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Pillars of Hercules, Soho

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user reviews of the Pillars of Hercules, Soho

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

Small but good range of different beer. Liked the atmosphere of the pub. However, the barman didn't like it when I asked for my pint to be topped up. Dick.
Wilson_MacDonald - 4 Sep 2015 08:19
I've spent many happy hours in the Pillars over the years but a visit 2 weekends ago was the first in some time and it was a sorry reflection of its former self.
The ale was undrinkable (I took mine back and asked for a glass of water instead and another of our group left two thirds of his pint untouched), my chair barely had a seat on it and the staff were curt and unfriendly.
It's probably a reflection of Saturday evening in Soho with most of the punters knocking back crap like Jaegerbombs but I won't be rushing back any day of the week.
Miss_M - 30 Aug 2014 09:02
My guide to London's best Pubs describes this as a "good honest London pub in the heart of Soho". I think that sums it up as, during my visit it was busy but not rammed full and it just seemed to have a good atmosphere. It just struck me as everything a good pub should be :-a place for adults to socialise and not a gastro creche as so many pubs outside city centres have had to become to survive.
A nice pint of "Hercules", moreish enough to have a second. But a bit sobering in that it was my first to hit the £4 per pint line. There is a nice seating area alongside the bar front, with partition screens.
For my snapshot of a visit anyway a good, proper pub with a great name.
tarkatherotter - 11 May 2014 16:59
Went there last Friday - heaving by 7pm.
Drank several decent pints of Punter from the Upham brewery, and Wainwrights from Thwaites.
One of the better real ale haunts in Soho.
Number11 - 24 Mar 2014 16:16
Been going here off and on over the years, sometimes a good rendezvous point and then move on! Ale has always been average to good! So hardly worth a post, as not doing anything better than lots of other pubs. BUT, was in a couple of weeks ago and when I ordered a round, I noticed the barman sneakly trying to top up a half filled pint of slops! When I asked him to stop and pour me a fresh pint, he said it was fresh, I persisted and he begrudgingly, and in a state of annoyance, speedily poured another, he finished the round, and I asked him to top the first pint up, which it took 2 attempts to do, temper prevailing!!! When pints cost very close to £4 in Soho, I'm not gong to settle for a sub-standard pint or back down when customer service is a merely an inconvenience! Beer still average to good, but bar service needs to improve considerably!
larrybling - 1 Jun 2013 17:19
A nice exterior but that's where it ends as it is, like so many Soho pubs, rather rubbish. We found the tip of a straw floating in one of our pints although the barman was suitably apologetic and did furnish us with a new one (accidents happen - at least it wasn't a condom). Too crowded by half although the ale selection is decent.
BoehmBawerk - 16 Mar 2013 07:15
Popped in here last night & can say with hand on heart, the ale here was shocking.

Tried three pints by Thwaites, St Austell & Timmy Taylor & all were poor, especially the Thwaites which was undrinkable. The quality of the beer overshadowed the short measures.

Fortunately, I had popped into the Old Fountain prior to the Pillars!
churchyboy - 30 Mar 2012 21:05
Reasonably good selection of ales and lagers. Whilst not spectacular, well worth a visit if you're in the area. No doubt I'll be back in the summer.
R.Swipe - 3 Mar 2012 20:22
Have to laugh - I was about to leave a comment (copied below), then saw another frustrated comment also from Feb 1! I popped in for a pint after work and was annoyed at the pub, which has been great in the past, but the place was useless tonight. Then saw the comment from 'gress'. I left about 6.15 and that comment from 'gress' appeared afterwards. The door was wide open on the coldest night of the year. That's nothing to do with any excuses - it's just f*cking stupid. No excuses possible: treat your customers with disdain and you won't have any left soon. That simple. Two lots of customers within about 30 minutes you have managed to annoy. Good work!

