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Bricklayers Arms, Fitzrovia

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user reviews of the Bricklayers Arms, Fitzrovia

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

A nice old Sam Smiths pub, somewhat off the beaten track. NOTE they do not serve Cask OBB, nevertheless not a bad boozer
cellarbuoy - 10 Dec 2016 19:58
The best of the Sam Smith pubs in the area for my money. The dark-wood and etched-glass look is getting a little cliched for me. There's something of the country-pub downstairs (a basic front bar, darts in the back room) but more of the city upstairs (deep sofas, coffee tables, pot plants). If only I could teach myself to like Sam Smith's bitter ....
Berboyblue - 1 Jan 2016 17:15
I was in here last week a couple of times for a couple of pints ( old brewery bitter). Beer was excellent , service was friendly and efficient and overall ambience was lovely and relaxing, such a bonus so near Oxford street. I will be back.
canarly - 20 Feb 2015 20:04
I had the place to myself at 2.30pm on a Tuesday, so had the undivided attention of the bar person. Being the fifth or sixth pint of the day I was up for a chat, and luckily so was he. Nothing outstanding visually, a clean & basic pub, Brewery Bitter (2.90). It is passing strange to a frequent visitor to London that perfectly good (& some outstanding) pubs, only metres from major shopping streets & tourist sites, are deserted yet others are rammed beyond comfort. Herd mentality?
Queenslander - 20 Aug 2014 23:09
Cosy, friendly and welcoming, if a little spartan in the Samuel Smith's tradition.
A hidden gem, well worth checking out if you appreciate traditional pubs.
strangetorpor - 9 Jan 2014 15:46
We were in the Bricklayers are this Sat for a friend's birthday. It was dirty, the management were very rude, and the regular were very unfriendly. This pub used to be one of my favourites, but it has obviously gone way down hill. There are lots of nice pubs in this area, and if you want a Sam Smith's pub, the Champion is a short walk away and much nicer and better run.
cebrando - 4 Nov 2013 08:55
In the heart of Fitzrovia, this is a pubI'd been meaning to visit for a while as I'd heard good things about it. I have to say though that I was somewhat disappointed on my visit. I got the impression this was very much a locals pub despite being a stones throw from Oxford Street. It was also extremely quiet when I was there, even though it was late afternoon on a saturday. The person who served me was maybe the landlady (?), and although efficient, the service was abit brusk - not rude but not particularly welcoming either.

It's a Sam Smith's pub, but in my view not one of their better ones. Would I visit this pub again? perhaps, but with so many pubs in the area, some of the competition is quite formidable.

Overall, satisfactory but a pretty unremarkable pub. It may be completely different when packed, but as I said, I wouldn't make a point of coming back unless I happen to be round the corner. The one bonus was a nice open fire in the upstairs lounge......which was almost deserted. I'll give it 6 just for that!
trebor2013 - 12 Oct 2013 18:23
All these reviews are really out of date. Under new managment the Bricklayers is one of the best small pubs in London. Great friendly staff and a great atmosphere. The only downside is the Samuel Smiths price increase. What used to be a cheap place to drink is now one of the most expensive. Shame on you Mr Smith.
Robynrobyn - 3 May 2012 17:06
Having read the negative reviews of this bar, I tried dissuading friends of mine from meeting up here for Birthday drinks. But it was too late to let everyone know in time, so we gritted our teeth upon entry, expecting the worst and to have the evening ruined by obnoxious staff...

But nothing like this happened! I experienced no refusals to serve any patrons, no contemptuous behaviour from the staff and no confrontations across the bar. In fact, when we all sang ‘Happy Birthday’, the staff even joined in.

The pub has a large square-ish, bar upstairs, which I found extremely comfortable; the Sam Smiths beer was around £2.20 a pint and the staff were pleasant and welcoming. In short, I found no reason to criticize and can only recommend it.
Alex_Bradford - 30 May 2010 06:50
It's a shame that the staff here are so incredibly rude because the pub itself is alright.

One incident saw a particularly moody girl behind the bar refuse to serve me for no reason, claiming id been problematic all night when I'd just arrived at the pub.

This is a bar that no mistake about it is run by an entitled and nasty bunch who see customers as a pain in the arse rather than patrons.

