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Barcadia, Kingston Upon Thames

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user reviews of Barcadia, Kingston Upon Thames

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

Went here to celebrate my birthday a few months ago. Whilst Barcadia has never been my top place of choice I do appreciate the fact that you can get in here for free, listen to bearable music and drink into the small hours without having to pay ridiculous club prices. I must admit I have certainly spent a bit of time and money in this place over the years as I lived in Kingston through to the age of 27.

What left a bit of a sour taste in the mouth though was as it was my 30th birthday, a mate of mine kindly gave me a bottle of whisky in a gift bag. Being a responsible person I ensure that the whisky was left safely behind the bar. In my befuddled state at the end of the night(due to drinking their booze) I forgot it. Now I don't live in Kingston so I had to phone them up to ensure that they kept hold of it for another week so I could arrange for it to be colected at a later date. Well it was liked I have asked them to store a dead body for me! ! ! !

To make matters worse when I got someone to go in to get it, the gift bag had disappeared ant the bottle was sitting on their bar with a pourer in the top. Now I work for a transport company and this would be similar to if one of our customers left there car at our depot and me instructing one of my drivers to use their car to make deliveries. What a way to treat a paying customer.

Absolute Piss Take! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
BeerGutt - 3 Dec 2012 12:46
To the misinformed reviewer below, can you back up your slanderous comments with any actual evidence? For your information, all the door staff at Barcadia hold SIA licenses and are hired through the same agency that Oceana and most other venues in Kingston. Your references to the door staff and managers' ethnicity are inaccurate, not to mention irrelevant.
Anonymous020 - 13 May 2012 23:34
This place needs to be shut down. The door staff are Eastern European thugs who are illegally working on the door as they are unlicensed. The management are also Eastern European thugs who if they don't like the looks of you are willing to express their opinion and threaten you.
jinovich - 7 Jan 2012 16:01
the place can potentially be the best bar in kingston, if they sort out the doormen. some nights they friendly, others they make any excuse not to let you in. Also, why they sell Cristal champagne tho is beyond me
the_truth - 24 Jan 2007 13:22
Not been here for a while, so I won't leave a rating. Always used to have a good time when I used to come here, when I was younger.

No, it doesn't serve any real ale and it does play loud house music, but that is quite obvious from the outside, isn't it? I think the last review is a bit unfair, as Barcadia is not trying to be anything other than what it is, but as the previous poster said: each to his own.
ratfink - 20 Dec 2006 15:00
No beer, only lager, absolute rubbish, personally am not too keen on the music, but each to his own!
bluesboy - 7 Dec 2006 14:51
The music can be hit and miss but generally its good for a dance.It's just so cramped in there, they could do with some more space!

Tend to get people who are a bit "up themselves" but as long as you dont upset any of them you should be ok!
Jo984 - 28 Sep 2006 10:12
I came to a couple drum and bass nights here, the whole layout makes everything seem "awkward" somehow - i knew loads of people there and u are kind of stuck facing everyone there if u sit anywhere at the bar, if that makes any sense. Too small basically and quite a few stuck up, pretentious tossers. doorman had attitude but nothing like propa doormen at raves.
pisshead99 - 23 May 2006 02:30
since when has barcadia said it is a 'pub'? It is a BAR with background music and drinks, more the cocktail variety than the tweed and leather eblow patch variety.
anonymous - 4 Jan 2006 16:49
Had an amazing night on Sunday, real good fun, top crowd, great music, fun bar staff, nowhere else in Kingston comes close!!! Hope you found your 'proper pub' LittleNicky!!
Tom - 31 Oct 2005 17:11
Thanks for the warning, 'Anonymous' - if that's the case on the 30th then I won't go in. No real ales, poor selection of whisky, and thumping 'House' crap. I'll go to a proper pub instead...
LittleNicky - 30 Oct 2005 10:33
The Official Sunday Shoutin launch party this Sunday (30th)!!

With residents Rich Vibes and DJ F!

You can expect to hear an eclectic mix of House, we will be playing ambient to funky, electro to uplifting and the deepest, dirtyest twisted house you are ever going to hear in Kingston!

Come down and check it out from 8pm till 1am, it WILL be a mad one!!
anonymous - 27 Oct 2005 07:57
full of pretentious 24year olds sipping their chardonnay, coming on to all the younger girls who they complain about being there. A distinct lack of younger fun loving students... Hooray for Students!!!
Mr_Sifters - 22 Sep 2005 16:37
I don't really see that Barcadia has a down side when you look at the competition! It stands out, and it stands out because it chooses to be different. Ofcourse we could play a selection of music types throughout the evenings like the main clubs and bars in town, but instead keep it unique in what we do play.

