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Bar Ha Ha, Kingston Upon Thames

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user reviews of Bar Ha Ha, Kingston Upon Thames

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

Correction: It was Alan Reeve Jones (in "London Pubs", 1962) who said "it is very pleasant to sit in a pub looking at the river. It is far more pleasant than sitting in a river looking at the pub." Not Jerome K Jerome, though the assumption is understandable.
rainlight - 13 Aug 2008 13:41
Nice setting shame about the prices....


coolhandman - 5 Jul 2008 19:30
Bar Ha Ha This is not my idea of a pub but the food was good (lunch), I asked for something that was not on the menu and the staff had a no-problem attitude. Good customer service but very poor beer selection. For this place its all about location, location the view was good and relaxing.
wumpscut - 10 Dec 2007 16:26
Nice location, but little atmosphere, as someone else wrote, this place is nice for a coffee with good views but a boring place for a pint. Staff are friendlier here than at other HaHas though.
james251988 - 5 Mar 2007 21:22
The trouble with this whole area by the riverside is that it seems to have been designed for nice views of the river for people sitting in the bars and restaurants, but less pleasant for anyone actually on the riverside path - which is a shame, despite what Jerome K Jerome said about 'it is very pleasant to sit in a pub looking at the river. It is far more pleasant than sitting in a river looking at the pub.' The riverside path is thus crowded with overlarge developments and is less than utterly pleasant to walk along. Richmond and even Hammersmith have far nicer river frontages (though Hammersmith's is cut off from the town by the A4). It is ok to sit in Bar Ha Ha with a coffee looking at the river but there is not a lot of atmosphere.
beeronaut - 20 Jan 2007 17:00
Typical, All Bar One/Slug and Lettuce/Pitcher and Piano clone..Drinks are no more expensive than other bars of this ilk. But the service here is particularly bad.

As for the clientelle..Well it located underneath a block of flats where the average prices start at about 400,000. It therefore tends to attract the Marie Claire and GQ reading residents.
anonymous - 15 Dec 2006 19:05
I have always had good food here but for some reason you cant drink outside unless you eat as well?!

Been in a few times for pre-club drinks but wouldn't bother now as you just get the same tw*ts in there all the time.
Jo984 - 28 Sep 2006 10:38
What a let down! My girlfriend and I came here for lunch a couple of weeks back and it was dire. The food was of poor quality and the service was not quite as good as that! It has a great location and is busy because of it, but it has nothing else going for it.
anonymous - 5 Aug 2006 14:32
No draught beers. Want a pint of reasonable lager (there aren't any on tap) then be prepared to pay SIX POUNDS! - that's a couple of bottles. If you want to pretend that you work 'in the city' then fine. Otherwise, avoid this place, you'll just look like the rest of the idiots that drink there.


LittleNicky - 26 Jul 2006 10:33
The only good thing about this place is the view, otherwise its a pretentious and overpriced bar with terrible service.
I came here recently for a leisurely Sunday brunch and it was certainly leisurely - despite the place being nearly empty the service was slow and unprofessional. Our food arrived before our drinks did even though we ordered them when we first sat down, 20 minutes previously. When I quizzed the waiter who took our order about the drinks, he said he would check on them but he just disappeared. He did find time however to chat at great length to his mates who by contrast received their drinks and food promptly. When I asked a waitress about the missing drinks she offered no explanation as to the delay and was obviously annoyed I had made her work since she threw us evil looks the whole way through our meal, which was distinclty average and overpriced.

anonymous - 7 May 2006 18:02
Utter Rubbish!!!!! Warning: Don't ever go there!!!
The poorest service I've ever received, don't bother booking there because it doesn't mean a thing!! I booked a Hen Party 5 months in advance and called them a few times to confirm if the booking was still ok, if they wanted our food orders in advance etc...only to be told 5 days before the Hen Night that they couldn't take such a large party and the girl should not have taken the booking in the first place. Manager was very rude! Thankfully Bar Casa managed to squeeze us in.
anonymous - 29 Apr 2006 18:47
Stupidly over-priced and badly laid out so there is never enough room to sit at a table. There are better. less expensive places to go in Kingston with more atmosphere
anonymous - 12 Apr 2006 16:46
I work in Kingston and have been to a number of work do's in here. I now avoid it on principle, EVEN IF FREE BEER IS ON OFFER (sadly true).