For a good sam smiths pub, turn your attentions to the Princess Louise in Holburn, 10 minutes walk down the road. Great atmosphere, lovely staff.
mjpepsi - 21 May 2010 10:38
is a great little pub tucked away in london, serves its own products ie;beers and spirits.the top bar is a nice room with a fire and they have a dart board down stairs too.
been here a few times with fiends and have always found it to be pleasant.
would recomend it to anyone, is much nicer now too with a new manager...
beer_drinker1 - 4 Apr 2010 12:48
A sam smiths ( marmite, you love 'em or hate 'em) Tiny down stairs & a bit intimidating if its busy but the upstairs bar is nice, if open. Usual s/s style & beers, very busy after work on a fri.
JimmyJacksonJones - 31 Oct 2009 14:51
We met the bearded manager guy on Saturday night, who told us that we would finish our drink and then get out or he would 'remove' us. He hadn't even been in the pub all night as he had been out drinking somewhere with friends and had returned just to lock up in a half-cut state. Really poor attitude.

Otherwise the pub is standard fare Sam Smiths - the beer is ok and you certainly gets what you pays for.
beergibbon - 5 Oct 2009 13:59
This was one of my favourite West End pubs until recently. A friend worked nearby so we often went here and enjoyed the (usually over crowded) upstairs bar and cheap pints.
But the staff's behavious last night spoilt it for me to the point that I don't want to go back.
At about 9pm one staff member came upstairs and yelled at everyone that they had to move downstairs. 5 minutes later she returned and kept yelling in such an unpleasant way that everyone begrudgingly moved downstairs even though the upstairs bar was still open (surely you'd close the bar first if you were closing an area?).
Then at about 10.55pm they called 'last orders', so our group went up to buy one last round. Only to be told 5 minutes later, again by the offensive yelling woman, that we had to leave. We explained that we'd just bought drinks and weren't told the whole pub was closing. I asked if she'd give us a refund. To which she (again yelling from across the bar) replied that she'd pour our drinks into plastic cups if we left now. Some of our group took offence at her tone which didn't help matters, but the whole experience was just so unpleasant and unwelcoming I won't be returning. I haven't been yelled at since I was a child and certainly don't expect to be treated like that when in a pub or restaurant. The whole experience ruined a perfectly good evening.
It's a real shame the staff let this pub down (the barmen asked me if bourbon was a type of beer and didn't know what diet coke was) as otherwise it's a lovely little place.
cheeky_pint - 24 Jul 2009 14:29
Just off Rathbone Place this is a traditional Sam Smiths pub with interesting architecture. There is a laneway under the left hand side of the building and the pub itself is clearly divided into a front and back room.

The front bar had a timeless (and indeed customerless) quality on the Wednesday afternoon I dropped in. The front of the bar, appropriately, was brickwork but the rest of the room could have been decked out any time between the 1890s and 1950s. It was in very good order though and the hour or so I spent in here was well worth it particularly with the organic lager at around £2.16 a pint.

There are still pubs in central London that exist as an oasis of calm and this seemed to be one of them.
murgatroyd - 28 Jun 2009 19:20
Choc a Bloc with punters on a Friday evening - pub okay, only one bar person on upstairs, took ages to get served. Plastic glasses also.
KeithP - 27 Apr 2009 19:41
Was one of the best West End pubs - I reviewed it down below - and I've drunk there on and off for 10 years - and it may still be a decent pub during the day, but seems to have grown a cavalier attitude to anyone who dares be there around 11pm.

On my last visit, in the chilly start to January '09, the barman was happy to serve at 10.59pm, but at 11.01pm the manager (a very young looking chap who had half a beard and glasses and hadn't been seen behind the bar at all) flung the doors open to drive people out for 11.20. Not a good way to win friends when it's -1C outside, and he was grinning as he told his bar staff what to do.

When I left and shared a few choice words with my friends about his attitude (hey, I'd had a few pints and he hadn't), he suddenly pricked his ears up and hung in the pub doorway challenging me for this, as if he wanted to prove himself as a really big boss. It was just a bit sad, really - I know central London's a tough place to run a pub, and the licences aren't great, but on a really quiet night, there was no need for him to fling the doors open at 11.01, and no need for him to stand in the doorway and try to impress his staff by rowing with a customer. And sad, too, because the dark-haired guy working behind the bar was good, but let down by his rubbish boss.

