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Wheatsheaf, Tooting Bec

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user reviews of the Wheatsheaf, Tooting Bec

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

The Wheatsheaf is situated at a prominent intersection opposite Tooting Bec tube station. It enjoys a corner location with large windows making it a good spot for people watching. The ale range wasn''t the best in London - East London Brewery Jamboree, Dark Star Original & Partridge & Twickenham Sundancer. Service was good. A decent option if in the area.
blue_scrumpy - 28 Aug 2017 10:26
Been in two or three times recently and I really liked it.

A decent selection of real ale on, from light to dark and a decent menu too.

This is way way better than the Kings Head up the road!
Ade.The.Raider - 11 Apr 2017 22:44
An awful pub, still spit , sawdust and urine. More shabby than chic. Smart arsed staff to match the yummy mummy factor.

Go to the Rose and Crown or King's Head instead.
ROBERTA - 23 Jul 2013 17:08
Called in early evening for a quiet couple of pints and a read. Had a great couple of pints (Harvey's Best and Harviestoun Bitter and Twisted). Had four more beers on the go too which was good to see. Staff not exactly the friendliest and getting a bit bored of the formulaic vintage tat of the antic chain. A beautiful building like this deserves better but at least the place is still open! I'd still go back for the beer though.
aj74 - 16 May 2013 16:21
This still remains a favourite of mine. The food seems to have come into it's own and is now top notch. The beer is well kept and an excellent selction. It also seems to draw a surprisingly high caliber of comedian to the comedy night. Strange for zone 3 but there you go.

As for the bar staff yeah it can be a real mixed bag. Sometimes I've been served with a smile, good banter and efficiency other times the beer seems to have come from the brewery rather than the cellar for all the speed it's delivered and from the look on the bar staffs face you'd think they'd had to walk there and back.
theoneandonlyjoe - 10 Sep 2012 16:30
So much for the miserable bunch and their comments, we think they are a great group of lads and represent part of a great improvement in the pub! Good food and good beer.
andynsally - 18 Jun 2012 17:00

I don't know if there's been a change in terms of who's running the place, but have to agree with the comments below and have now largely abandoned what had for a while been a very promising spot.

The staff are awful. Genuinely awful. Food orders not taken properly, surliness when asked about them, generally "I'm far too cool to be serving you" attitude. If they spent less time talking to each other, comparing ironic haircuts and showing each other their piercings then the place would probably run a bit more smoothly.

The Meantime Pale Ale tap has had a glass sat on it for months. Really - stock the beer, or get rid of the tap. 5 or 6 real ale taps, usually no more than 2 on sale and these in pretty average condition. A real sense that there's no enthusiasm at all for beer from whoever is running the place now.

Bottled beer regularly emerges from the fridge warm. This can only be for one of two reasons - they're too idle to bottle up last thing at night, or someone doesn't know how to rotate bottle stock in a fridge.

All in, I can't remember the last time I encountered such a bunch of self regarding, miserable incompetents behind a bar. The average Wetherspoons crew are shining examples of the barman's craft in comparison.

Antic should turf every last one of them out on their ear.
BallaBoy - 11 May 2012 08:23
Great location but gloomy atmosphere and pricey pints. It seems that the decoration is trying desperately to be trendy which is sad. It could be a great pub though if only it was more authentic.
cnf - 9 Apr 2012 18:01
I'm generally in approval of the recent refurb BUT... I've visited several times recently and have to agree with rmb1973's comments - the bar staff are the absolute pits and would struggle to get a job in McDonalds. Really holding the place back
Wiccaman777 - 29 Jan 2012 15:46
...oh, and by the way, this isn't symptomatic of the "chain" - these geezers own the antelope and tramshed in tooting and the service in both of those is far far better
rmb1973 - 27 Jan 2012 11:24
This is my most convenient pub - in between the tube and my house, so i've always gone there, even before the refurb. Nice decor, good selection of beers and nice food. Obviously two things have happened since the refurb - more expensive prices and it's busier.

Main problem is this... you can't get a pint! Elephants have had babies quicker than they serve customers. The pattern is always the same, usually there's one good conscientious barperson - working really hard and doing their best, whilst all the other staff try to do anything at all rather than serve behind the bar."ooh look, there's a stray wine glass on a table in the back room - lets collect that." "do we need to have a chat amongst ourselves by the billiards table?" "does it take two people to take one table's food?" I've seen a barperson there literally do every job she could, have a chat with the manager and then just stand there for another thirty seconds desperately scanning the room for something other to do than pouring beer - finally with a sigh, resigning herself to asking one of a deep queue of customers if they want serving.