Kingston is fast becoming lager lout central, and that is far from what we are. We simply offer a slightly older (when I say older, I mean people who can read and write unlike some of the 18 year olds around town!) crowd somewhere to go for a gauranteed good night, with some fresh, up-to-date funky tunes.

Don't like it? Go to the Tun!!!
skin_ed - 14 Aug 2005 20:20
Named after a bar in Bret Easton Ellis's 'American Psycho' but you don't need to be a nutter to drink here. I found it relaxing and goodhumoured compared with the vertical drinking dens just up the road. No real ale but you wouldn't expect that. They could have a better choice of whiskies though!
beeronaut - 11 Aug 2005 21:45
On the down side of Barcadia

It is good, Belive me, there are so many so-so to passable pubs and bars in the area that it stands out as good, but it is not the bee knees that some posters here rave about. After all, for a start, from my experiance they play all kinds of music, only if it has the word "house" in the genre name. And the music can be overbearing at times (volume wise).

Oh, and it needs to be twice the size (at least) with a larger quieter area.

Seems to be run by enthusiasts who have a bit of business noggin between these ears. That is NEVER a bad thing.

jon.paul - 15 Jul 2005 14:51
Although local competition isnt very strong, barcadia stands head, shoulders and genitals above every other bar in the area. And this is why...

We are now the only bar open till 2am on fridays and saturdays and 1am every other night.

Its free.

Music. ok so most of the music is funky house and I accept that in general, the growing commercial appeal of this stuff might put off the underground music nutters. were aiming for a lively, funky enjoyable music scene. Its all about the atmosphere and when it all comes together we create great nights.
We don't simply puke out hed kandi compilation cds, I personally work hard to see that the music I play is familiar but cutting edge. The idea being that you dont have to travel into central london to sample the good stuff.

The bar is being refurbished over the next few weeks. I havent seen the plans so I cant comment on how it will look, the plan is to serve up some contemporary Zone 1 action on a kingston plate.

We are not perfect and definately have a few things to work on. We're doing just that though and I hope you see the progression. By 2006, the other bars in kingston will probably just shut down out of embarrassment.

We are not a chain, we have an individual identity, fun staff, a great sound system, fit girls, dashing boys, great location, food, fun, banter and the same same air con system god has in his massive house.

If by now you are thinking I am sad gimp cos I clearly love the place so much- you're right but some people support spurs, so...

rictoone - 12 Jul 2005 22:30
Yep, agree with the previous and atmosphere at Barcadia are brilliant,and have had good time every time I have been.However,the door policy is ridiculous.We go there regularly and between our group spend a small fortune there.We are good natured honest citizens (like that bit?) of Kingston yet we are left feeling frustrated when we are refused entry.It is even more annoying because we go there often, and given reasons like 'couples and girls only' when its half empty and your in a mixed group anyway.It IS good not having to go all way to Clapham to go somewhere good,but at least you know you will be let in if you go there! And in response to the earlier post regarding wanting to go into place which has men in it.....well,not everybody goes out desperately searching for next conquest, we want a drink in somewhere with a good atmosphere!
anonymous - 14 Jan 2005 17:19
Always had a good night here... Not had any probs with doorstaff. It plays the kind of tunes i love & i wish there were more bars like this in kingston so i wouldn't have to travel to clapham to find them... Keep it up barcadia & doorstaff!!!!
anonymous - 9 Jan 2005 22:17
Milli - good to hear your side of the story. Pretty obvious stuff really, but for the record it wasn't the policies that you have or that are still in place, but more the implementation of them. There really is no room for some of the apparent ignorance that has been seen by some of the doorstaff there. If that's changed, then all well and good.