My initial comment:
Great way to run a pub:
1) have a barmaid who doesn't understand 'salt and vinegar' and insists on giving you cheese and onion instead. You end up having cheese and onion because it is impossible to make her understand otherwise.
2) keep the front door open on the coldest day of the year and make up some some rubbish about health and safety/windows steaming up etc.
The place: Pillars of Hercules.
Date: tonight.

derekwinchester - 1 Feb 2012 22:45
After going for an afternoon stroll around Soho we thought we`d end the afternoon with a drink in one of the typical little Soho pubs. I wanted to sit by the window to watch the world go by. The front door was latched open (on one of the coldest days of the year so far). We thought we`d give it a go and see how warm/cold it was. It was cold. I asked the girl behind the bar if they could possibly close the door. That request was met by a definitive "No". No apology, no explanation, just like it or lump it basically. I later heard the same girl having a barney with one of the other staff in front of the customers. Not very professional. Hardly a warm welcome from a frosty pub and frosty staff. On principle, I wouldn`t go there again.
gress - 1 Feb 2012 18:52
Bounded into the Pillars with two young Parisian friends at 6.46 on 30/12/11 at the start of a Soho crawl. I quaffed a truly sensational half of Broadside. Pub was packed with happy, smiling people. A proper boozer, 10/10!!
Newton_Lad - 2 Jan 2012 23:38
been in a couple of times, usually in early evening, and always impressed by the condition of what is on. is easy to forget you are in the middle of Soho as you can escape the bustle and relax in a bit of an "olde worlde" setting that is not a tourist trap.
Jacobite62 - 19 Apr 2011 00:19
Great little boozer with quality ales, sensational Wainwright and good old Adnams...great staff and atmosphere. fully recommended to pop in for refreshment when arround.
swiniaa - 26 Mar 2011 20:48
Looks ok from the outside, but not very nice or clean. Pub crawl here probably means insects.
Juanfortheroad - 15 Mar 2011 20:06
Whilst better local pubs in Soho will be spilling out onto the pavements on a weekend eve, this small decent boozer offers room to breathe and even sit. Adnams Old and Broardside, British Bulldog, Theakston's XB, Finchcock's Original and Thwaites' Wainwright all in fine fettle
Wiccaman777 - 26 Feb 2011 12:52
Solid, albeit uninspiring pub. Beer is well kept and in good condition, but despite offering 6 real ales all are simply standard bitters. What is the point in that?

An OK alternative for when the Dog & Duck is rammed to capacity.
Misk. - 1 Feb 2011 17:47
Small, traditionally furnished and decorated pub, tucked away through an arch behind Foyles bookstore.

Early on in a lunchtime the pub was empty but it looked as if it wouldn't need too many people in to be crowded.

Ales on were Adnams Old and Broardside, British Bulldog, Theakston's XB, Finchcock's Original and Thwaites' Wainwright, which was in pretty good nick and 20p cheaper than JohnBonser paid last July!

Not really a pub that demands a revisit unless you are right on it's doorstep.
flashharry1965 - 10 Jan 2011 11:16
Struggling to remember much about the Pillars. Beer was OK and as we were on a crawl things had started to haze!! met some intersting folks who we followed to the D&D.

LickeyEndBooze - 2 Jan 2011 19:44
Great fun, quick service, friendly clientele
cask_king - 24 Aug 2010 22:35
I must apologise, my review was intended for the Pillars on Great Queen Street.

Pat_Bateman - 18 Aug 2010 13:58
Bereft of any character or soul.

A simply woeful fake feeling pub playing painfully dull music.

Quite a few better pubs in this area.

Pat_Bateman - 18 Aug 2010 13:56
The Pillars of Hercules is a pub with an attractive looking mock - Tudor exterior. It's a former Wm Younger's house, although, sadly, none of the evidence of that ( eg - patterned leaded windows ) remain. It's now owned by Faucet Inns.

In contrast to the exterior, the interior is rather featureless and has a more modernised chainy feel than many Soho pubs. It's a long narrowish bar area, but opens out into a wider space at the back.