Sad, because that's driven me away from this pub, and it used to be a cracker as well.
darryl - 3 Jan 2009 01:03
Visited last Saturday under the impression that it had real ale, but the barman informed me it hadn't had any for several years. Nothing else there to compensate for the lack of proper beer. Small, sparse, plain, not very welcoming. Only possible plus points - nice exterior, no loud music, could get seats
tamerlano - 23 Dec 2008 10:25
Another Sam Smiths pub with an extensive choice of real ale, continental lagers from every corner of the planet and a young vibrant attractive client base – Ahem!

It is small, but worth a look around as it’ll only take 30 seconds, which is 4 minutes and 30 seconds less time than it took me to be served. I wouldn’t have minded, but a bloke standing behind me was served before me. On enquiry the barmaid thought that I had already been served, she was the only one working the bar.

I’d walk past if in the area again.
Strongers - 31 Oct 2008 10:07
Yet another Sam Smith’s pub without Old Brewery Bitter on handpump. That’s a real shame; otherwise it would be a pretty good pub.
RexRattus - 28 Oct 2008 11:10
Really difficult to review Sam Smiths pubs with no cask OBB. The pubs they own are generally wonderful like this one with a small front room, a small room at the back with a dartboard and a dimly lit lounge bar upstairs. The contrast in price between the keg beers at less than £2 and the bottles at around £3.50 is striking too. Had the Pale Ale which was very nice.

Have to say I am pro Sam Smiths although friends of mine really don't like them but surely some cask OBB isn't too much to ask?
GuideDogSaint - 12 Aug 2008 23:15
I had to check to see if people were reviewing the same pub I went to. Go to the upstairs bar, ita's intriguing without being engaging... otherwise downstairs quite drab. Bar staff and cronies were absolute teenage blank bubble headed south africans/aussies who fancy themselves as the stepford wives and drone on to each other about shoes and handbags and boys. If you're over 30 prepare to be treated charmlessly, as if you're a slightly distastful alien. Wont be going back... there are far superior sam smith pubs nearby.

No handpumps, no ale or bitter.
rachaelov - 28 Apr 2008 07:33
Tucked away off Rathbone Place and probably doesn’t get much passing trade. There is a small front bar with bench seating around the sides and a few tables. The even smaller back bar has a few stools just one table and a dartboard, there’s also a serving hatch to the bar which looked as if it was still used. Upstairs is a pleasant lounge with sofas and armchairs that feels a bit like walking into someone’s front room. It does have it’s own bar upstairs but I imagine this is only opened during busy times.
Millay - 21 Mar 2008 14:03
This pub has no handpumps ! so while it is still relatively cheap if you are a lager drinker it is very dissapointing if you are not.
lovesong - 21 Mar 2008 12:06
Went with work colleagues, couldn't believe how cheap and nice the beer was. Will recommend to friends. Shame no handpumps, though.
dongle14 - 10 Mar 2008 16:21
The truth about Sam Smith's is that the chairman is a nutter, and when he is gone I will miss him and his pubs that have all jumped out of a Tardis from when Doctor Who started, because despite making more money than any other pub company the cappuccino swillers that 'manage' pub companies now will kill this one.

On the other hand I think it is mad, even for Sam Smiths, to have no handpumps in so many central London pubs. The Crown on New Oxford St had a complete referb 2 years ago and got not real ale despite the manager asking.
bradwan - 10 Feb 2008 01:08
No handpump, but as i'm a fan of Smith's Pure Brewed Lager, no dramas. I don't know what it is, but there's something very appealing and neat about the interior - and on a summer afternoon the light floods through the window. Nice staff, too. I like it here.
Albert_Campion - 10 Feb 2008 00:22
Whats this, No hand pumps. Dark and dingy little place. Fizzy beer only. This is not a pub.
CambridgeBlue - 12 Nov 2007 11:04
Good pub with very friendly staff.
Excellent beer at affordable prices.
Loved the barmaid....... lol
Johnboy0070 - 7 Oct 2007 14:46
Fantastic find just a stones throw from Oxford St. We went here on Sunday afternoon and spent a relaxed hour or so supping the excellent stout. Highly recommended.
Jackietreehorn - 23 Apr 2007 11:51
Please bear in mind if you are going there for the Sam Smith's OBB, They don't have handpumps in this pub.
and while the draught beer in sam smith's pubs is very cheap the bottled stuff is over £3.
lovesong - 16 Feb 2007 15:52
love the sam smith's pubs. but gone a little odd, now that they've decided to ban music...
wild_wild_wild - 22 Jan 2007 17:22
Fantastic pub. Only been there once, but was so surprised that a cheap, friendly and cosy pub could exist right in the heart of London. The beer was fantastic, the two Aussie / NZ barmaids were friendly, and the sofas and decor were wonderful.

