credit card!


bowhammer - 6 Jun 2010 12:13
Pleasant, large Youngs pub situated in a Georgian side street off the Bow Road at the Mile End end.

It's a comfortable carpeted affair, with an L shaped bar serving three distinct areas - a public bar style area up some steps with a fine collection of darts trophies, a main central bar area and a food orientated area at the far end. There's a pleasant canopied seating area outside at the front.

By Youngs standards, it's relatively unspoilt and traditional - "An Oasis in a Changing World" - as it advertises itself. On my recent early evening visit, there was a good customer mix of all age groups. It's a bit offputting when you find 3 bar stools nailed to the floor, but this struck me as a friendly welcoming pub.

It's a Youngs pub which, when I visited, was serving Hook Norton Hooky as a guest. The Youngs Special - 3.05p - was in good form. The pub has had listings in recent CAMRA Good Beer Guides, but it seems to have missed out in 2010.

I'd be happy to call in again if the opportunity arises
JohnBonser - 7 May 2010 08:50
I should like to echo the sentiments expressed by Matty below. This is a Youngs house, so nothing very exciting in the way of ales. But I dont mind Youngs. They did have Winter Warmer on today, although I didnt see any Bombardier. The Bitter was good, and at a pretty decent price of 2.75 a pint. Its nice to report some particularly good service in a pub. I ordered a pint, sat down, had a gulp of beer, looked at the menu then went up to the bar to order a sarny. The barman was pulling through one of the handpumps, and when he finished he pulled a pint and plonked it in front of me. As I hadnt ordered a pint I said it must be for someone else. No, he said, I could see that your pint was a bit cloudy, and this is the replacement. Now, thats what I call service.

The pub consists of one large room with a large bar on the left. Furnishings are all normal tables and chairs with some banquette seating the pub ideal in my view. Its carpeted throughout, and has a warm and comfortable atmosphere. There were a number of obvious local regulars in there, and a few others in there for a bite to eat. A decent enough mix then. On the down side I did see a sparkler in use, and there were a couple of one armed bandits, a games machine, and a ciggy machine around the room. But they did have a Spiderman pinball machine, and the TV was muted.

I would be very happy to drop in here for another pint when I am next in the Mile End area.
RexRattus - 6 Dec 2009 16:00
Bow Road isn't the most exciting place to find real ale pubs. However, step but a a hundred metres (or maybe even less - my ability to judge distance is shaky at best) down Coborn Road, and you'll find this gem of a Youngs pub.

I should note that I've only been in lunchtime and mid afternoon - I've not visited this pub in the evening. However, I cannot fault the Coborn Arms as a lunchtime pub. Both the front outside patio and the interior are spotlessly clean. There is a vegetable garden out the side (which punters sadly cannot trespass on, though I was allowed to nick a wonderfully sweet and ripe cherry tomato after its harvest), and the interior of the pub is large and airy. There is a mixture of seating, from a few comfy sofas, to 'normal' pub chairs and tables. The patio has large, clean benches with enormous canopies over the top. I have been once in the early evening (getting to darkness) and the outside is well lit and welcoming.

I drink, in a Youngs pub, Youngs Special, and have never had a duff pint. The beer is kept beautifully and served well. The beer is a tad dear, (around 3.00 a pint), but this is to be expected for a London pub (even East London).

The staff are friendly (very much so) and efficient. The bar has reminders for staff and customers alike to smile, and signs containing pithy or poignant quotes and sayings.

There is a large(ish - not as enormous as a Wetherspoons, but that to my mind is a bonus) menu. I've eaten here at lunchtime a couple of times, and the food is very good, if brown (I had a burger one time and shared a Sausage Feast the second). I'm surprised not to see more vegetable offerings, given the existence of the vegetable garden at the side.

The loos are clean and well stocked (I like the individual hand towels piled next to the sink in the ladies', and a wicker basket to place them in once you're done). Needless to say, I cannot speak for the men's rooms!

I have tried a couple of the pubs along Bow Road - I needn't do so again - this is by far the best. Well done.
mattygroves - 25 Oct 2009 15:09
Very nice pub - staff are friendly, locals are always up for a laugh, and beer and food are excellent. I had a pint of Youngs that looked like it was a little bit near the end of the barrel, and the barman was more than happy to change it... a refreshing change from the Wetherspoons and Yates that seem to be popping up everywhere. If you're in the area I recommend you check it out - you won't be disappointed. (And the bangers and mash are seriously out of this world!)
john9999 - 10 Sep 2009 13:13
Decent traditional Youngs pub, good for watching football on Sunday
afternoons. Beer of reasonably good quality, havent sampled the food
but looks perfectly acceptable.
However, my major irritation with this pub is the rather loud foul-mouthed locals standing at the bar seem to think that the Ladies/Disabled toilet is in fact their own private gents toilet- and is probably about same walking distance to the ACTUAL gents toilets!! Think the Landlord/staff should put a stop to it!