On the real ale front, 2 beers from each of Thwaites, Adnams and Westerham Breweries were on. The Thwaites Wainwright - at a rather pricey 3.50p - was a pleasant pint. The pub is listed in the 2010 CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

I found this a rather uninspiring place to be honest, lacking in any real atmosphere, and I'm not putting it down for a re-visit
JohnBonser - 9 Jul 2010 08:24
Visited this pub when in the area on the strength of its description in the 2010 Good Beer Guide. Probably worth mentioning that none of the beers listed in the GBG were actually available in the pub, instead there were a couple of Thwaites beers and a couple more I'd never heard of before. The beer I chose was flat and uninspiring. Pub smelt of fresh paint and had obviously just been redecorated, although I felt there was a lack of character compared to other pubs in the area.
edchambers - 25 Feb 2010 22:16
OK if you are on your own and just want a quick pint whilst waiting to do something more worthwhile.
guayabera - 15 Feb 2010 13:53
Westerham beer ok, enjoyed a couple whilst on beer walk.
Not very busy at the time, but not a problem.

Nothing too special but would visit again if in the area.
pick_e_tippler - 31 Dec 2009 19:03
Just round the corner from The Borderline, a good place to pop in on a crawl. A fair choice of beer and kept well.
rob372 - 12 Dec 2009 19:45

Bring back DJ Willie Back on a weds.............
JimmyJacksonJones - 31 Oct 2009 15:13
One of my favorite pubs in central London. Always a good choice of 6 real ales, kept in good nick. Normally busy with a mature crowd and few tourists which is suprising given the location and history of the place. The menu is basic pub grub but done very well. All in all, well worth a visit.
Danny_Scott - 15 Oct 2009 11:46
Don't order the Pie! I ordered it last night, and received the smallest piece of pie I've ever seen. A small wedge, less than an inch wide at the thick end. I also got a piece of broccoli that was genuinely smaller than the parsley garnish. You're really not supposed to still be hungry after pie and mash, but I could easily have eaten the meal three or four times over again.
MBurgin - 9 Oct 2009 12:18
Love this pub, became my first local in london and I have stuck with it ever since. Summer afternoons sat on the stoop outside watching the world that is soho going by. Mangers have come an gone but its got a cracker right now and long may she keep it. Small and welcoming full of the odds and sods that frequent the area so always worth a visit.
rotton_milk - 19 Sep 2009 22:11
Nice little traditional style pub, with a very odd DJ Wheelie Bag, who plays music out of a shopping trolley!!! Staff can be hit and miss, but generally a pleasant atmosphere (if not too busy).
Sohoboho2 - 15 Aug 2009 17:23
It's an appealing exterior butnalmost empty when
I ventured in on a mid week night at around 10pm. There were a few arsey student types (what college is in Soho????) but that was about it.

The interior was ok and the beer acceptable but I have to say it was a bit difficult to assess the pub with very few people present.
murgatroyd - 21 Jun 2009 23:04
Attractive looking pub from the outside,a little dingy inside yet a wide variety of beers (Thwaites Wainwright,Batemans XB and XXXB,Adnams Broadside) all of which were sampled by the crew I was drinking with .However the quality of these ales is poor.Some on the turn ,others cloudy there is poor cellarmanship at work here.The Polish girls behind the bar are great,very friendly .Most drinkers spill out into Greek St much the the annoyance of the old bill who ushered folk back into the pub for blocking the highway.
Dubious beer quality is hurting the Pillars.
Bucking_Fastard - 19 Jun 2009 09:45
Popped in for a quick pint before a gig at the Borderline - on a hot Spring evening the Thwaites Wainwright went down well. Pub was almost empty inside because everyone was drinking on the pavement!
SimonM - 2 Jun 2009 08:27
Not a bad pub, but I always find that the beer is a bit of a disappointment here (which is a shame as they currently have three ales from Batemans and two from Adnams).
rpadam - 24 Apr 2009 23:09
Not so sure about the Pillars since it changed at the beginninng of the year but decided to give it a try on saturday for an early evening pint. not very busy considering it was a saturday.
Mostly Adnams and nice to see Oyster on but decided to have an pint of what I thought was Batemans at the far end of the bar. Tasted like dishwater so my advice is stick to the Adnams here.
CambridgeBlue - 6 Apr 2009 14:15
Nice pub but .... sadly on the day of my visit the staff were deeply uninterested in serving and rather more intent on enjoying their ciggies outside. The pint of Deuchars I had was warm though just about within the criteria (otherwise) deeming it fit to be served though decent pubs certainly wouldn't even consider it - obviously just hanging around in the line for far too long. Heard so much about this place but my visit was a complete let down, visited the Ship in Wardour street around the corner and the afternoon got much better as did the beer. Maybe I just had an unlucky visit going by many comments. Ah well.
MisterX - 20 Feb 2009 07:43
Hopefully find a chair on the the weekeend -then, it's time, for a drink(hopefully).
EdgarBriggsMI5 - 1 Feb 2009 20:07
Yes, I know what you mean, was running the pub some time ago... But if there is, lets say, gas leak or sth, you won't be able to pour the pint if the cellar is downstairs... (no chance) Just wanted to explain him that. By the way would be perfect to have casks behind the bar:)
robert - 27 Nov 2008 19:56
Robert , you are quite wrong , real ales dont need gas. infact the best way to serve is to have your cask behind the bar and pour direct. ( very few pubs do this)( see photos of beer festivals for more traditional ways of dispensing ales.) .the gas is used to keep line pressure in beerlines that run from a celler up to a bar, if the cellar was above the service point , gravity could be used instead. The ale itself does not need gas. Anyway , went in here on a walk through soho the other day , only 1 ale on.. not too good . however always have enjoyed my visits here, just not this time.
The_Pub_Inspector - 26 Nov 2008 20:18
nice little (camp soho) pub. Excellent ale, Broadside olde was well worth a few rounds.
dan88 - 25 Nov 2008 18:37
Saturday 22nd Pub seems to have changed again, Mostly Adnams beer, Broadside, Explorer and Bitter all well kept. The beer choice suited me as I like Adnams better then Greedy King. The stairs down to the loo are dodgy if you have been drinking all day.
Not as busy as usual which meant we were not standing outside in the street.