It's a truly soulless "bar", with a great location but nothing else going for it. There is no beer on offer - only badly kept lager, sold at sky high prices. Poor service and uninspiring food further lower my estimation.

This is the ONLY bar I refuse to go to. Learn from other people's mistakes and go somewhere else. There are good riverside pubs a couple of hundred metres up and downstream of HA-HAs, give them a go instead.
Stroller4 - 7 Mar 2006 09:58
I moved to kingston 2 years ago and lived in the town center this bar was great, good beer, good food and good service. over time and i think several managment changes this bar is a shadow of it's former self, the beers not bad when you get it, food is ok but nothing speacial, and the service i think has hit rock bottom. I went in there early this week for a quiet beer and possibly something to eat, the table service system they're using does'nt work you have 7 staff running around with little or no organisation, we sat at a dirty table for 10 minutes and called for service twice and when someone arrived they asked for a food order (i hadn'e even ordered a drink) then it was another 10 minutes and 2 servers later before the drinks arrived. the food was ok.

for me anyone wanting a beer during the day use another bar ( i can't see how the location can suppliment service this bad). although service at the bar on an evening is sloww at least you can see where you are in line.
martin_32 - 5 Jan 2006 18:55
Very expensive! I suppose what you're paying for is the riverside location but not everywhere along there is that dear. To its credit it has a no-smoking zone for eating food, this from someone who just had the pleasure of smokers to each side when he was trying to eat his lunch in O'Shite's.
beeronaut - 22 Dec 2005 18:57
Went there last night to see what it was like.

No real ales. Lagers badly kept and very expensive. Didn't even dare try the Guinness as if they can't keep lager, they stand no chance with Guinness. The bottled beers are currently 3 a bottle - and all just the average brands! Walk 200 yards down the road and buy them in a proper pub for half the price.

Service incredibly slow at the bar (10 minutes for a pint of lager at 6.30pm - 2 other customers waiting).

Standard of service better in the food area, though why they would want to boast about their 'chefs' is beyond me - I trained as one and NONE of the meals they served up would have been allowed out of my kitchen. Health and Safety/Food Standards should be paying a visit soon too - reported them for cleanliness/food hygiene issues - mould growing around the lids of sauces, etc. and general lack of appreciation of hygiene regulations - from hand washing to toilets and back again...

Certainly wouldn't recommend this place - definitely wouldn't go back.
LittleNicky - 25 Sep 2005 19:16
I agree with 'weekendboozer', I think people are being a little hard on this place.

Went for the first time last Saturday lunchtime after a particularly arduous shopping spree wallet-wise. The service was pretty good and I can't say the prices struck me as that high.

And lets face it, the location will always make up for most things.

Obviously I can't comment on the "evening crowd", but on this occasion I wasn't diasppointed.
parkhillian - 3 Aug 2005 17:14
Oh come on "Stella-Fella"! It's not that bad! I've stopped for a couple here a few times in the evening and always had a nice night, but I recommend it especially highly for lunchtimes. A lot of thought and creativity has gone into the menu, plus it's a great spot right on the river to people-watch and chill out.
weekendboozer - 14 Jun 2005 14:48
Music too loud,drink prices too high and zero standard food.if this is on your crawl route,then crawl past! If you have low standards and like wasting your money then hey....this is for you.
Stella_Fella - 21 May 2005 10:15
Practically identical to the Bar Ha Ha in Staines, except the location is infinitely nicer. What I mean is that it's a very generic pub so you could be anywhere, therefore it has zero atmosphere. The food is OK but takes forever to get served and be prepared to resign yourself to not having a conversation with your mates for the entire time that you're in there cos the 'music' (i.e. chavtastic shyte) is way too loud to shout over. Which somehow works in some places (O'Neill's in Richmond for one) but not here.

