Our group of former work colleagues used to meet here for an afternoon catch - up from time to time. Copious amounts of well kept real ales soaked up by cheap and cheerful pub grub - an ideal place for a session.
We were very sorry that the pub closed down so on learning that it had recently reopened I popped in to see what had changed.
The most radical change appears to be the creation of a restaurant in the basement. the menu consists of typical gastro pub fare at very reasonable prices. The wine list appears to be 100% French with bottles starting at £28.
The changes in the bar area seemed mainly to consist of replacing the tired old wooden tables and chairs with modern versions. The upholstered bench seating near the fireplace has gone, replaced by said wooden furniture. It's all a little bland although comfortable enough.
There is a bar menu (which doesn't feature standard pub grub) consisting mainly of a variety of burgers and chips, and baguettes/ciabattas and chips. There are plenty of veggie options. Prices seem pretty good although are currently discounted as it's a new menu. I didn't sample the food although based on early reviews I'm sure it will be fine.
The main negative though is that there is now only one hand pump available serving real ale. The ale on offer is Sharps Doombar. It strikes me that if you are only going to offer only one real ale it would have made more sense to use it as a showcase for the numerous small breweries in London.
If you don't like Doombar, or if it runs out, there are several craft ales on tap. Most of these are 5% ABV or more so not really session beers. Maybe they don't want to attract that sort of custom.
Whilst I'm pleased to see the pub brought back to life and hope it succeeds, I left feeling rather underwhelmed.
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