CambridgeBlue - 24 Nov 2008 09:35
Hey "trainman", let me tell you sth: you've got NO understanding of handpulled beer, so do not pretend. Do not post the comments if you don't know what are you talking about. Real Ales need gas as well as lagers. Good advice - improve your knowledge! One more thing, how many foreign languages can you speak, hmm???
robert - 22 Nov 2008 21:25
As a passionate real ale drinker, I come to the Pillars often. The current management certainly know how to keep a good beer and it's very rare that there is not a choice of 6. Keep up the good work!
AleoftheSouth - 21 Nov 2008 12:33
Six handpumps, 4 reverse clipped (various Adnams), 1 in use, Batemans XB, 1 unclipped. We waited at the unattended bar for a couple of minutes and, when the east european barmaid appeared, I genially asked where all the beer was? She explained that they were having a problem with the gas. Not for the handpumped beers, surely, I asked. Yez, iz gaz, came the reply. My understanding of handpulled beer dispense is clearly awry! Anyway, we asked for three pints of Batemans &, after a struggle, she managed two. Only 2 pints she said, Cheerio we said. Shame, as it did look an attractive old pub.
trainman - 26 Oct 2008 16:52
Went here for a pint before seeing The Charlatans at the Astoria last night - very impressed with the quality of the ale. The Valiant was superb. A nice little juicer with a good atmosphere.
King_Viv - 19 Oct 2008 19:44
what a disappointment. Took 2 friends from Australia a couple of Mondays ago in the evening. It was deserted with no atmosphere. There were some renovations underway and the place stank...there was one shared toilet between males and females with no lock on the door. After the smell, the beer tasted awful. Left after 20 mins...embarrassing.
banksy - 8 Oct 2008 10:31
Nice little pub, right enough. Was there for lunch yesterday. The real ale selection was Adnams, Adnams, Adnams and Adnams along with Batemans and Batemans. Could do with some variety: wouldn't call it a great selection myself.
foghorn - 19 Aug 2008 17:17
Fantastic little pub, nice atmosphere and friendly bar staff. What is more great selection of real ales (6 of them, always on and in good condition, well done!)Highly recommended.