Cleversaz - 14 May 2005 23:06
I think this place is nicest in the summer as it can be hard to find a seat in the winter. When the sun is shining you can go outside into the nicely developed bit of Kingston on the river. The prices are high but the people that you get in there dont seem too rowdy.
They do some nice wines.
amumd - 10 Feb 2005 14:54
I've lowered my arse end of the scale rating that I gave this place, as it's just an abomination on price. I was dragged protesting by a friend for her birthday, 4 drinks costing over 20. What the fcuk are you on guys....?!?!?!?!?!
anonymous - 26 Jan 2005 13:40
I was in here once completely out of my head, stayed for about 5 mins before leaving to find some place to go and puke. But overall opinion is a lovely place. 9 stars
andrewjames2004 - 30 Dec 2004 18:51
Yes, the staff are dreadful and service slow; but at the end of the day this is just another faceless magnolia bar that seems to be the norm these days. If you like All Bar One or Pitcher& Piano you'll fit right in.
anonymous - 24 Oct 2004 18:43
Friendly atmophere, if you have got money you will take a girl hme with you!!!!
Ian Lishmund - 8 Oct 2004 09:48
Good place to go to see nice girls. Blokes like to give illusion of having lots of money. Money rules in this place. Have a fat wallet, you might pull. That's not right. Far too pretentious for its own good. Highly un-motivated staff. Terrible, appalling management. where does all the money they make go??
CJ - 14 Sep 2004 12:30
This place is so expensive i'm surprised they dont charge for using toilet.
Mr Vincent Mancini - 4 Sep 2004 19:15
Great location by the riverside. Trendy decor inside - recently updated. Gets very busy at weekends - popular pre-club drinks venue. Bouncers can be irritating at weekends and hassle you're drinking up time. Good during the week when it is typically the most popular bar around Kingston. Over 21's door policy. Not a cheap student place. Frequented by smart 20 and 30 somethings and the older young at heart! Not really recommended for food, which is overpriced in truth. If you like a the smart trendy bar kind of place with associated scenery, Ha Ha is well worth a visit.
Ed - 28 Jul 2004 12:50
Uuuuurgh, I hate this place. Everything is expensive, I'm suprised they don't charge you to get through the door, although that would mean the meatheads ont he door would have to speak, or at leats make some aknowledgement that you are alive. i could go on, but I don't feel it's worthy of my time.
Scotty boy - 7 Jul 2004 08:50
Nice enough pub, good location but full of false twits, like the fat bloke who got upset when we fancied his bird, pretended to call in the cavalry on his mobile and "have us caaat aaaap".
Riz - 11 May 2004 10:23
Very dissapointed. Was full of extra's from footballers wives.

All the blokes looked the same and as did all the women. Won't be rushing back..
Mike - 21 Mar 2004 15:13
Only been here once, nothing amazing, nice by the river, I suppose in the summer it's pretyy cool.
JP - 29 Jan 2004 17:29
Great Christmas buffet on at the moment and very pleasant and attractive female staff. Spot on!
anonymous - 11 Dec 2003 13:59
i worked in haha bar and canteen for about five months. the staff, bar the managers and bouncers, are the best thing about the place. if they seem moody or slow its because they really dont care about the wannabe riders and rich kids who so grace the place with their presence. pointer to all, just dont go, if you do, expect to be treated like the majority of customers there deserve to be. o yeah, 3.10 for a stella, just not right!
ed - 1 Dec 2003 13:37
The service in Ha Ha is dreadful and on more than one occasion I have actually left the place cos I got so fed up with waiting to be served. That aside it's a friendly enough sort of place with a mixed clientele of 20 something Heat readers and men with subscriptions to FHM. It can be a bit pretentious on occasions I'll accept but it's still one of the better bars in Kingston
crazyfunster - 2 Nov 2003 18:04
too clean and 'identikit' and too souless for my tastes when i was there last (about 6 months ago). Its difficult to remeber if i'm talking about the bar or its customers. ;0)

Too many bars in Kingston have this stupid idea that if you crimp on the bar staff numbers, you bar looks packed and popular. This place is one of many such offenders. Result, 20 minutes waiting to get served.