It's just plain silly. I would drink more, visit more often and stay longer if they hired staff for their work ethic rather than their ability to look like the cast of Skins from five years ago
rmb1973 - 27 Jan 2012 11:20

Now firmly established as my local, and has definitely grown into itself. Beer is good, food is up to the mark and the re-design inside has gradually taken shape. Along with the Antelope, is now highly recommendable to anyone looking for a good pint in Tooting.

BallaBoy - 14 Nov 2011 09:36
Have gone in a few times since they started serving food and I'm generally impressed. The food is tasty but is not remarkable and just on the verge of being too pricy for what it is.

There is a wide choice of beers but the taps are often turned round on a lot of them (4 of the 6 ales and one of the lagers on my last visit) but I guess that just speaks of the popularity of the place.

A big plus point is that the staff were polite, friendly and couldn't have been more friendly. This is a massive plus point for this place and is typical of all the Antic pubs I've been in. So they certainly seem to ahve a very good hiring policy.

The main down point for me was the volume of the music on a Friday or Saturday night. Maybe I'm becoming a bit fusty as I grow older but it seemed to be too high and whilst conversation was still possible it did become a bit strained.

Still overall a massive improvement on what was there before and a real credit to the area.
theoneandonlyjoe - 27 Sep 2011 15:21
We were there last Sunday, 6 beers on, 7 pumps, 3 tried, all in good nick. Food being served, no obtrusive music and what was being played was a good selection.
Not a bad boozer, will be interesting to see how it pans out.
elsie_pop - 16 Sep 2011 19:04
When the new owners first took over we loved the place Ė the beer was good (still is) and the atmosphere friendly and efficient. The run down furniture was quirky but did not detract from the enjoyment, it was a pleasant place to go for a chat and several drinks. Unfortunately there is a rougher type of clientele coming in and the music has become so loud you cannot converse without shouting and so, sadly, I have had to give a lowish star rating. Hopefully the rough element will be discouraged when (eventually) food is served and the music turned down. We still go in for what is a very good pint (of Sussex especially) but if the atmosphere and noise levels donít change we shall even have to forego that.
JohnMo - 31 Jul 2011 20:40
A work in progress as already mentioned. Good that the regulars have not been alienated & a nice mixed clientele. Hope the rear outside area is earmarked for a spruce-up. My apologies to the barstaff - I just don't think you are as cool as you so obviously think you are yourselves.
Wiccaman777 - 31 Jul 2011 18:25
Much improved. Great drinks. Music good though a tad overbearing at times. Also glad it has kept some of the old local custom and gives the place a good social mix. Still a few tweaks to go but generally a good place for a beer.
jonjonjon - 7 Jul 2011 15:13

Visible progress here, but it does feel like maybe the money isn't there to throw it into shape quickly.

Furniture is definitely a bit past the "shabby" end of shabby chic, but the painting seems to have been completed.

The outside area at the back could do with some attention, and it all still feels a bit like a work in progress.

Some activity in the way of comedy club etc, some good beer on tap but fingers crossed for its continued development.
BallaBoy - 13 Jun 2011 14:02

As a fan of what Antic have done at The Antelope, I hope this is still a work in progress. Much improved selection of beers (though I wish people would offer real American craft beers rather than the Coors marketing stunt that is Blue Moon), but the overhaul doesn't seem to have gotten very far.

The old tatty furniture has been replaced with other, tattier furniture. There are a selection of rather odd cheap MDF shelving units holding various things that seem to have been culled from local charity shops.

The repaint seems to be part completed. The reshaping of the bar has opened the place up, but they don't seem sure what to do with the space.

I don't know if this is still in transition from the "pop up" phase - any clarification from Antic would be welcome - but I hope it is.

The Wheatsheaf is a big location, and I think it needs some real thought and flair to pull it together properly as a pub. The improvement on the beer front is a welcome first step, but I was left feeling that I was drinking in a rather spacious charity shop.

Much to do, I hope. It would be a tremendous waste if this is as far as it goes.
BallaBoy - 17 Jan 2011 14:49
Things are stepping towards improvement here. Have been in a few times since the take over and I'd describe it currently as a work in progress. More beers on tap and some good ones too, a quick refurb is also making it look more friendly.

