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Griffin, Shoreditch

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user reviews of the Griffin, Shoreditch

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

Not to be mistaken with the Griffin on Clerkenwell Road.
Selly - 15 Feb 2017 19:38
Has reopened after a refurbishment. Beers on the expensive side ranging from £4.40 to £7 a pint. Not many recognisable brands to be seen. No food apart from expensive 'nibbles'. Reasonable bar staff and the place was quiet when i visited. Apart from the cost of beer, the place seemed reasonable.
Was told by the bar staff that the place has no telephone, so ignore any phone numbers you might see for here.
enyap - 28 Jan 2017 21:34
Possibly the filthiest, most disgusting pub in Britain. AVOID.
AWandCG - 23 Mar 2014 19:36
Is this the worst pub in London? It's certainly up there. I've been to the Griffin many times over the years 'for a laugh' but I think that following my most recent visit, the laughter has to end now.

The beer tasted rank.
The whole pub smelt of the toilets.
The toilets have only got worse over the years (and they started bad).
The pool table has been replaced by what looks like a scale model of the Battle of the Somme.
The bar staff will try and rip you off if they think you're drunk enough (I wasn't).
The bouncer seems to be ex-Stasi, not letting anyone into the pub after 11pm - especially those with drinks, coats or friends inside.

And, the icing on the cake - there was a fight! An actual stand-up, glass-smashing, blood-splattering fight. It's been a while since I've seen on of these in London but the Griffin came through. The bouncer was nowhere to be seen of course.

So if you're an arch-ironist or a masochist then this is the place for you. Otherwise steer clear.
rebwoac - 10 Oct 2011 11:36
Traditional corner pub with lots of interesting features, but badly underlit (presumably to hid the tatty furniture and moth-eaten flooring). Quite an alternative selection on the jukebox and an upstairs function room for regular live music. Three handpumps - Pride (cheap before 6pm), Wandle (at 3.20) and one with a reversed clip. Curious sort of place, but it certainly has a bit of character.
rpadam - 10 Mar 2010 23:31
I realise that Shoreditch is considered a very cool place for a night out, and this pub is very cool, the lack of care to the pub just makes it more fun, great crowd and atmoshere, BUT i do not like waiting at the bar for a drink for nearly 20 minuites, becuase they had only 3 people serving on a saturday night, one barmaid who never bothered to see who was next another spent most of her time talking to or serving what appered to be her friends, and the other one just keeped walking up and down without serving anyone. I will be back as the pub was great but please get some better staff
petesinclair81 - 18 Jan 2010 15:29
A lovely old exterior and an interior of astonishing tattiness, but in a very good way. Columns of different sizes, flyers posted to the walls, original glasswork towards the back, the whole gives the impression of an or some kind of student hangout; and yet, considering this is London, we were pleasantly impressed that it does real ale, including Sambrook's Wandle.
I liked it.
rainlight - 10 Dec 2009 08:03
As the reviews below have described accurately, a old style corner boozer with a dark brown Victorian tiled exterior, inside which is a thoroughly run down interior with everything falling apart or giving the impression that it is just about to. And how the over zealous City health and safety wallas have missed the opportunity to shut this place down, just for the floor alone, is a mystery.
However, Im not sure what it was, perhaps the dark orange lighting, which really shouldnt go with a green wood interior, or a half-decent pint of Doombar, but I actually found myself beginning to not dislike this place on a cold November evening.
I would even consider visiting again if I was back around Old Street. But word of advice, certainly not the place to bring a first date if you are trying to impress..

Gann - 28 Nov 2009 16:28
Run down exterior belies a run down interior - I suspect this is something to do with some kind of Pseudo Hoxton trendiness (a suspicion somewhat confirmed by some of the fliers for events around the walls) but although I like slightly shabby pubs this was just too grubby and had a bit of a niff to boot.

All the clips were turned round when I was in so I'd imagine any passing ale lover would have left straight away. As a trap for young players the first table I sat at didn't have the top attached to the legs almost resulting in my pint flipping on to my lap when I leant on it.