stewie95 - 28 Jul 2009 18:55
Bow Road is a pretty noisy and hectic road - step 200 yards from it and you enter this pleasant, homely pub. Sat out front with my friends and all was well.
Royston15 - 24 Jun 2009 18:50
Came accross this pub on a warm Saturday afternoon and very welcome it was too.
Clean, nice Young's Special and a good if limited menu on offer.
flashharry1965 - 22 May 2009 11:27
decent place, good for watchin the footy. particularly on a sunday with a roast and a few pints. got the full range of youngs on offer which are ok for what they are. only problem for one friend is they keep the banana bread beer in the fridge, not that I really care for the stuff. one of the better 'proper' pubs in the area
dalennox - 18 May 2009 13:11
Very nice pub, just off of Bow Rd. Beer always tastes nice, food aint bad, very friendly bar-staff. 8 1/2
sir_adam_of_downham - 28 Feb 2009 16:24
excellent boozer.
with pubs closing down all the time in London it's a huge result that pubs like this still exist.
one of the best pubs in the east end.
slurper01 - 29 Dec 2008 11:33
Visited here on a Wednesday lunchtime; wasn't going to stay for more than a half, but liked it enough that I had lunch and another pint. I only had a tuna baguette with salad, but there was evidence that the kitchen do actually care about the food fresh herbs used on the salad, attention paid to presentation. I'd happily come back here, for both the drinks and the food.

Re bowhammer's comment about the staff being unhappy about you eating a takeaway outside: if you mean you were sitting on their benches, using their tables, within their clearly fenced off front patio, and you didn't ask them for permission, then I can't really blame them. (Not mentioning this to have a go at you, but because before I visited the pub and saw it for myself I thought you just meant outside on the pavement.)
Kake - 14 Dec 2007 16:21
reasonable place. wouldn't go for the food, but it's definitely one of the nicer places in the area
Raf1979 - 26 Oct 2007 10:24
somtimes i go in here and its incredible, some times its bollocks. i was a bit hacked of, one of the staff got pissy about eating a chinese outside after the pub stopped serving food.

however the bangers and mash served in this place is soooooo good. gotta be the best in london
bowhammer - 27 Oct 2006 01:41
This is a great pub. A traditional, old-fashioned East End local with a difference. Just down from where I stay when in London. Friendly landlord. Very knowledgeable about wine. Quite happy to recommend cheaper, good wines rather than the more expensive ones. Great food ... but order main courses from the freshly cooked dishes in the display rather than from then menu. Friendly locals too: lunchtime crowd is office workers, in the evening, people from the houses and flats nearby. Much better than the Morgan Arms down the road.
Bseombele - 3 Aug 2006 18:50
Friendly staff, decent food, good beer - I've walked out of my way home from Mile End station to pop in for a pint which speaks for itself. Thoroughly recommended.
random_ranger - 24 Jul 2006 13:44
Nice big pub right near where I live and I go there on sundays mainly. It has a alround good feel to it and the food is A1. Much better than the trendy lefty Morgan Arms further down. Recommended for a nice relaxing afternoon drinking session.
LOL81 - 12 Jul 2006 22:23
Lovely boozer. Had some Sunday lunch here yesterday and a few pints of Youngs. Less up itself than The Morgan. Real people. Real beer. Real food.
anonymous - 5 Jun 2006 15:55
Great local! Cheaper and less pretentious than the Morgan Arms down the road, and the food is much better (particularly the Sunday roast). The beers are pretty good and I particularly like the fact that they do Youngs lagers (a merciful break for those of us that dont like Fosters, Stella et al). That said, theyve already removed the Export from sale so it could only be a matter of time before the Pilsner goes too. Low ceilings means it does get very smoky, which can be an issue if you are planning to eat.
Jonesy100 - 12 Jan 2006 12:56
Excellent back street Hostelry with fine beer and food.
mactavish - 25 Aug 2005 09:51
Nice local this one, I lived about a mile away and my girlfriend and her family live practically opposite and we've all been coming here on occasions for about 5 years. Large pub, friendly staff and nearly always decent food. Only had a bad dish on two occasions which in 5 years aint bad, basically the food was not cooked enough. They have a range of your typical beers / ales, and also sport a wide range of Youngs beer / ale some bottled some on tap. Can get very busy even though its a big pub, mainly in the summer and evenings when you get the after work lot in - students / suits etc. Has 3 main areas inside, the main food area at the back, a quite raised area to the right as you walk in (four tables and the dart board*) and an area just to the left as you go in, which I have found to be were the locals tend to sit.
*the pub is very popular for darts, I've played many a time while there, so I'd advise people only to sit in this area if you dont mind the occasional dart bouncing off the walk and landing near you.
TommyN - 18 Oct 2004 10:37
Nice pub this one. My girlfriend has a flat around the corner and have been coming over on visits since '01. Always had a great meal. Food is outstanding. Good bartenders as well. Very big and clean too. Check this one out. Joe/USA
Joseph - 15 Oct 2004 18:22

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