robert - 17 May 2008 22:04
Charming little pub on Greek Street with clean interior and a welcoming atmosphere. Great selection of real ales and tasty food menu.
RobBlake - 8 May 2008 11:55
A better visit to the Pillars. 9pm saturday evening, My partner wanted a coffee and we were told the coffee was now finished. After a little persuasion and maybe the thought we would go elsewhere the bartender made a fresh brew. I had a Theakstons which was very nice. They also had Adnams Oyster on which you do not normally seem so we just had to try a pint. Can recommend it if you like your ales dark.
CambridgeBlue - 13 Apr 2008 16:44
Visited again on good friday, Had a nice pint of theakstons after struggling with the bar staff not having a good understanding of the English language.
CambridgeBlue - 23 Mar 2008 00:01
Are you sure you were at the right pub Kiwi? I work in Soho square and use this place for lunch at least twice a week. I've always thought the food was good in here and never had a problem with the staff.
JessSlade - 14 Mar 2008 10:24
Nice for a drink but there are lots better places nearby for food.
We visited this pub on a recent Sunday. Signs in the window said two meals for 8.50 Mon - Fri & all day Sat/Sun.
I ordered a steak burger for me and the soup with baked bread for my girlfriend, I asked about the 2 for 8.50 promotion and after the server finally worked out what I was talking about she said it was only available Mon-Fri 3-5pm. I pointed out that the sign said all day Sat/Sun. Another staff member who was sitting nearby said that was only because they forgot to take the signs down but made no attempt to honour the offer even though it would have lost them only 1.50 to do so. They had no interest in customer service, then the girl serving me made up some story about you having to order 2 of the same meal, I was embarrassed for her.
The soup came and was clearly a cup-of soup type thing(served warm) with miniscule dehydrated vegetables that hadn't even been given time to rehydrate the "baked bread" turned out to be 2 slices of thin brown toast from a loaf of sliced bread. the "steak" burger was just a regular beef burger. It was nice enough but it was a standard burger and should be called that. The rolls that the burger were nice square white ones and would have been good with the soup also but they didn't think of that for some reason.
The beers were nice, but then Carlsberg made them
Kiwi1971 - 10 Mar 2008 14:20
I been coming here on a regular basis recently and it's great (and sadly unusual) to find all 6 real ales on all the time and always in good condition! Good food menu and efficient staff. Hats off to the landlord!
JustinNewman - 4 Mar 2008 12:56
After the Ben Crouch, this was a far better proposition. Yes, it was busy, but service was prompt and efficient. 5 real ales on offer and the ones I tried were in good condition. I'll quite happily give it a respectable 7/10.
5thearlofwimbourne - 14 Jan 2008 16:08
What has happened to the Pillars. We went in on the saturday after christmas only to find non English speaking bar staff. Whats that all about?.
CambridgeBlue - 2 Jan 2008 15:01
I visited this pub for the first time last night. It was quiet and there was a good selection of ales on, including Deuchars IPA, Theakston's Old Peculiar and a couple of Adnams ales.

I only had enough time for one pint, and I went for the Edelweiss Weissbier (an Austrian wheat beer) as I had never tried it before. It was pretty good but not as fine as other Bavarian-style wheat beers I have had. It also seems rather odd drinking this type of beer out of a traditional British pint glass - it just isn't right.

I'd like to go back and try their ales because without doing so it would be a little unfair to rate this pub.

