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Kings Arms, Fitzrovia

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user reviews of the Kings Arms, Fitzrovia

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

Have been in here about 6 times now since McMullens took it over. Really nice old school boozer, very friendly staff, good mix of people and a nice atmosphere. But, ale quality really erratic - sometimes excellent and sometime very poor, which is a shame.
alebarry - 13 May 2016 09:10
Came in there with the other half last week as I was staying up the road.

The plus points are it is in a lovely area, full of character, away from tourists and is a "real" untouched part of central London.

The negative part is that the pub absolutely stinks - I dont know if it is the smell of patrons or just the grubbyness of the pub but it really was not very welcoming.

There was one bloke on behind the bar who although polite just did seem like his heart was in it. We just had 2 pints of Cider £4 each which is about normal for the area.

The pub really needs a face lift. I am all for character pubs with a bit of grime - but this was just dirty. We went outside and could not even lean or put our pints on the wooden outboard as it was falling off........

5/10 - Mostly for location. Sorry....
Miker1234 - 12 Sep 2013 00:34
My first ever visit to this pub that is tucked away in Fitzrovia away from the throng of tourists and other annoying types that frequent the Oxford St area at all times of the day.

I came in on a Thursday night after attending a gallery opening nearby and it was strictly standing room only and even that was a squeeze! Obviously an old pub that has been made good with fancy beer pumps and a host of European lagers and beers on draught and in the chillers behind the jump. Some lovely original tiles at the far end of the bar gives the interior some major character. Sharps Doom Bar on draught so being my favorite pint it was a no brainier, nicely kept so no complaints from me.

I'm sure this place is just as good if empty when you visit as it does have charm. Worth seeking out if in the area and wanting to avoid the tourist traps around Oxford Circus.
lezford - 22 Mar 2012 13:29
Staff are very fast and it never takes long to be served. Yes this place could do with a refurb but it's grubbiness is part of the charm.
pubtastic - 24 Jun 2011 09:42
Popped in here for a swift one before dinner. The place was packed with local media types and students. It is grubby and the place looks like it could do with a proper refurb to be honest, but as I said it was rammed so why would they bother? I did like the copper plated till though. Full marks to the staff who held on to something I left behind for a week, very kind.
EN5 - 31 May 2011 14:50
I can't drink in here anymore, its just too dirty.
camraman123 - 23 Feb 2011 18:21
Whilst I can't dispute the majority of the previous posters comments about the KA, it's very unfair to accuse the staff in this pub of having poor customer service and no loyalty. They're really quite an affable bunch.

Anyhoo, to accuse all pubs in Fitzrovia of providing no service to the local community is hogwash, the poster clearly does not live locally. The George, The Green Man, The Yorkshire Grey, The Crown & Sceptre, The King & Queen, The Mason Arms, The Tower Tavern and that's just the immediate locality are all open at weekends. That's not to mention this particular pub which is open on Saturdays.
Mayfairlights - 6 Jan 2011 12:52
Reviewed date December 2010.

I have been a pub user for 40 years now, and so I know a thing about what makes a good pub.

This pub looks like an old fashioned place, and in many ways it is. For example, there is NO FOOD available here at all, just like in the 70's it's peanuts and crisps only!

The toilets used to be disgusting, however they have been retiled, smartened up and repainted. There is no hand dryer, the toilet seat is hanging off, and with only two urinals in the gents it is, shall we say, a little 'intimate' in there.

The bar itself is quite pleasing, however it really does need cleaning. The brass ware and copper tills are crying out for a polish as is the woodwork and mirrors.

The wine glasses come to you smudged with lipstick or finger prints, and the bar staff clearly resent it when you ask them to wash and polish the glasses. Ice is given grudgingly, and there are no wine cooling buckets.

All this, and very expensive too. A 3 bottle of super market wine will set you back 17 in here. A pint of Guinness 3.80, Strongbow 3.40. This to be fair is pretty much the norm in this area (Fitzrovia). The pubs I believe have got together to fix their prices, and customer service and loyalty to customers, is pretty much non-existent. The majority of the pubs round here are only open Monday to Friday for out of town office workers, and close during holiday periods e.g. Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day and Easter. They provide no service to the local community whatsoever.