If you want comfortable and traditional in this are walk 5 mins down the road to the Old Kings Head - much much better than this tip.
murgatroyd - 9 Nov 2009 16:15
Im a big fan of dank old boozers that have seen better days, but I dont appreciate spending over the odds for a past-its- best pint of Pride whilst having to endure an episode of Family Guy being aired with full sound on an old TV.

There was a selection of standard and premium lagers, but the Old Speckled Hen and Landlord were both off. I found the staff to be indifferent and the pub to be quite depressing.

There is a small pool table and a dartboard, but I will not be returning to utilize them.
Strongers - 28 Aug 2009 23:50
Not a bad boozer.

They are keen on orange lighting. Perhaps to make it look and feel cosy but it doesn't work. A bit rough around the edges (peeling paint, rickety chairs etc) but that is the nature of the place and I don't mind it.

A "Shoreditch" crowd, as expected, but without the 19 year old sloaney hip chicks (just away from the beaten track enough to be off their radar).

I am not an ale or bitter drinker but had no problem with the lager they were serving up.
HLC - 3 Feb 2009 11:46
The dismal appearance of the exterior might lead you to believe that the interior is just as dismal. But you would be wrong! The interior is far more dingy than the outside! The dirt on the floor, buckets, broom and stepladder lying around, chipped and battered paintwork everywhere, with cables and plugs under the Christmas tree in lieu of presents completing the picture. The heating was apparently not working properly as it was very cold inside, and the large intrusive no smoking sign didnt help. The musty smell is still there as well.

But I quite like it! And the Tim Taylor Landlord was excellent, albeit not cheap at 3 a pint. I wouldnt hesitate about popping in again if I was in the area.
RexRattus - 13 Dec 2008 11:41
This pub is a cesspool. The place has to be seen to be believed.

Honestly, I'm not one normally to criticise a fatigued look in a premises, but this place has probably not been cleaned since the Kray twins were in nappies. There is a faint look of a wild west saloon about the decor, dust in all the corners - positively furring up some features - unspeakably foul toilets, and a carpet which is matted thick with black hard matt excresence - built up of many years loving neglect.

In reality this should be on some tourist trail as to what pubs were like in war-time East London. Get inoculated before you enter.
bricktop - 5 Dec 2008 12:45
The Griffin is a place that needs to be experienced to be believed. It sits among a block of buildings that are at best, long past their prime and the tiled exterior of the pub (note the old Meux brewery lettering) seems to stand out all the more for it. The interior has been knocked through into one long bar and to call it tatty and battered is an understatement. How it appears to have escaped even the merest lick of fresh paint or new carpet for what must be decades is beyond comprehension. The run down appearance is actually part of its charm and appeal and whilst the interior designers have been busy elsewhere in the area, the Griffin has managed to stay as a genuine no nonsense pub. The carpet in the pool/darts area little more than the original underlay with a few tufts and the feeling as your chair legs sink in is only matched by the bizarre ritual of pulling them back out. Whilst you do so, notice the London Pub Crawl poster and I defy you not to mentally tick them off. The customer base is a very mixed bunch from a variety of backgrounds but no matter how different everyone appears to be, everyone seems to blend together harmoniously. The Jukebox mentioned in an earlier post was certainly on form when I was there as it spewed out selections from the likes of the Clash / Dylan / Tubes / Richard Hell so much more to my taste than the drum & bass / club rubbish that seems to blight so many pubs. The 3 Ales were all available on my visit Deuchars, Pride and Speckled Hen, a bit pricey but tasted fine. The smoking ban probably detracts from the pubs ambience but there are a few seats outside under blinds for the banished souls. In a nutshell, the Griffin is well worth seeking out for the experience but I wouldnt recommend it to impress someone on a first date.
RogerB - 29 Oct 2008 23:23
A load of fun, can't say fairer than that
rikerst - 16 Aug 2008 15:35
The carpet in this pub is the nastiest stickiest piece of old rag i have ever trod on ...its gross.
Beer here is okay and the clients are the usual hoxton trendy public school boy types pretending they are from the hood.............great place to get pissed....and vomit ....
bigbadjon - 6 Aug 2008 18:12
A rambunctious pub full of Shoreditch types - on a recent visit, a guy resembling the kid from Yellow Pages' "French Polishers" advert was seen talking to a fellow aiming for that "Nick Zinner from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs" look. The ironically bequiffed aside, the place revels in its alarmingly threadbare carpet and would be bemusing to anyone not familiar with the way of life that is Hoxton.
BoehmBawerk - 29 Mar 2008 12:09
lovely decay
YoYo - 19 Mar 2008 20:40
Has the potential to fall into a Hawley Arms-style trendy trap, instead they keep their feet on the ground with a great pint of Deuchars. Usually packed out on a weekend, but worth it for the sticky carpets and pickled eggs!
Dan1976 - 11 Feb 2008 10:30
Spotted Alex from Arctic Monkeys in here once. They do a good pint of Staropramen. A mixed crowd, including some kids that seem to dress like Frank Spencer, but they are probably too young to realise. A real grotty hole, but good for it.
krsone - 24 Jan 2008 08:26
You can see the basement through some of the holes in the wooden floorboards at the bar. Whats not to like? If you're tired of the braying yuppies at other establishments you'll love this place.
mrfalafel - 20 Jul 2007 16:05
This pub exhibits all the unwholesome qualities that would invariably drive me away from pubs: quality ales on display but out of stock, sweaty, overcrowded, a segment of the clientelle that could do with a soap and sponge etc. Yet, perversely I love The Griffin and I always go back for more. Partly I suppose because the jukebox is one of the best of any pub in London and when you've had a few two many chances are they have the song you want to hear at that moment in an evironment of bohemian decay that matches your own.
Norman_Monkey - 15 Jul 2006 00:10
Shoreditch is the new Notting Hill. sad but true, folks.