Top stuff.
Keirdre - 11 Jan 2007 18:14
strangley good pub,I like the back bar
becks007 - 18 Nov 2006 20:35
i went to this place last night(monday) and was pleasently surprised how such a small back street pub can attract such great customers! the larger was the best at only £1.99! such a find would recomend this pub to anyone!!!
drunkasascunk - 17 Oct 2006 19:23
Very cozy but very busy during the academic year. Once all the students have buggered off, however, it's just perfect and one can enjoy a pint of Wheatie with mates upstairs in peace. Sitting on comfy sofas, it always feels a bit like being in someone's living room. A chill out Sam Smith pub, x

Wish it'd had a tv for the world cup though (against Sam Smith's policy, apparantly)
Boudicca - 5 Jul 2006 10:46
Funny little place, upstairs is like a gentlemans club that hasn't been decorated since 1976 - very cosy.

Drinks were decent, though the barman was a right knob-rot; still, you can't have everything in London I find.
Quinno - 9 Apr 2006 19:57
Good pub had many a drunken night in here.
Warm, welcoming and cosy. The back bar is good for the darts, the front bar for a quick pint and upstairs for a session.

Jesper - 15 Mar 2006 13:11
Another west end winner for Mr Sam Smith. Love the upstairs here, very cosy in the evening, even been know to have the occasional game of Darts as well. many a long hour and over-loud conversation been had in this little boozer even spent one of my birthdays here.
maximcondor - 22 Feb 2006 14:57
Used to frequent this pub regularly years ago when I worked in the area and it was great. Popped in last weekend when I was in the area and was pleased and disappointed. Pleased because it still has the same welcoming feel and a good place for conversation. But it was a shame to discover that the pub no longer serves real ale - the beer being all cold keg stuff.
GrahamA - 6 May 2005 14:22
What Mike2004 said.
Flatman - 28 Jan 2005 19:16
A good old Sam Smiths pub, offering fine ales at cheap prices.
TheGP - 21 Sep 2004 14:05
Top pub with the usual selection of quality ales from the Sam Smith's brewery. A little on the small side but this just adds to the charm.
mike2004 - 19 Sep 2004 12:09
Yes, it can be too popular (which Is why I haven t rated it, as it doesn t need any recommendation)
But it does have character, and a friendly one, not the scraggy dog and carpet sort. Even if this does involve slamming open all the windows at closing time in the winter to clear the punters out.
Jabberwocky - 6 Sep 2004 02:28
really like this pub. its great. cheap beer. lovely drinks. v nice upstairs. nice people. bags of character. its a great sam smith.
stoichkov - 13 Apr 2004 13:06
Like the nearby Fitzroy, they do Hefe, the only 2 places that I know of that do. It tastes of bananas and comes in a great tall glass.

God, I need a girlfriend.
Ruby - 16 Jul 2003 15:07
The beer is cheap and the upstairs bar gets quieter as the evening goes on. Downstairs is really good for a post cinema bevvy as it's really emptied out by half 10.
Samuel Smith - 19 Jun 2003 09:10
Sam Smith pub, so as long as you like their beer it's perfectly passable. And going to the Fitzroy Tavern instead would be a really bad idea. Yes, it's two times the size, but it attracts three times the punters!

That and The Bricklayers has a bit more character. Don't know why. It just does!
G - 16 Jun 2003 16:49
Its a nice little pub and off the beaten track. A good place to meet before going to cinema, theatre, restaurants etc
Soots - 7 May 2003 16:16
small and friendly pub - I've always had a good time here. Easy place to meet your mates.
Darryl - 27 Apr 2003 23:19
This pub is far too small. Fills up far too fast and the service is inclined to be a bit slow. You'd be better off going to the nearby Fitzroy Tavern which serves the same beers.
Alistair - 6 Jan 2003 15:23

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