However it's still missing something and the lack of SKY has meant I watch sport at the Kings Head down the road. The movement is in the right direction but hopefully the journey's not done yet.
theoneandonlyjoe - 8 Dec 2010 15:14
Antic have indeed just taken over the Wheatsheaf (October 2010), we have lots of plans for the beautiful old building but for now we are concentrating on giving great service and great beer.
Bear with us while we make some changes, we'll try to be as inconspicuous as possible!
FiAntic - 15 Oct 2010 15:22
OK found out it seems it's been bought up by the same guys who run the Balham Bowls Club, The Tramshed, The Antelope etc.
theoneandonlyjoe - 12 Oct 2010 00:35
I used to go into the old wheatsheaf occaisionally prior to it going into administration. It was an old style boozer where if your face fitted you were OK but I certainly know a few people that were put off from the place but also a few hardcore regulars.

Anyway I passed there today on my way home and saw it was now a 'pop up pub' whatever that is. A young girl was doing some work on the windows and from the looks of things it's looking to drop the average age of the drinkers by at least 20 years.
theoneandonlyjoe - 11 Oct 2010 16:30
The Wheatsheaf is what it is - a boozer, probably the last old school one in the area apart from the Rose and Crown. It's not unfriendly, it's not classy, it does have some of the dodgiest entertainment in town. It is a 'proper' pub. The good/bad news (depending on your point of view) is that it has gone into administration and, bearing in mind there are twenty bedrooms upstairs and a lot of space on the ground floor, it's only a matter of time before it becomes a gastropub.

And then where will Tooting Bec's non-trendy drinkers go?
getdown - 2 Feb 2010 11:32
A comedy choice. A real nasty dive full of horrible locals who stand in your way when you're trying to get to the toilets. They were still setting up the Karaoke when I left.
boozemaster - 16 Jan 2010 12:45
This is a large and very grim pub opposite the tube station that I see no reason in returning to and not just because I cannot stand karaoke.
Strongers - 5 Jan 2010 13:18
If you are leaving Tooting Bec tube staion at night you will hear an amazing caterwalling coming from this pub. Yes folks it's karaoke night at The Wheatsheaf. My last visit there many years ago ended in the biggest punch-up I have ever witnessed, making your average film bar room brawl look like a vicarage tea party. I was trapped in the bar by two of the many brawlers rolling in front of the entrance, but when I heard the sound of approaching police sirens I manoeuvered round them and made my escape. Needless to say, I never went back.
Padderborn - 29 Oct 2009 19:35
Not a bad pub by any means. It certainly isn't Claridges, but doesn't pretend to be anything it's not.
Good for live music and karaoke, serves a nice pint of Guinness, and most of the regulars are friendly enough.
bricktop - 6 Nov 2008 17:35
Be a bit adventurous and don't judge a book by its cover, this place is unique. Sure, the Wheatsheaf is not some fancy overpriced wine bar and yes it does seem to attract a variety of rough looking punters from time to time. Nobody's perfect!

However, you can have a brilliant craic in this place. When there's entertainment on this could be a 24 hour venue - I've never been told it's time to leave! And I assure you that you have not lived until you've been to a Black Elvis gig. He's on about every 5 weeks and is fantastic - yes a black Elvis impersonator! Old men in trilbies dance with young girls on the lash, big mommas rock with Springfields outpatients, Limerick men down the Guinness on the sidelines. Forget your preconceptions and enjoy the best night out in the area! There are even now tables on the pavement outside - the cafe society reaches the Bec at last.
butterball - 30 Jul 2008 11:36
What a shithole this place is.
I won't be going back.
Such a great location yet such a letdown.
Typical train station pub, no atmosphere, no camaraderie, no attempt at making me feel welcome.
Wish i'd never gone in.
andygillett1 - 1 Jul 2008 21:41
Another Wheatsheaf classic on Wednesday last week

Most of us were trying to watch the Man U v Baarcelona game but never ...oh no... never let that get in the way of karaoke

Assorted pissheads got up on stage but the evening was capped off by one of the barmen doing a turn. A bit of heckling from one of the aforementioned pissheads and lo and behold you have the classic chav brawl/ shoving match.

