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Owl and the Pussycat, Shoreditch

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user reviews of the Owl and the Pussycat, Shoreditch

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

I used to love this Pub and always found it particularly cosy when the fire was roaring as it had a Dickensian feel to it. However, I was in there on Saturday and can’t believe how bad the bar staff were. It was just after lunch and not that busy yet the two fellas behind the bar were absolutely clueless. Firstly, they were a bit too cool for school and were very surly (yet when a young attractive blonde lady came to the bar they perked up – funny that!). Secondly, they couldn’t manage the queue to serve people in the correct order and finally, they hadn’t heard of the term House Wine before which is a first for me after countless years of frequenting pubs. The Gents were also absolutely disgusting. I won’t describe what I encountered but it highlights a lack of standards of the cleaning staff and/or the calibre of people that patronise the pub so I won’t be returning which is a shame as I have many fond memories of this pub.
AlistairVonLion - 22 Nov 2016 13:12
Not bad pub,but very new shoreditch.But still a pub.The brakespear was superb, a really quality pint and the sevice was good.
tottenhamsean - 6 May 2014 15:18
Brakspear bitter is always a pleasure of course. Shoreditch was in danger of disappearing up its own backside entirely a few years ago and looks like it might still be on the threshold of doing so. The beer was decent.

Service was a bit slow. Bar staff are too cool for school.

Patrons very pleased with themselves. They could tell it had been a while since I'd eaten any artisan bread. They knew I was passing through.
terenced - 22 Apr 2014 15:30
Originally a Shoreditch back street boozer called The Crown, which may date back to the 17th century. The interior has been knocked through at some point in the ongoing trend to create large open spaces in pubs. Name changed to The Owl & The Pussycat in 1990, though still retaining its position as a local back street pub, with billiard table, pub snacks, and a limited beer range. Redchurch Street became trendy in Jan 2009 when Terence Conran opened his Boundary shop, and the crowd that celebrates itself began to drink in the pub, enjoying its vulgar and rustic feel. In 2010 it got a makeover by FiveEightZero who appear to manage it under the ownership of the Brakspear pub company, while selling the beers of the Marston brewery. Odd arrangement. The makeover involved stripping out many of the features, and painting it a dull (or trendy) grey inside. The result is a pub interior which in its emphasis on simplicity and clean lines ends up lacking character, but makes up for that by being jam packed with young advertising executives who would rather be in Indie bands or play rugby at the weekend. The desire to be "real" is potent, and is satisfied by sitting out in the back yard which is full of sewer pipes and pigeon shit. The extra prices charged for this privilege keeps away the real folk, so there is no chance of being shown up.

A boring pub, full of boring people. But, not offensive.
SilkTork - 1 Apr 2013 09:25
Came in the other Thursday after playing football locally.

Far too busy downstairs to get a table or seat so decided to go to the upstairs bar.

Disappointed to found out that the ales were only on tap downstairs, so had to settle for a pint of good quality European lager, which was absolutely fine.

Managed to get a table and seats, busy upstairs with young professionals, hipsters and locals nice atmosphere.

2 lots of food was served and it looked very good however I didn't check the menu for prices so cannot comment if it seems good value or not.
lezford - 24 Feb 2013 12:41
Busy Marstons pub on a Monday night with about 4 ales on - decent Ringwood bitter after we'd found a bit of table not occupied by a laptop.
Booze_Allen - 28 Nov 2012 18:24
Been here a few times and the staff are cool as you like but very open and friendly- beer is good and the small back garden is great for a beer and a ciggi

Have eaten there twice and no complaints but do avoid the garlic fries if you intend on speaking to anyone afterwards.

Will be going back
mpalomar - 19 Jun 2012 14:56
As a counterpoint to some earlier reviews, I was empress. Maybe it has improved in the last 18 months. Achingly cool, yes (I am definitely not!) but very well presented. Four alea all from the (more interesting) parts of the Marstons stable, maybe they've signed up for a supply deal. Shoreditch trendies, hippies sms suits.
curioushistory - 7 Jun 2012 18:52
Lets go for a proper review here, the beer is poor to vile, the pub actually smells, and Im not talking flowers here, it smells unclean or soiled. I shudder to think what the toilets must be like. Apparently it does sell food, again I shudder. The regulars, or clientele, whichever you prefer don't look like ABC1 punters and can frequently be found staggering round outside the pub swearing at passers by. Awful place. Grim dark almost fetid atmosphere, poor beer, surly service and from what I could see of the regulars, I could tell that I wasn't in the presence of the shoreditch glitteratti set. Avoid.
boffo - 27 Oct 2010 16:08
Oh please!
flashharry1965 - 27 Oct 2010 11:04
Well, it isn't often that I am lost for words, but there comes a day and that day was last Sunday.
I began exploring this new "boozer" in the downstairs bar by sampling the surprisingly good selection of bitters. Settling on the Fortyniner I took a stroll into the beer garden, while getting a real good feel for the place. Despite it having been open for a mere 2 weeks it felt like it had always been there. A comfortable feeling of belonging.
I really like the open space, chance for a quick cig and mingling with the "trendy" crowd lets you lose your inhibitions and forget about the over 10 year age gap.
I'd have loved to spend all my time downstairs, but the dining room table was calling me from afar, so I ventured upstairs...
The room had an unobtrusive style, a warmth which made you want to stay. I was greeted with warmth by staff busily running to and fro with what seemed to be genuine smiles on their faces.
A good start, no a very good start.
After being seated I scanned the menu, and was instantly awed. Simple, yet inspiring. After much deliberation I decided on bone marrow on toast, followed by trotter sausage with champ, despite the fact that I rarely go for bangers.
A half Pilsner to whet the appetite and keep me company while an orchestra of scents swirled around me.
I was lost, lost in gastronomia without a map or directions, but I never felt the need to ask "where to from here?".
My starter threw me back to the olden days of mum's kitchen, anxiously awaiting the toast and marrow. Lush!
My companion was a bottle of Samur, a single grape Cabernet Franc which, with it's subtle earthliness brought me back to the ground.
I was finally home.
For my main course I dare not utter one single word, for it would be considered blasphemy. Bliss doens't even scratch the heels of where I was.
I could go on and on, but rather than boring you, I say just one thing; go there and see for yourself or forever live blind.
Thank you!

timeisaloop - 27 Oct 2010 00:01
Hmmm... three 'rave' reviews below by people who have not been moved to review any other pubs. Draw your own conclusions.

