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BRB at Arc, Angel, Islington

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user reviews of BRB at Arc, Angel, Islington

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

Working across the road from this place I have passed a couple of lunchtimes here at the behest of staid colleagues who wouldn't appreciate a good pub if you dragged them into it. This is another atrocious chain outlet that can't decide if it's a pub or a wine bar, modelled on the likes of All Bar One and Pitcher and Piano. Beer wise you might get a ropey pint of Greene King IPA if you're lucky, otherwise it's ice-cold watery lagers all round. Do yourself a favour and go somewhere else. There are at least a dozen better options within a five minute walk.
rob1981 - 18 Feb 2011 17:09
I went to the comedy club with the wife last night and although the three acts were probably worth the £10 we each had to pay I do have to report that this is a terrible bar populated with rude staff and vacuous clientele.

My first disappointment was when I tasted my decidedly iffy Guinness and then scanned the pumps at the bar to see what I would be changing my drink to when I next ordered. I was unhappy to discover that the range of draught was poor to say the least meaning that I was stuck on the inferior black stuff.

My wife was next in line to discover a failing of the pub when she entered the woman’s toilet and came across a grot hole that looked as though a heard of wildebeest had just stampeded through it. Later in the night I would realise that some of the women in the bar were not that far removed from the antelope family in their mannerisms, but that is another story. The missus pointed out that most of the other patrons were taking advantage of the pizzas for £5 offer that was running and we were at a loss as to how anyone could eat food prepared in an establishment with such filthy toilets. In fact the whole bar has an air of grime about it as if the staff would not belittle themselves to reach for a sponge and some soapy water, which is a shame as it wouldn’t take that much effort. I did spot a sign by the entrance informing locals of the impending refurbishment that will be closing the pub from December 6th until the 14th, but I’m sure that it won’t take long to fall back into disrepair with the current attitude towards cleanliness.

Apart from the staff having no idea who was next to be served, youngsters thinking that it is ok to push in whilst waving notes about and me having to ask for two very shy pints to be topped up the comedy section of the night passed reasonably well and I thought that the compare and two of the three acts were good.

We were sitting at a tall table near the bar and the fun and games begun again when the comedy had finished and my wife went to the bar to order another round. Whilst she was gone and I was still taking our belongings from under the table a very rude member of staff took her drink and put it on the bar where it was quickly poured away. He then denied it and said it was empty even though there was half of the £4 glass of wine left. He then proceeded to shove a coat into my wife’s hands even though it wasn’t hers and then push the table around to the back of the bar whilst knocking people out of the way. Heaven knows how this bloke is employed by anyone let alone let anywhere near paying customers!

Just for interest I did spot lots of plasma screens and also a projector for showing Sky Sports and ESPN, but there are better pubs that show the football in the area and if there is an event on the Saturday night anyone watching the sport will not be served after seven as the bar is closed to people that do not have a dirty great ink blot on their hand from the door staff.

I’d rather stay at home than have to go to this pit again.
Strongers - 22 Nov 2009 19:59
Avoid. Like you might avoid an infectious disease. Went there the other day for our group's Christmas night out. Was without doubt the worst food I've ever had the displeasure to pay for anywhere in my entire life. The so-called Christmas buffet basically meant taking some very average food (pizza, cheap pate on bread etc) and smothering it in cranberry sauce and sweet pickle. Some sort of pasty thing was like a jam sandwich it was so sweet. There was a sweet cranberry sauce-free bowl of new potatoes, but they weren't cooked properly - crunchy how you might expect carrots to be. I'm not a fussy eater but this was inedible.

The drinks are decidedly average too. They often run promos on cocktails but this seems to be because the staff spill half the contents of your cocktail on the bar whilst making it. And unless you like Euro Identikit lager, there's no beer for you - not even an interesting bottled lager. Add to that no atmosphere, lazy staff and grumpy door man and this place has nothing to redeem it. Visit the dentist instead - you'd need to after eating here and it'd be more fun too.
martingreaves - 1 Dec 2008 00:48
A fairly dark, rather unexciting place, but there are worse around. Surprisingly, not too noisy, even when quite full. No real beer. Had to explain the concept of 'topping up' a three-quarter full pint to the barmaid who seemed slightly astonished by the request.
rpadam - 21 Nov 2007 20:59
I don't see why these places draw any praise whatsoever. Eating or drinking here is joyless. The decor reminds me of my office and the people could be crash dummies, for all the individuality they have in their weak minds. I am sure the pizzas are nice but frankly madam I don't give a damn
anonymous - 12 Sep 2006 11:49
My local charges 2.20 as shot, AND it's on a 35ml optic - i.e. 40% bigger than the standard 25ml. A bottle of tonic is £0.95. Thus a large G&T in my local will set you back £5.35.

"Caveat Emptor"
5thearlofwimbourne - 12 Sep 2006 11:14
I have just moved to the area and as a place to meet friends it is perfect. I know it's not a typical "pub", but for a pizza, good music, decent beer (if it is all lager), good wine list and cocktails it is fine. It's not trying to be a pub, just a good place to relax and enjoy yourself. Contrary to the previous writers the bar staff and very friendly and attentive, good venue!!
anonymous - 12 Sep 2006 10:39
A £2-3 mark up per drink is more than slightly above the going rate, especially in a place that (in my opinion) had nothing going to merit it. On that principle, they should be charging £5-6 a pint.

Plus it's absurd that a place does £5 cocktails, but £8 double & mixers.

Anyway - they could charge £2 a drink and you wouldn't catch me back. Poor service, no atmosphere, poor beer selection (hence the G&T choice), and a music policy that was - in volume and genre - totally out of place with the venue.
topdog_andy - 9 Jun 2006 12:24
Not being funny but that is about the going rate for a double G&T in a bar. Slighlty cheaper in most pubs (maybe a fiver or £6).
anonymous - 9 Jun 2006 11:54
Me: "I'll have a gin and tonic, and a Cosmopolitan (for the lady)"
Barman: "Would you like a double G&T?"
Me: "Sure"
Barman: "That's £12.80"
Me: "Um...but the Cosmopolitan was only £4.95. That makes my double gin & tonic about £7.80!?"
Barman: "Yep"

How any place can charge that much for a gin & tonic, without offering even a single stipper, I'll never know. Needless to say, the place was empty (on a Saturday night), barring the DJ blaring dub music. Obviously not a popular music choice for the £8 drink crowd.
topdog_andy - 9 Jun 2006 11:06
2-4-1 pizza on tuesday's is awesome.
eat 2 pizzas , pay for one.


no dry roasted peanuts though...
anonymous - 5 Nov 2005 11:33
I used to go to this place loads when it first opened. It was really good. Great food and cute and cheeky, but helpful staff. Went in over the weekend it was nice, but where have all the characters with oersonality gone!?
Max Walker - 29 Jul 2004 18:04
its cool. i like goats cheese salad.
robert petheram - 10 Feb 2004 20:44
I love this bar. This is my local where me and my friends go at least twice a week for drinks and the most brilliant pizza one could taste. Friday's is especially good, when the staff transform the bar from its day time, sit down and drinks mode to its night time funky party time mode.
Scott Fredriks - 12 Dec 2003 13:52

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