gatomalo - 6 Dec 2007 10:36
Always used to be a good pub but the selection of ales of late has ben very poor to the point of boring.
Still nice to go to on a saturday afternoon when its not too busy. Saturday nights its packed out.
Loo's are downstairs in the cellar with a dodgy staircasethats not good if you have had a few.
CambridgeBlue - 12 Nov 2007 11:15
I used to go to this pub 20 years ago and I was pleased on a recent visit to see that it has changed little.This is a pub that is over 200 years old and has not become a theme bar .The atmosphere was excellent , the staff very attractive and efficient and I had an enjoyable evening.Well done!
davidchar - 2 Jul 2007 21:48
I went there tonight and invited four friends. I am so ashamed and embarrassed that I subjected my friends to the rude and impertinent behavior of the bar staff. Never again. I cannot believe that someone would own a bar and not care whether or not their staff treated their guests properly.... The manager was there and seemed happy to chat with her friend rather than serve the customers.
jackvervacke - 1 Jul 2007 22:01
The beer quality is erratic to say the least. This week the Deuchars was just about drinkable but it was a close call.
realmeerkat - 30 Jun 2007 22:10
I have visited this pub on several occasions and have never had a duff pint. If possible, I always choose a real ale which I have never tried before and most have been reasonably palatable.
boqueron - 30 May 2007 23:01
the ever-excellent DJ Wheelie Bag (on Wednesdays) is the only reason to go to the pub at the moment. the bar staff are normally friendly, but the place is sometimes very smoky and the ale is disappointing: often tastes off and the selection is much less inspiring than in previous years (obvious choices like Youngs, etc).
anonymous - 18 May 2007 12:46
Unremarkable chain type place. Does a job i suppose but nothing special.
Jackietreehorn - 23 Apr 2007 11:55
I went here on a pub crawl Thursday night (22nd) and rated the beer best of the night. I couldnt wait to go back and so I went again last night (25th) and the beer was terrible. Had a Bombardier that was drinkable but tasted nothing like Bombardier, and an undrinkable Bomber. Confusing.
jackvervacke - 26 Feb 2007 18:56
Would have been a very nice pub but for the loud music. I got there early on a weekday to have a quiet pint and perhaps some conversation. I met a proper gent who regaled me with stories of London during WWII. With the loud piped in music it was hard to hear each other. I could have stayed for awhile as the range was good with Old Peculier as one of the choices. I left after one.
endoderm - 24 Feb 2007 16:56
an ok pub. nothing worth writing home about
becks007 - 17 Feb 2007 22:11
Nice pub. I particularly liked the Sausage Menu with some really unusual types such as Wild Boar or Phesant. Nice selection of real ales, my drink was fine. Agree that some postings seem over-critical. Yes, It's small but it is always busy so must be doing something right.
Samc - 31 Jan 2007 10:32
It is a tad small and can get very busy. ideal for meeting people though I've never stayed for more than two. The girls behind the bar are particularly nice at the moment.
f90x - 23 Jan 2007 17:43
Loth as I am to gainsay a reviewer of Stonch's expertise, but I think this is slightly better than he suggests. It is indeed "pokey", and too dark, but six real ales is well above average for this locale, and my Adnams Explorer (I'd say reasonably uncommon in London) was in pretty reasonable condition.
grecian - 19 Jan 2007 14:03
Guinness was fine, staff were attentive, good port of call when on a crawl of area. there are worse nearby.
Some people just too critical methinks.
kiwiphil - 8 Jan 2007 19:45
A pokey little pub. The girls behind the bar seem nice, that's the kindest thing I can say. As Darren says below, though this place has a reputation for serving a variety of real ales, seems to just dish up very common (at best fairly common) bitters. Having visited three times, I've never had a pint in particularly good condition. Won't be bothering again - the Dog & Duck is close by.
anonymous - 8 Jan 2007 11:43
Popped in a couple of week ago and was very disappointed - has gone from serving a variety of real ales to serving badly kept Youngs.
Darren_in_the_City - 7 Jan 2007 22:17
good littel boozer for a swift one,pretty and friendly barmaids.
nickragingthirst - 10 Nov 2006 14:37
Very plesant and unpretentious Soho pub, with surprisingly good Thwaites. Good value too.
mtaylor40 - 21 Oct 2006 22:41
It seems that it's not just Connor from Neighbours who works at the Pillars of Hercules, but also his on-screen (and real life?) girlfriend Michelle Scully!

Good 'celeb' service, and they have Ringwood on tap. Nice pub.
rickbert - 18 Oct 2006 11:19
Was in here today briefly. Five real ales, three of them unusual-ish, which is a good show. Had a half of Old Peculier and sadly it was past its best. Didn't linger. A dingy little place, the lay out isn't condudive to a nice pub atmosphere and although it gets marks for being a "proper pub" it isn't somewhere I'll be back in a hurry. Dog & Duck is much better, and I must admit I like the Three Greyhounds a bit more too. 6/10 from me.
anonymous - 11 Sep 2006 00:34
They poor a great Guinness and if you want to do some celeb spotting Connor from Neighbours works there.
dave076 - 19 Aug 2006 11:56
Deciding to leave I went into Soho to The Pillars of Hercules at 7 Greek Street here I was served by a charming Aussie girl only two weeks in the country. 2 pints of real ale I have forgotten what it was called but at 2.75 a pint the best value of the day. At first I sat inside over hearing conversations one where a man kept telling another man he knew a mathematician. On the other table a man kept telling a women he had done this that and the other. After a while of this I decided to stand out side where there were no chairs however.