I'll reserve judgement until I've been in myself but from what I've been told, there's disappointment in store...
Stallywag - 20 Oct 2010 19:21
The longer they took to do up this place, the more I was worried how they were going to screw it up. I didn't drink here loads, but I like a pub to be a pub, which it was. Thought I was going to hate it - it was shut for a looong time. But I have to say, this is a good pub still. In fact, it's a good new pub - the same but different. Haven't tried the food yet, but that's on the cards if the boy will take me upstairs! Yeah, like it
beanzmeanz139 - 19 Oct 2010 22:24
Not quite sure what everyone was worried about - went in the other night and it's awesome!
SandyShores - 19 Oct 2010 14:30
I was really excited for The Owl to re-open and am happy to say, I'm not disappointed. The interior still has it's old east end boozer charm with quirky wallpaper, comfy lived in sofa seats, candle lit tables and an amazing bar menu (oysters, crab royale and the best chips ever|!). The beer garden is one of the best I've seen in ages with a remote control awning to save us all from the glorious London winter - roll on summer nights at The OAP! I haven't had a chance to eat in the top floor dining room but, based on the incredible quality of the bar menu and from looking at the dining room menu, I can only imagine it's amazing. Overall it's a great pub that's as good as it ever was - just better! Oh, and in reference to the below review, if 'whoring out charm' means serving beer that's in date and staff that actually smile while they serve you - I'll take it!
Millyshoreditch - 18 Oct 2010 17:54
To be fair, the soul of this boozer left long before it being "discovered" by the loud, vacuous haircuts that made it a target for its new, mercilessly mercantile owners.

Sure enough..they've "optimised" its revenue stream (well over 4 a pint) and shamelessly whored out any "charm" it might have held onto.

Tragic.
Once_local_drinker - 16 Oct 2010 15:11
as for the gravy - well being a northerner with a pallet for fine gravy I've already asked Pete (the charming landlord) to put it on tap.
patfahy - 11 Mar 2010 15:02
Rather surprisingly a proper pub in Shoreditch without all the fuss and money being poured into it to try and create it. Still packed to the gills with trendy types. Landlord and Lady seemed nice enough to me.
Decent pint of Pride, but not special by any means.

Sad to see from the comments below that they are being forced out to create, I imagine, a faux dingy east end boozer, instead of the real one that is here.

mrse1 - 20 Apr 2009 11:58
I had sunday lunch here once, and we counted 14 different types of vegetable, and the amount of beef was good too. I had a hangover as well, which disappeared after eating this epic lunch - enabling me to create another one.
The_Rotter - 16 Nov 2007 15:54
Visited here last night; only two real ales on (London Pride and Greene King IPA). The Pride was OK but not wonderfully well-kept. I note the comments about the grumpiness of the landlord; if this was the chap who served me then I'd say he's more disengaged than actively unpleasant, an important distinction I think.
Kake - 17 Oct 2007 17:47
generally agree with other reviews, but just want to reinforce the point that the barman is both grumpy and has no interest in how long you've been at the bar. he just serves whomever is right in front of him, so bear that on mind whilst waiting...

quite annoying if you've been stood at the end of the bar for 15 mins...
grizzly23 - 17 Aug 2006 20:48
One of the last proper locals tucked away in Shoreditch. Although decor and staff haven't changed in the last few years the crowd has. The 'chickens' and 'Brosnans' as we call them(Shoreditch meejah types) have cottoned onto the place's charms. This isn't such a bad thing as they're well behaved but it can get very busy on the weekend. I was in there at 6:30pm last Friday and had to wait 30mins for a seat to come free. Other wise great pub, yard open in the summer, proper old bar billards table, London pride on tap. bar man is a misery but he doesn't mean it, it's just his way(!). Great alternative to nearby bars on the High st and Old St.
danrkelly - 18 Feb 2006 02:17
A great little place. I agree with the other 2 comments. Sadly there were no Shoreditch freaks in last night. Just a few locals!
anonymous - 19 Apr 2005 09:08
A wonderfull little back street boozer. Nice garden, comfortable inside. A real hidden gem. The last bit of Shorditch to elude the freakshow population that has jumped in the inner-city living bandwagon.
Karl - 5 Nov 2004 11:11
One of the last proper locals tucked away in Shoreditch. Although decor and staff haven't changed in the last few years the crowd has. The 'chickens' and 'Brosnans' as we call them(Shoreditch meejah types) have cottoned onto the place's charms. This isn't such a bad thing as they're well behaved but it can get very busy on the weekend. I was in there at 6:30pm last Friday and had to wait 30mins for a seat to come free. Other wise great pub, yard open in the summer, proper old bar billards table, London pride on tap. bar man is a misery but he doesn't mean it, it's just his way(!). Great alternative to nearby bars on the High st and Old St.
Dan - 18 Oct 2004 14:19

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