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Roadhouse, Covent Garden

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user reviews of the Roadhouse, Covent Garden

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

I haven’t reviewed this place previously because it’s always been so dire that it depressed me to even ponder a short review. Door staff ramped up on steroids giving it ‘the big one’ to anyone and everyone who either a) wasn’t in a tight little dress and looked like a slapper; or b) male.

Now, my last visit was no different in that sense, it was still overrun by Rocky ‘im goin home to pump some iron’ Balboa wannabes, wandering around with their Secret Service earpieces. But I realised the rest of the night was actually very enjoyable. The music was good, particularly when the band came on and the service at the bar, although busy, was possibly the best I’ve had in any place anywhere. Whilst already serving 2 or 3 people, the barman who got our first round, would continually come over as soon as one of us reached the bar to ask for our order and let us know he’d be right with us.

Perhaps that isn’t particularly impressive, perhaps that’s just how service should be. But I have become accustomed to the usual rabble that city centre bars and pubs have to offer.

London pubs, or rather any city pub, seem to keep falling into the trap of employing staff who think they’re too good to be working there. Bar staff thinking they’re better than their customers can probably be seen in most pubs, regardless of where they’re located. But central city bars always seem to attract people who think they’re too good not only for the customers, but for the bar/pub itself.

And for that reason, I can only applaud the guy who served us all night in this place. Fast, polite and exuding enjoyment in his job. Nice work, buddy.

For the rest of City bar staff all over the world... Well look; yes, seriously, honestly, no really, I’m sure you’re a brilliant actor, a literary godlike writer, a creative genius just waiting for the world to reach an understanding of your visionary prowess. But right now, while all you have to do is pour beer into a glass, shut the hell up and do your damn job.

EnfieldTaaaanBlud - 12 Apr 2012 13:03
absolutely brilliant night in there last Saturday,thanks to Ella, Steffani,Lyndsey and Chloe, you made it a night to remember girls,shame the weekend had to end,lol,x x
lippy - 31 Jul 2011 22:51
Was there yesterday from about 6pm till 9. Was quiet at the start which was quite cool and me and my date enjoyed the music, and surroundings, plus the bar people were friendly which is a good sign. Would go back.
RichLondoner - 19 Mar 2011 11:49
...misogyny at its finest. Man tells me he's circumcised. Gets penis out at bar. I yelp. I get bollocked by bouncer (who is wearing bicycle clips on his sleeve to prevent friction. With all respect, bouncer, you work in a bar, I'm a manager in Financial Services, so far from a retard and you have no friction on your sleeve) for screeching...I tell bouncer...he tells me I'm a slag. Did I invite an ugly man's penis? With a face like that, your penis clearly has worse acne. Gross. PS. I work in Marketing. Your rep goes down; your arse gets fired

t_allington - 12 Sep 2009 01:47
Sweaty, stuffy & cramped. Avoid like the plague on a Friday or Saturday night. Quite why anyone would pay to get into this place is beyond me.
telephones_and_toliets - 4 Aug 2009 12:08
Sweaty, stuffy & cramped. Avoid like the plague on a Friday or Saturday night. Quite why anyone would pay to get into this place is beyond me.
telephones_and_toliets - 4 Aug 2009 12:08
Sweaty, stuffy & cramped. Avoid like the plague on a Friday or Saturday night. Quite why anyone would pay to get into this place is beyond me.
telephones_and_toliets - 4 Aug 2009 12:07
I liked this place, even if it was only for the fact the cocktails were cheap and the ribs smelled great. (I also like Harley's, and having one behind the bar always gets extra Brownie points from me!)
The ladies toilets also have freebies and sweets in bowls you can take,
...andthinkofEngland - 13 Aug 2008 10:35
Fabulous Band on Friday night (The Chebbs) Staff were very polite and efficient, which makes a nice change. Not keen on the music the DJ was playing, but all in all a good night.
englishbird - 13 Aug 2008 09:33
this typifies evevything bad and odius about the 1980's I never knew these places still thrived. This beer barn is the bastard child of The Punch and Judy (pub in Covent garden, V popular in 80's) and the club 18to30 ethos. To quote Marlon Brando in Apocolypse Now "The horror,the horror".
theregent - 15 Sep 2007 01:12
this crappy bar ruined my night out. it was full with pretentious arrogant bar tenders who were more worried about their own image than providing good service. it was filled with very average looking people in bad clothes. avoid this place at all costs. any good comments you might have hear about this place was obviously from a very long time ago.
ShawnM - 1 Sep 2007 20:56
This place hasn’t changed since my carefree youth 13 years ago….. Drunken meat market!

The bar staff are very attentive if you get there early and start ordering cocktails so that they can show off the juggling skills that they have been practising in front off the mirror all day. You will be ignored once they find out you only want a few bottles of lager.

