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River Bar, Tower Bridge

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user reviews of the River Bar, Tower Bridge

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

I believe this is the 4th of the Draft Houses I have visited. Here at opening on Saturday lunchtime, I was greeted with 4 ales - Burning Sky Plateau & Porter, Siren Vermont Tea Party & Sambrooks Four Chimneys Chocolate Stout. I had half of the porter and the stout and both were in good condition. I don't recall the pricing being too excessive, especially with a CAMRA discount. It is food-oriented and quite modern inside. There's a few decent pubs on this stretch of Tower Bridge Road and this is one of them.
blue_scrumpy - 22 Jan 2017 23:40
I remember this as a Courage pub called the Copper. Things have rather changed since those days, sadly not for the better. As the Draft House I was expecting much, but what I got was overpriced beer and food. The first choice beer was fobbing so we had to chose something else. eventually a barmaid took over from the incompetent guy and beer was served. Note that soft drinks are extremely expensive - £2.20 for a small draught Pepsi.

The food order was also shambolic - we were ignored for soem while - they didn't realise we were new customers as a dirty glass had been left on the table which they didn't clear away. Chips were forgotten. And to make things worse they put a "discretionary" charge of 12.5% on the bill.

Go to the Dean Swift round the corner - much much better.
anotherpintplease - 7 Jul 2012 23:31
A most excellent establishment; ignore the naysayers below, they appear to be of the senile variety.
Jeb_Crane - 20 Jan 2012 11:36
We were very much looking forward to our first visit to The Draft House after hearing so many positive comments. I quite liked the old River Bar. You knew what to expect. Good solid boozer in the tourist trap that is Tower Bridge. First impressions were very good. Nice ambiance. Candles, gentle hum of conversation, not too busy. We made our way to the bar to find we were the only customers waiting to be served. Great!. The lone barman at the other end of the bar seemed to be very busy doing something under the counter. Mrs. Tuna thought he was slicing lemons. It looked to me that he may have been applying nail varnish or maybe buttering his fingers. Whatever he was doing was VERY VERY important , because not once did he look our way. After a minute or so we soon tired of our guessing game and waited to be served. Now im a patient man, but I thought I would give him another 20 seconds. That may not seem a lot. . . but i ask you to count to 20 now. Its a long time to stand there being ignored. Then!. . He glanced our way!. And continued to butter his fingers. It was only when we started to walk out that he acknowledged our existence. What a shame. Maybe they think that location is everything and they can just sit and wait for punters to file in.As they undoubtedly will. We wont be though. Nul points.
Tuna - 15 Jan 2012 18:19
This is one of the good ones great selection on tap and in the bottle it's a must if you like real ale. The food good looked good and the couple eating at the table near us were impressed plus the staff were very good.
Simon89 - 14 May 2011 07:33
First experience of Draft House (as it now is) last night. Great atmosphere with very attentive staff. Interesting beer selection. Third of a pint measures available too.
GrahamA - 15 Jan 2011 07:24
This bar has gone and is replaced by the Draft House - Tower Bridge, sometime in Oct this year. I am currently reviewing our CAMRA branch beer surveys and can see it scored 7.44 out of 10 for the period Dec 09 to Nov 10. There were 16 samples assesed (what a difficult hobby) by 8 surveyors. It certainly was eligible for inclusion in the 2012 GBG.
Trinker - 30 Dec 2010 16:38
While travelling In London from New Zealand with a group of students and parents we stumbled across the River Bar looking for lunch. The reception we received could not have been more friendly or accommodating. Did I mention there were 22 of us??!! The range of food on offer satisfied, nay delighted, even the fussiest of teenage tastes. The cost of the meals was reasonable and the standard of food and service excellent. We felt very spoilt and more than satisfied. Thank you to the wonderful manager who was on duty that day whose name I forgot to ask! Sorry.
Karen.Hollis - 16 Oct 2009 05:19
I didnít think that I would like it in here, but apart from the R&B background music I had a pleasant stay. The barman was friendly and my pint of Pitchfork from RCH brewery was very enjoyable. Harveys Best was also available alongside some standard and premium lagers. There was a decent crowd of twenty-somethings who seemed to be starting out on their evenings, but it wasnít overly busy like some pubs get in this area.