And as far as my door credentials - I moved on from the London scene in the mid 80's to serve as personal body guard to various musicians when touring the UK. But I don't really need to justify anything here.
hardrock - 6 Dec 2004 16:45
hey I have managed to annoy sooo many people ... dman it I@m good, Allow me to introduce myself , I was the head doorman at this fine fine venuefor over 6 months and love the place . Allow me to give a few of you wally's who 'used to work the doors' ( yeah probably at an under 12's school disco) a few words of wisdom. a) doorman always turn people away for a reason , it is rarely ever a power trip or the fact we are trained apes as some of you believe ( I am actually an english teacher !!!!) Maybe you don;t fit the venue, maybe we have just turned a vaguely similar group away who are sitting there watching us to see if we will apply the same rule to them ( ie no tatoo's or something else ridiculous as we did to them).In such cases it makes a lot more sense instead of standing there arguing the toss or giving us the benefit of your many years of experience in ..... or telling us you earn .... or the other inane comments the average customer comes out with . Take a wander for half an hour or so and come back and see if the situation has changed ( there is always a chance it has if you acted in an intelligent fashion in the first place) . Secondly lads do you really want to go in a bar that is full of men ? We do it a) so we don't scare of the few women in there and b) because blokes in a crowded bar do have this unfortunate tendancy to get into fights or handbags at dawn mode !! no matter how normal they may appear to be whilst sober .
Last but not least ( as I am on a really good rant here) despite what any of your friends maay say no one ever gets thrown out of a night club for no reason whatsoever. There is ALWAYS a reaons. I grant you it may not be a good one, but there always is one
ok well here endeth the lesson to those of you I have pissed off, enjoy the fine company and range of fruit based drinks for the lady you will find in weatherspoons/the litten tree. To everyone else this is the best bar in Kingston so enjoy it .. Oh and be nice to the doorman as they rock
Milli - 7 Oct 2004 21:30
dj ric toone rocks! We are getting a �5k sound overhall and full interior refurbishment in around 3 weeks (early/mid september). Nowhere in kingston will come close. Truely.
dj ric toone - 19 Aug 2004 16:45
Great pre-party atmosphere,with wicked tunes,big up the DJ, bar staff were friendly and in with the GROOVE!!!
Unfortunately,agree about the door men/ bouncers,who let the dogs out!
As i understand Barcadia has recently changed hands those there is a tip for the new owners,release those hounds and quick!
C ya next week

local beer monster - 13 Aug 2004 22:48
Top notch, grade A quality place. All the ingredients of a top London bar, just not as far to travel! Bar staff are sexy, drinks are reasonable, and the best totty from surrounding area definately have a homing device fitted to get them there on the weekends! Like funky house? Get down any night of the week to check it out yourself.....
Skin 'Ed! - 30 Jun 2004 15:18
This place is packed with potential (and I am not just talking about the girls) great music and a happy vibe. Shame about the artwork on the walls (looked as though someone had been sick and the bar kept the momento).
If music and great eye candy is your thing, the head on over.
PS: Met the new owners and their enthusiasm can only add to the venue.
tallest - 4 May 2004 20:49
it has changed hands but the usual crew are running things and should be getting a whole lot better with more nites opening late soon

bouncers are bit of a problem - havent the brains to deal with discretion so will be educating them in what we are looking for in punters - come on you cool and funky guys!!
cadia crew - 3 Mar 2004 16:19
ahh Barcadia. Many a whole paycheck has been wasted on post work drinking at this place. really nice early evening boozer with deals on the draught budweiser between 5 and 7. V.good collecition of music as well. weekends are a little too packed for my liking and it tends to attract the pre drinkers from the dreaded oceania which can lower the tone. big up the master chef chris as well!

Door staff can be shity when the regulars are not working.

As I understand Barcadia has recently changed hands so lets hope they dont change too much!
Bungle - 25 Feb 2004 15:05
Nice enough gaff, with nice enough tunes - the Sunday night. Staff are friendly **but** -

(1) I'ld suggest there's a big doormen problem here. Being a former doormen myself, these guys looked like they really didn't know how to handle the clientele management imposed by the venue. The two that worked this particular evening were rude, inconsiderate, and quite frankly came over as rather ignorant. Not a good policy, even if the night itself is musically good, considering these two gentlemen are the first members of Barcadia staff that a punter has the pleasure of encountering. Not a pleasant start to an evening, really.