Oh, this place is complete pony by the way.

tanderson7 - 7 Jul 2006 11:42
Stumbled upon this dirty old little gem one winters afternoon. Never seen anything like it. Went back last night (Saturday) after a couple of years and still enjoyed my visit. Laid back crowd. Place is almost in a timewarp. Reccommend it.
MattB - 12 Mar 2006 18:31
One of the least pretentious and most honest of the Shoreditch / Hoxton Battle-cruisers. Good dart-board and pool table, both of which can be used to withering effect if the Nathan Barley/Trustafarian quotient gets too high.
mikez - 13 Dec 2005 16:43
If this pub was anywhere else it would have closed down. But gets away with being a dirty old man's pub in shoreditch clothing as it's 'an original boozer!'..
Not my cup of tea, but they seem to be doing ok out of it - try the Sunday Weatherall thing if that's your bag

anonymous - 4 Jul 2005 17:42
Have been back recently to discovered some light redevelopement, they've extended the bar sympathetically. Atmostsphere hasn't changed, still a great little spot for a couple of ales. Looks like it may survive.
danrkelly - 13 Apr 2005 11:07
great bar. the bankers/financial types haven't taken over this gym of a pub - yet. still some fun hip people but not any trendier than thou types. good jukebox, good meeting up/catching up place. let's hope the "suit" people don't pour into it.
kenandrob - 16 Feb 2005 16:44
Someone told me it's been refurbished - is this true?
beer - 16 Dec 2004 15:29
Awfull place, full of people in their 30's with no grace. The Hub of the 'Urban Golf' project - probably the most pretentious undertaking ever, it's motto is "a nice walk spoilt - by snobbery - time for urban golf" - yeah, like you lot are working class!
john - 16 Sep 2004 12:34
Stone Roses on the Jukey, Good selection on tap, original Shoreditch crowd, and a sandwich shop style counter. Winner
Adam James Bilton - 15 Sep 2004 14:00
went there by accident. Shoreditch has become too shiny in recent years so it's good that a place like this survives. Laid back and ever so cool
Kev - 4 Jun 2004 10:06
chris - 20 May 2004 13:35
Go and have a beer here before it closes. 1.50 for a pint of Flowers last time I was there. Oh yer and see if you can work out if the thing in the glass cooler counter is bread or meat.
Dan - 14 May 2004 11:14
In here the other night full of shoreditch's older, cooler crowd great music no bangin beats. Nice vibe I'd go again.
Iain - 18 Dec 2003 15:34
traditional old pub, rough round the edges but all the better for it. nice crowd, classic juke box, pub grub and great music on sat and sun.
rob - 11 Aug 2003 12:35

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