They have a FINE location and a good wine list but poor choice of beers. Something could happen with this place if the management would just experiment a little. Alas as a chain, they may not have the choice. As Garfunkles is to McDonalds, so chains like this are to Weatherspoons. Its too simmilar to others of its ilk.
jon-paul - 22 Oct 2003 17:14
The building is nice enough, as is the view, unfortunately that's where it stops. The managers/ manageress's, staff and bouncers, have no ability to deal with customers efficiently, politely or with any kind of humour or understanding of their job. Do yourself a favour and don't get tipsy or wo betide drunk as no doubt you will be informed of your inappropriate behaviour, perhaps laughing, within seconds and made to feel as welcome as they now would be in my home.
It's a bar not the most important place in the universe, perhaps someone could let them know.
craig - 14 Oct 2003 16:36
we love the pretentious-ness of it - and so what if you have to wait ages to get served - at least there are lots of beautiful people to gaze at whilst waiting!!!!
si - 6 Oct 2003 14:49
need more bar staff but it is one of the better pubs in kingston - think it has been victim of its own success as it does get very busy - however new pub next door may save it
lb - 6 Oct 2003 14:46
Went in to the bar one sunny afternoon only to wait for a menu for 10mins didn't wipe the table had to move the plates that were currently on the table to another table ourselves. Waited another 2omins to be served. Waiting time for food approx an hour! Rude waitresses, who didn't even give us cutlery to eat with. Probably the worst restaraunt ever made! Here's a tip if you want a nice meal you're better off going to the Harvester! And that's bad enuff!
Leigh - 18 Aug 2003 16:54
Its the only place I've ever had a cloudy and warm pint of Stella in. Hmm, on reflection it tasted like p!ss as well. Shan't be going back.
anonymous - 6 Aug 2003 16:07
Salmon fish cakes with rocket salad. only one fishcake and no rocket!!!

Good selection of drinks, small selection of bar staff.

Nice if you get to sit outside, suffocate at your peril inside on a hot day.
fran field - 15 Jul 2003 11:51
Not a bad place but any time after 8pm on a Saturday and you have to wait about 10-15mins to get served. Very annoying. They need more bar staff.
Jason - 11 Jun 2003 13:31
One of the better bars in Kingston town centre although not the cheapest. Generally get a slightly older crowd compared to Casa 'boy band' bar which is also close by.
Jamie - 14 May 2003 13:23
always fit birds in there, but the beer is always expensive too
anonymous - 23 Apr 2003 13:37
Is alright, the beer is always good. People do queue to get in, I wouldn't.
Matthew - 20 Apr 2003 17:48
Lovely food, friendly bar staff. Very nicely situated near the Thames. Handy for my parents' place too :)
Briony - 9 Apr 2003 15:16
Went there on Saturday, the place is fine. But the night was ruined by two over zealous bouncers. I think they were just bored and needed to stir up some trouble, when there wasn't any. Have never had a problem with the place before, but my rating has decreased accordingly.
Mike - 24 Mar 2003 14:16
Narrowly loses out to Bar Casa in the contest for best weekend establish in Kingston. Excellent food (try the sticky onion relish with anything), good beer, decent music (plenty of Hed Kandi on a Fri/Sat night) and a generally nice atmosphere. Smart bar, but without the pretentious customers you would expect from a place like that.
Angus - 19 Mar 2003 12:10
This place looks like its been done up by lawrence llewellyn bowen. Bit pretentious, but hey its kingston. I defy any man to go in and not be amazed by the fluff in there though!
sparky's magic piano - 17 Mar 2003 15:53
Part of a chain I believe of these new what I call 'pine wood' effect pubs with leather couches, polished floors - sells as much coffee in Kingston as alcohol during the day. Not too bad, though. Not as noisy as Bar Casa.
JBH - 9 Jan 2003 13:25
Bar with restaurant, the food is good, as is the atmosphere. Situated on the river. Usually crowded, and sometimes a queue to get in.
Chris - 24 Oct 2002 14:18

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