(2)Warm beer. Unfortunately.
hardrock - 23 Feb 2004 11:34
Wicked nights so far in this place, relaxed, no teeny boppers and cool staff & dj's. Plus the chef is a dude! go Chris go!
Stumpy - 13 Feb 2004 23:18
yes i know i spelt "there" wrong!!!
kerry - 21 Jan 2004 13:25
nice little plug for yourself their curtis!! i have to admit that i do frequent many pubs and clubs in kingston but of them all this is by far my favorite, none of your usual hooded kids, the atmosphere is relaxed and the bar and door staff friendly the musics not that bad either!!
kerry - 21 Jan 2004 13:24
New night starting on Wednesday 4th Feb called Halfway there, drinks promos & DJs. For more info contact [email protected]
curtisjwhite - [email protected] - 18 Jan 2004 11:47
look out for the new wednesday night here coming soon 'NEARLY THERE!' - cheap drinks and good music - soon this bar is gonna be the place to be every night of the week!!
JCKY 51UT - 16 Jan 2004 10:42
Had too much wine here! Bit too loud if you want to have a chat but it's good if you're in the mood to be quite lively! Also it is open late!
Dimple Chops - 14 Jan 2004 22:09
The bestest new years party ever! Cosy venue but wicked crowd and sexy bar staff....
V Meister - 14 Jan 2004 13:56
If you're looking for overpriced cheese in the company of pikies, Oceana is just over the road. If however, you're after a night of fun with funky people and music-get to Barcadia -I'll be back! Also very cute DJ (tall, blonde hair)
Briana B - 17 Dec 2003 02:21
Great music policy especially on Sundays - nice to see someone push the boundaries in Kingston
Mike - 16 Dec 2003 08:24
not quite sure what nite Gareth was in there but this is definitely the coolest bar in Kingston and anyone who thinks different obviously hasnt been there on a sunday when it kicks off with cool Djs, free shots and girls dancing on the bar!
maria - 2 Dec 2003 14:49
Just sheer perfection. Gets the tone just right. genuinely cool, fun, funky and laid back - much sexier than all that shite on the other side of the road.
Stephen - 25 Nov 2003 17:12
Of course the irony is the chap who owns this place used to run O'Neils in Kingston and Richmond. Great atmosphere and music.
Graham - 20 Nov 2003 18:43
Gorgeus staff, Sexy Djs who play fantastic music,a fun lively atmosphere & good beers. Kingston has got something right for once!
C - 14 Nov 2003 17:02
The only place to be all weekend - you wingers who dont appreciate good music - just bugger off down o'neills or somewhere for some cheesy tunes - you mcluskys regulars you!! SUNKY FUNDAY - SUNKY FUNDAY!!!

ps how can a small privately run bar be 'soulless and/or corporate' duh ???
rics legal team - 14 Nov 2003 16:33
SUNKY FUNDAY!!SUNKY FUNDAY!!. Admittedly, I run the night but it still is great. I chanllenge you to come down and not leave feeling pleasently surprised. RIc
ric - 14 Nov 2003 14:51
Beer in the evening - your havin' a larf - wot beer - fizzy rubbish only on - I've also gone deff !
quizman - 10 Nov 2003 23:36
I like it!! Great live DJ's, and Nice staff. Perfect if you can't be bothered with the appalling Night clubs in the area on a Fri/Sat night. It could even numb the pain if used as a warm up for one of the appalling nightclubs

beer monster - 10 Nov 2003 12:00
A bit soulless and corporate. Music too loud for me I'm afraid
Tom - 7 Nov 2003 17:32
devious dave needs his head read - this is the best bar in kingston at the moment - SUNKY FUNDAY being the best night of the week - and sexy ladies dancing on the bar!!!!
chris - 3 Nov 2003 09:48
SUNKY FUNDAY - the only place to be on a sunday nite - fantastic music - chilled crowd and totally worth feeling rough on a monday morning for!!
anonymous - 27 Oct 2003 09:49
good music althought the speakers were a bit dodgy last time i was in - good place to chil any nite of the week and amazingly they may chuck u out on the nite for being completely ratarsed but dont bar you!! did have some sexy staff but they all seem to have left and been rplaced by weedy students!!
legallyblonde - 6 Oct 2003 14:37
A really nice place to end you weekend on a Sunday nite, Good music, good atmostphere, open till Midnight!
claire - 22 Sep 2003 12:01
just bn 4 the first time,good music,sexy staff and really gd atmosphere,definitely gona go again!
laura - 27 Aug 2003 20:53
Nice bar, nice staff, nice beer. Enough said !
Hightower - 27 Aug 2003 17:43
A fantastic bar, with a good atmosphere, good music. open late Thu '2' Sun. Fun & entertaining staff. A great place to go for a quiet drink with mates or a pre clubbing 1!
Snake - 27 Aug 2003 10:18
Trendy bar, but very friendly and welcoming staff. Great lager, but no real ale. Definitely one of the better places in Kingston.
Audun - 10 Jul 2003 15:40
Great if your idea of a good night is lounging on sofas and looking cool. Personally, I would like to see the place levelled by a nuclear bomb. But that's just me.
J.R. - 25 Apr 2003 16:15
A laugh riot ! The matre' D ( a Mr. Ted Bundy) is reminiscent of Huey Lewis at the peak of his fame ('Hip to be Square' - a personal favorite of mine). But try to get a table at about 8 or 8 thirty and you'll be laughed at down the phone. Only for tumbling, tumbling dickweeds like Lewis Carruthers.
Patrick Bateman - 11 Apr 2003 18:13
Yeah, yeah, its ok. Open late on Saturday, with restricted entry. Floor servers, 'trendy' style decor thing, not bad overall, but it is in a weird location.
Chris - 21 Mar 2003 15:05
Trendy "lounge style" bar with good beer, interesting vodka jelly, decent music and a lively weekend atmosphere.
Angus - 19 Mar 2003 12:00

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