Most normal readers will now see why this place is a bit of an issue

murgatroyd - 27 Apr 2008 22:37
It would be a good pub if your a regular however if your not the welcome is not so warm. I've gone in a few times mainly to watch sport and I've generally received a lukish warm welcome. However whilst I was in there once a girl who came in and sat at a table was told to buy something or get out when she explained she was waiting for someone she was given a 10 minute time limit for them to turn up or she would be chucked out. The guy did turn up and they left straight away. This place will either survive unchanged for decades on the strength of it's large regular crowd or will be bought out within the year and turned into a gastro pub as that's the way Tooting Bec seems to be creeping towards
theoneandonlyjoe - 17 Apr 2008 13:28
I've been here once. I lasted a little over 10 seconds before I made for the door.

Would still be going in a post-apocalyptic winter because most of the occupants / staff wouldn't let a little thing like radiation poisoning come between them and their pint...

It's a class thing. They don't have any.
Dr_Will - 27 Nov 2007 15:53
this pub is fantastic i love paddy he's like my other daddy der's nothin like a bit of ruff n tumble i miss it everyday
wigga - 7 Nov 2007 22:10

Good old Wheatsheaf... can't find an NHS dentist and need a tooth taken out? Go there on a Saturday night either spill someone's pint or look at their girlfriend - sorted...

Staff about as friendly as the average cornered rat, toilets that get cleaned about once a month...

Not somewhere to go for a nice quiet drink with a loved one though judging by the clientele late at night you could get "lucky" - or unlucky depending on how you look at it with one of the scraggly Tooting Totty...
asnootyfox - 25 Aug 2007 08:45
bit of a rough diamond. not the place to go in a suit after work but if your face fits its not bad
westyw9 - 23 Feb 2007 17:24
Largish fairly shabby pub although the bar itself is quite impressive.

Clientele are definitely on the rougher side and indeed can make one feel as though one has stumbled on to the set of the Addams Family.

Having said that I've never seen a whiff of trouble on the few occasions I've been in here and usually end up having a chinwag with one of the regulars (although it is often difficult to establish the point they are making and sometimes even the words themselves).

Didn't see any handpumps on the side of the bar I was on so suspect it's not a place for beardy anoraks from CAMRA. Guinness is good though

It's ok here but the only reason I ever go in is because it's right next to the tube and it's convenient for a quick one on the way home. If you have a bit of time the Rose and Crown - 10 mins away down Tooting Bec Road is better
murgatroyd - 2 Feb 2007 09:11
Tom the barman is very cute and fit!!!
tinkerball - 5 Apr 2006 12:46
not a bad bar, friendly staff after a while, slightly unsure of new people. Can watch a game in it, and handy for the tube. Rough on the outside, but a nice place for a quiet drink..or 2!
1Boozer1 - 17 Feb 2006 15:13
A bit dodgy and rude staff but I often see people having a bit of a laugh in there. Rough around the edges but not as terrible as it looks.
mitomighty - 29 Nov 2005 15:39
Only went in here once but I totally agree with the lwk198 and womble - horrible, rough looking and feeling place which I felt unwelcome and uncomfortable in.
mydogminton - 8 Nov 2005 11:54
I have to agree with lwk198, this is one to avoid. I'll admit that they at least know how to pour a decent pint of guiness, but it was one of those places where the music and conversations stop when you walk in, tumbleweeds swirling around your ankles. Not a friendly place unless you were born on the bar, and I can't understand why people would go here when there are plenty of decent pubs in the area.
womble54321 - 3 Oct 2005 17:06
Is everyone on this website talking about the same place?! Rank Irish pub full of old weirdos - I detest this place!
lwk198 - 26 Sep 2005 16:52
My brother decides which house to move into by its proximity to this pub.
Good pint of Guinness and a proper Irish (Tipperary) pub. Appears rough at a glance but is actually really friendly complete with crazy old locals.
I was enjoying a sunday social with my bro and his mates the other week when one of the mad old regulars staggered over to us and asked if he could stroke Fiona's hair.
Joe said yes.