I gave directions to four groups of lost souls. Then a man came up and shook my hand before going inside the pub. At this time it started to rain very heavily so I went inside as well. The man whom shook my hand was drinking a half pint of Fosters larger. He informed me he was some one whom claimed the dole cheque he had been to Australia and had Grand children in other words he was a crushing bore. After drinking two my pints I decided to go home a good skin full had been had after all.
jkelly - 11 Jul 2006 13:32
There are still a few decent pubs left in Soho, this being one of them. Decent ales and somewhat surprisingly a group of six of us managed to find seats. Stairs to the toilets are potentially lethal if you've had a few. Would definitely make a return visit.
johnkn7 - 7 Jun 2006 13:40
new owners to finance a facelift and the imminent summer months can only mean good business for the pillars. always crowded due to its size so be prepared to stand outside - which really is preferable anyway.
proxy - 13 Apr 2006 16:25
Not a bad little place, decent beer, nice variety. Suffers from being very small, dark and smokey. And the toilets are nasty too, but then again in Soho that's the norm, eh?

Pop in for one, and then press on.
Quinno - 9 Apr 2006 20:08
Good little pub, normally some seats available, some real ales, crazy DJ - when he is there.
chrisgee - 29 Nov 2005 16:39
Quality of the ales can only be described as "variable" but it's a nice enough pub and very handy before or after a gig at the Borderline / Astoria / Mean Fiddler. As previous comments suggest it does get very crowded due to diminuitive size.
tim_eyles - 6 Nov 2005 19:16
I have been coming here for the best part of 20 years and dont think I have ever managed to get a seat in this typical characteristic one room Soho pub. Originally built in 1733, the present pub dates from around 1910 and retains several features from this time. There is a good range of beers at reasonable prices and served by efficient staff you rarely have to wait no matter how busy they are. Food is somewhat limited but you wouldn't come here to eat anyway. The initial seated area inside the door leads to a bit of a bottleneck adjacent to the bar. Beyond is a further small seated area. The stairs to the toilets are reminiscent of a cliff face. Despite the obvious cramped conditions, the atmosphere is very friendly and welcoming. It attracts a mixed bag of customers and is often populated by music fans, the Astoria, Mean Fiddler and Borderline all being within a stones throw. Such is its popularity, there are usually twice as many people drinking outside on the pavement than there are crammed inside the pub. Definitely worth a visit.
RogerB - 28 Oct 2005 10:45
Small, somewhat cosy TJ Bernard pub that suffers from poor quality fittings and dreary decoration giving it a somewhat transient feel. But does have one of the best ranges of guest ales in Soho.
SilkTork - 16 Oct 2005 11:17
Often referred to as the "Gateway to Soho" for reasons which are obvious if you approach from Foyles. If you can catch it at a quieter moment (or better still when the famous DJ is in residence) this is a surprisingly decent pub, given its location and owners. Beer's usually excellent and they normally have a good range. Internal layout means it can feel cramped at times but the best in the area.
flat3 - 4 Oct 2005 17:41
Well, I'm not sure about the TJ Bernard business but I was in there yesterday and they had the usual six real ales on, including Exmoor Gold (@2.62) and Lancaster Bomber, one other from a smaller brewery I can't remember and some more mainstream one like Young's, London Pride, Adnams.

Depends what sort of pub you prefer; it can get uncomfortably crowded at times, but as an ale drinker I regard it as a safe bet.

The comment about the gents toilets below is something of an exaggeration, although I can see where the analogy came from!
Rich66 - 11 Aug 2005 23:20
From the paintwork, surely this is a TJ Bernard pub? Can it really be any good??
sparky747 - 11 Aug 2005 17:41
Small old-fashioned pub, and one of the few I've come across in the West End to have a decent selection of guest ales; up to six ales available on handpump with a good balance between the large regional breweries and the smaller independents.

There are seating areas at teh front and back with three booths along one side wall in the middle where you can sit on stools and the bar opposite. It does sometimes get uncomfortably cramped with suits congregating at teh bar and blocking the way in and out for everyone else but most of the time I find this to be a nice place for a few quiet pints and a chat; not really ideal if you're in a large group though.