There are a couple of plasma screens in the main bar area and up some steps to the side of the bar there is a quieter section where a couple were drinking coffee. There is also a cellar bar downstairs that had signs up outside saying that it is available for hire.

I found this to be a bright and airy bar with a decent atmosphere and I would visit again.
Strongers - 15 Apr 2009 14:32
popped in this place on monday night, a fantastic pint of Harveys served well by attentive staff. what i presume was the guv'nor was also very friendly and chatty. top venue for parties too! with a cellar bar and a reasonable menu. well worth a visit
whippit - 24 Nov 2008 13:39
A new manager just took over, seems like a nice guy (for a northerner). He seems to be trying to pull the place back up. The food is much better and he has prommised a rotating ale. I was pleasently supprised with the change of atmosphere, ill start coming back.
soothpark - 10 Jun 2008 16:25
alright for a passing pint, poor range of beer, lager and spirits, and at times piss-poor service. I wouldn't bother
bermondseyboy - 17 Oct 2007 11:50
We hire the basement and play live music for free every month just to gain experience. We keep it open for the public as it's always a really good atmosphere and we've always been really well looked after by staff.
Good food and selection of beer/wine too!
LMS - 28 Jun 2007 11:41
Shame they have done away with the Northern Soul nights in the basement bar.
carterse9 - 18 May 2005 13:26
Good for football, steak & beer(in that order). I wasn't made to feel that welcome. Even though I grew up in the area I felt I was treated like a tourist which is fine if you aren't bothered about seeing tourists coming back but I dont think I'll be back either!
bobby69 - 15 May 2005 19:20
I didn't think it was anything special really. Not a cozy atmosphere (kind of diner-ish and unwelcoming). Food not bad though for a pub. Not sure what all the fuss is about but sometimes the comments you see are years old when things may have been different. They told me there was no upstairs so not sure about the 'view' comments here either.
yvonatron - 15 Feb 2005 19:50
Pikey; the kind of place where football colours are actually encouraged and seems very popular with estate agents talking about their new Minis, and other 'geezers' as mentioned. Food looks anaemic and if you want to watch the sports on the tv there are loads of pillars to nicely obscure your view.
Cardamom - 29 Oct 2004 13:07
wikid bar. even better basement

nice atmosphere, great food

TOP place
Jay Norman - jasonnorman@wttc.org - 27 Apr 2004 19:42
From it's location and outside appearance you'd expect something special....however a real let down. Always full of blokes (and geezers at that)which is always uncomfortable! Same old beer selection and the food is very poor. Don't waste your time, try The Camel or Bridge House either side!
josh - 2 Apr 2004 22:31
I like the River Bar. Beers OK, decent food available. Bar staff friendly enough. Nice big room upstairs that doesn’t get too packed or smokey. You can hire out the basement too, which friends have done a few times for parties/gigs, at reasonable rates. (Does sometimes get gate crashed but we’ve never had any problems.) Worth a visit I’d say.
Steptoe - 14 Jan 2004 10:37
Fabulous jazz nights on a Thursday, decent grub and a nice location. Deserves a 7/10 at least
Jim - 3 Oct 2003 13:37
A bit boring upstairs in the main bar but you can hire the downstairs bar for free for parties and gig. We've hired it a few times (you have to provide your own PA/disco etc.) and they even give tips on how to get a late licence (say it's your 30th birthday when applying - never fails!) A nice place in a salubrious location.
Tim - 5 Sep 2003 17:46
Its very nice and cosy and they have live music most nights wich is great to listen to.
The food is also excellent and priceworthy.

Susanne - 22 Jul 2003 07:11

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