Seb - 16 Sep 2005 19:49
Great pub. End of.
hardboiledegg - 5 Aug 2005 14:14
Fridays entertainment (The 1st of October, 2004) Musician/Singer by the name of 'Moss' was excelent, please can we have him back there as soon as possible?!!
Marie Doorley - [email protected] - 4 Oct 2004 11:50
I thought the joint was bang on. Nice pint and good bar service. Brett in particular is a superb barman and spins a good yarn.
Ryan Winter - 25 Jun 2004 10:10
Good to have an odd pint during the day and watch Tooting pass by the large windows. It can get lively at night, and the various OAPs whirling about to Abba make you think you've wandered onto the set of "Cocoon"(or possibly "Dawn of the Dead"!)
beeker - 22 Jun 2004 14:27
Great Pub, Great Manager, and "Brett" the best Barman in London.
Edward Kelly - 9 Jun 2004 14:03
was there sunday 23rd of may to see dazed and confused who absolutely rocked the place. church was in progress across the road, but the wheatsheaf was where true salvation was found. An absolute Gem of a place!!!
tomas - 26 May 2004 19:11
One of the best pubs in the world !!Owners a Gem , Staff are great fun - Bring Back Liam Hickey - DJ Hotlips ha ha.
1 of The Breen's - 22 Apr 2004 14:12
Recent renovations have been well done - seems to attract more of a mixed crowd than before (Might even be able to persuade my other half to come in now)
Justin - 13 Feb 2004 12:57
Hard ta find a reasonable pint of Guinness in London these days, BUT here you will find a drinkable drop, plus the old authentic central wooden bar is still there... hasn't been replaced or put ta the side ta make way for a yuppie stable with wooden seated public school food hall....big windows to watch the world on a rainy afternoon. Need to sort out the ventilation, gets smokey! A good swift one on the way home place (opposite the tube stn) pity it's not open on the way to work in the morning really. A local with locals in it.
graham - 6 Feb 2004 20:30
A recent, much-needed redecoration did not drain the soul of the place. A powerhouse of an Irish London pub. Home to all manner of characters. Live music nights on Sundays particularly recommended. Very good pool table. The perfect local. Only stopped short of rating it 10 as I'm still searching for the perfect pub.
Somar - 13 Nov 2003 15:41
weird big roomed Irish pub, definitely worth a pint while you *erm* wait for the northern line. as Justin says this will be a soulless All Bar One type pub as Clapham spreads down the northern line :(
ol - 5 Nov 2003 17:07
Interesting pub - sufficiently rough looking (outside and regulars) to put off the casual punter (a plus given proximity to Balham). Can't help feeling that they could do so much more with the space. If you are interested in pub architecture it is resplendently complete in its original Victorian fixtures and fittings. Definitely unlikely to fit in unless (i) you are Irish and (ii) you have teeth missing, but inhabitants were friendly. My partner hated it - definitely a "bloke" pub. Worth a visit just because its bound to get bought out by a chain and turned into a characterless Tup or Ferkin pub eventually.
Justin - 9 Sep 2003 11:52
A lovely friendly pub with lively locals and good by the sounds of things Big Fella never met me when he was in there!!!
Anna - [email protected] - 2 Sep 2003 20:02
I agree with the others, it's better than it looks and the locals are generally quite friendly. There is also a small beer garden out the back if you fancy catching a few rays. Tasha 4/7/03 (user rating - 8/10)
Natasha - 3 Jul 2003 16:32
I was there last night, thought it was great. Shame I lost me wallet on the tube though, have to get people to cover me.....
Niall - 17 Apr 2003 14:43
A Mad Irish pub, not as rough as it looks. They used to have these "Discos" on a Saturday nights at 9pm when one of the barmen would set up a turntable on a sofa and spin an eclectic mix from Sinartra to the Sugarbabes. This would be the signal for several really pissed old geezers to dance around the bar. Marvellous.
Gary - 12 Feb 2003 07:16
A big old fashioned pub with large back room with darts, pool and big screen sports. Always full of characters. A tramp once gave me his untouched pint because he was too drunk to drink it! The karaoke is entertaining for all the wrong reasons...
Jim - 22 Jan 2003 15:03
Oik pub favoured by diamante clad parvenus and cheesemongers.A blot on The Empire.
Nigel - 8 Jan 2003 18:10
I worked there for years and there is no other pub like it in London, a great place. 10/10
luke - 17 Dec 2002 13:57
Looks a bit rough and ready but don't judge it by the lack of paint and tatty wallpaper. Definitely worth a sharpener when at Tooting Bec especially if you like Irish sports. 9/10
Ed - 5 Dec 2002 09:33

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