Back to this pub, there is no provision outside for smokers (no canopy, no chairs or tables), and to conclude, the landlord has a take it or leave it attitude. I'm not suprised at the rate pubs are closing in this country, their greed is their downfall.
Patrons - 30 Dec 2010 14:37
They have new toilets!
Mayfairlights - 2 Dec 2010 11:50
The staff is friendly and the service is fast. The beer is so-so, I've been unlucky a few times. The toilet is an awful disgrace (but might be refurbished by now). OK for a quick pint if you're in the neighborhood, but there are better options not far away.
L78 - 5 Nov 2010 17:26
A good honest pub. Friendly staff, decent ale. One of the betterpubs in the area
asprilla69 - 20 Mar 2010 14:03
The Kings Arms is not a special pub in fact it's not even a particularly nice pub, the bar looks like its about to fall down and the room hasn't had a refurb since the 70s. The toilets have to be seen to be believed and the smell that emanates from them, it's like bodies have been buried down there.

HOWEVER it's a fine pub. The ale is always on (Black Sheep, Youngs, Deuchars) and is always well cared for. The service is good and quick, which is rare for this parts (Crown & Sceptre & Green Man...). It's an honest place, which is ideal for a nice pint in comfort and head and shoulders above the two previous pubs mentioned.
Mayfairlights - 26 Feb 2010 10:26
Black Sheep was nice and went down well. The toilets are downstairs and seemed clean enough. Pub emptied out around 8pm, but it was a cold wet Feb mid-week evening I went. I'd pop back if in the area.
MrBabble - 24 Feb 2010 10:34
This is a fairly unremarkable pub, but it was pleasant enough sitting on one of the armchairs at the rear whilst flicking through a London Drinker that I had picked up earlier in the day. The bar area at the front is pretty basic, but there is a selection of draught beers along with Staropramen and three ales. The governor wasnt the friendliest, but the barman was nice enough and my Guinness was well poured.

There is a plasma screen which was off during a football match so I gather there is no Sky Sports. However, there is a jukebox which was playing a decent few songs at a reasonable volume.

The toilet downstairs is a little grim and there was no toilet paper or soap which was a little annoying as I could have done with not having to wait until the next pub before the big purge.

I think tht there are better pubs in this area so I dont see myself returning.
Strongers - 22 Jan 2010 10:56
Seems like quite a nice place to go for a pint in mid-evening in the middle of the week - not too busy, but enough customers to give the place a reasonable atmosphere. Decent pint of Black Sheep.
rpadam - 11 Dec 2008 00:16
Fairly large corner pub that was remarkably quiet on a Saturday afternoon despite the rugby being shown. Three handpumps serving Youngs, Blacksheep and Cumberland Ale. Looks to be trying to re-invent itself as an evening venue with the daytime trade seeming rather incidental judging by the effort they put into it.
Millay - 21 Mar 2008 14:13
tis a real pub.
landlord is harsh but fair.
people are great.
doodleman99 - 20 Mar 2008 17:59
I found the Kings Arms a bit of a mixed bag. The awkward layout means that some areas are reasonably spacious whilst others are tight squeeze with quite a bottleneck at the bar. At one end of the pub is a partitioned off lounge with comfy sofas whilst the remainder of the pub is a traditional style but rather blandly refurbished. There are a few nice touches such as the old clocks, book shelves and two old fashioned tills that probably started life in the shillings and pence days. They were selling Cumberland Ale when we were there which makes a change from the usual mainstream beers. We had no problems with service and the customer base was pretty civilised. Not worth going too far out of the way for but you could do a lot worse if you are in the area.
RogerB - 2 Feb 2006 14:57
2nd pub of the afternoon, drinks more expensive than along the road , staff going through the motions, no real complaints but nothing to inspire us to stay. not the best of the day by far.
kiwiphil - 21 Sep 2005 18:21
I'd been in this pub a couple of times before, and went recently with a large group of people and stayed from mid-afternoon until closing time. All was well until closing, when the barman started making snide comments in a stage whisper to a friend at the bar about people using the toilets before they left (still well before 11.20 incidentally). I pointed out that we'd been there all evening so it wasn't much to ask, to which he replied "I don't give a f*** how long you've been in here mate".

If this is the attitude of the staff, no wonder the place is always empty.

deke_rivers - 27 Aug 2005 16:16
Long bar with a room partially partitioned off at the east end. A dull pub without character and in need of decorating. Layout is cramped and is not helped by bar flies hanging around the bar. Has a faded and tired early 60's feel. 3 casks on offer - Pride, Youngs Bitter and Green King IPA. The Pride was in decent condition with a noticeable balance of malt and hops.
SilkTork - 16 Aug 2005 21:05
This pub might have improved recently - but on last visit in March. Cliched aussie bar staff, poorly kept and expensive beer.
darloexile - 27 May 2005 17:02

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