Prices tend to be in the 2.50 - 2.70 range for ales depending on strength, which isn't excessive by West End standards.

I've only managed to catch DJ Wheelie Bag once, but I enjoyed his quirky selection of obscure Blues/ska singles.
Rich66 - 15 Jul 2005 16:59
Nice enough little Soho boozer. Can get very cramped and of course the prices are inflated because of it's location, but it's very cosy and welcoming and has a decent range of beers.
Mr.Monkfish - 29 Jun 2005 11:09
Only thing I recall about this place is that it had the WORST toilet in the world.

Think 'Trainspotting' and you're somewhere near...
Wullie - 29 Jun 2005 10:40
I have drunk in this pub many times over last two years as it is located v. near to my work place. Has a good selection of ale and usually a friendly greeting. I particularly enjoyed hallowen there last year with an ecentric DJ playing haunting tunes. I also enjoyed a pre xmas drink where i was thrown a free t shirt for drinking plenty of cask ale and had the novelty of a xmas bauble melting onto my Parker.
anonymous - 12 Jan 2005 23:11
If ever i am in Central London i always try to visit this pub.Great atmosphere with a good selection of real ales.I am surprised that there are a few negative comments below as i have never had any problems here
TonyAle - 27 Dec 2004 11:17
For such a little pub this was a vast disappointment. Unadvertised is a Wednesday night 50s port-a-DJ. The music was so loud several of us asked for it to be set to something more becoming the environment. Staff were unhelpful in this respect and we were not surprised to be joined by other fleeing clients at a pleasant pub around the corner. We shall not return.
David - 2 Sep 2004 09:44
This is a charming little pub in the heart of Soho. The best place to sit is up in the window at the front. It is great to spend a lost afternoon and the background music can be good too. Only down point, there are sometimes a few iffy characters drinking in there that the staff are either loathe or scared to remove. So, if you like a pub with "edge" - this is it.
Pippa - 27 Jul 2004 14:39
Still a nice little pub in the heart of Soho - though big emphasis on the word 'little'! Don't go here if you're fat!!

Also, good selection of real ales - well would have been but out of the 4, 2 were 'off'.
Darren - 12 Mar 2004 14:53
This pub is finally showing a return to form. It lost its way a few years ago. I went back in on Friday for the 1st time in nearly 3 years and it seemed much better (even recognised one of the regulars from when I drank there before and had also moved on).

Beer was nice, and the staff were friendly.
Keith B - 1 Dec 2003 11:33
If you get a good corner then it's a nice little pub. A bit annoying if you find yourself stuck in the gangway though cos it is very narrow, as others have commented. Get in there early and bagsy a good spot is my advice!
TheG - 23 Oct 2003 14:43
a little gem of a pub with a friendly atmosphere
Especially cosy in the winter, me and my mates have had some great nights before going out to countless other bars in the area.One of my favourites!
pat - 22 Oct 2003 14:28
Fit barmaid who for some reason didn't seem overly enamoured with a German ex-Wimbledon champion lookalike. Maybe because I was leering.
And yes, it is narrow. Stand by the bar and you'll constantly be squeezing up to let people past. Ok.
Ruby - 18 Jul 2003 23:09
Good atmosphere, good beer, good staff. The best place to go before or after gigs round that way.
Darryl - 20 Jun 2003 00:22
A bit too narrow on a busy night, but always a good atmosphere. Several good nights had in there!
G - 16 Jun 2003 17:42
Get along there on a Wednesday evening for a great night of 60s RnB and Soul music and plenty of friendly smart Mods. It's like stepping back in time!
The Priest - 28 May 2003 17:49
This is a small city pub with a great atmosphere. I visited the pub on Monday 17th March and the barmaid on duty was really friendly and helpful. Probably because she was an Australian ex-pat (Donnah was her name). Anyway I had a nice quiet drink in very pleasant surroundings.
Mike - 1 Apr 2003 05:09
A bit small, another JJ Bernard pub that looks the same as all the others. Very handy for the FA HQ and the Borderline :)
Briony - 10 Dec 2002 13:44

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