Not really my scene anymore, but I won’t knock it as I can remember a few good nights in the Roadhouse.
Strongers - 12 Apr 2007 18:05
The food is really no big times there but I do think it is a very good place!
I went there first only a few weeks ago and it is just soooo cooooool!
Especially the show that the barkeepers putting up... whenever i'm in need of unwinding, that place always does the trick. I never had anything to complain about regarding the service or the staff, neither the door guys.
It does get overcrowded sometimes, but hey show me a good place which doesn't have that problem.
katapigeon - 11 Mar 2007 20:35
Used to be a good laugh in there a few years back, but the food has always been dreadful.

Popped in the other day and the drinks are even more extortionate than I remember, plus it's now full of tourists who seem a bit lost.

Much better places around
anonymous - 17 Feb 2007 18:19
I used to really like the place, however the attitude of the door staff leaves a lot to be desired after being kicked out bag / coatless and all, after one of them thought I had thrown a bottle on my own mates head, but infact it was the waiter who dropped it. Very arrogant, but not before the bar staff managed to squeeze £300+ out of me!
Iobas - 15 Feb 2007 11:52
A classic meat market - if you can't get a shag in here you must have either a serious personality defect or resemble Timothy Spall.

The live bands they have are actually ok but the prowling sex offenders and low rent slappers make this a place for anthropological studies rather than serious drinking
murgatroyd - 11 Feb 2007 20:48
Roadhouse more like Brick S**thouse possibly the worst pub in Covent Garden ?

Staff need training in a lot of the simpler things in life ...smiling, speaking etc...

Load of tosh ....avoid
W980501 - 2 Feb 2007 09:48
Overrated? Who rates it at all?

I've seen a mate's band here a couple of times. I'm happy to say that I didn't eat or drink anything. This ghastly shitbin isn't getting my money.
Albert_Campion - 12 Jan 2007 18:15
Went to the Roadhouse last night as was drawn in by their happy hour offer of 'half price' drinks. The menu said selected beers were included, so I asked the barman (could have been the manager - short, possible Australian , wearing a black shirt and an earpiece) what beers were in happy hour. "All of them," he said. "Great!" I thought and ordered two Becks. When he tried to charge me £5.60 for two bottles I knew something was going on. "I thought it was happy hour," I said. He replied "It is, they're £3.30 normally". When I remarked that £2.80 is not half of £3.30 he slow clapped and said well done in a very sarcastic way. I refused to pay and left as the INCREDIBLY rude barman shouted "CHEAP!" at me.

Unbelievable. I dread to think how many tourists have been ripped off in this place. Avoid.
MrNutz - 18 Oct 2006 09:34
I love roadhouse. I have not once had a bad time here. Staff has always been great with me and there's never any trouble. The bands are normally really good, although the rest of the music is not always the best.

I will go back until I get fed up with it.. =)
Mrs_Kermit - 15 Aug 2006 11:35
One of the better pubs in the area Ifound the staff to be very good nothing to grumble about.
juzza - 12 Aug 2006 12:10
Went to The Roadhouse on Saturday night for a reunion with some old uni friends. Everyone in there just seemed to want to have a good time, met some great people. Very hot, but then it was a hot summer's evening! The band was great fun, they played a variety of covers, all stuff you're guaranteed to know. Would definitely go back.
anonymous - 18 Jul 2006 15:03
Sucked big time. Very silly people hanging out there!!!
anonymous - 7 Jul 2006 17:01
One of the rudest and obnoxious staff I've encountered in my year of living in London.
Hakon - 30 Apr 2006 19:27
What a great bar to go to have a good night, no hassles from the clientele and lovely staff. If you get there early enough ther is a fantastic happy hour oh and the cover bands not half bad either.
aussieinlondon - 20 Apr 2006 01:41

Has to be the best bar in London. Get there early to avoid the queue and cover charge. Early doors means cocktails for around £3 and discounts on the food menu. Pace yourself ... steak now, nachos later. It's amazing with only 4 bartenders working on the main bar I didn't wait once for a drink. He took 3 other orders as well as mine all night long, constantly doing bar tricks as well. I only went in to meet some mates for a couple of beers. Ended up missing last tube because the band ROCKED. Always stay for the second set. Organizing work do there. Check it out.

anonymous - 14 Mar 2006 10:34
loud and crowded cattle market with dodgy covers bands and tanked-up crowd. still if that's what you're looking for, you'll be happy. On my first and last time here, i did score, but I won't be back of my own choice...
silverside - 22 Jan 2006 22:13
Open mic night is back Monday nights from 9th Jan 2006, I have been a regular to this for a while now and it is a really great night, lots of talented performers and a fun, supportive atmosphere.
Amanda_Fuller - 23 Dec 2005 11:36
This is the pits. Unless you like drunken, fighting vomiting aussies.And thats just the women.
steveo500 - 19 Dec 2005 14:30
This place is an absolute hellhole. In some ways it's good to know that all the rudest, most arrogant and obnoxious people you could meet are all safely cooped up in this venue - so you know where to avoid! I'm talking about people who just shove you out of the way at the bar, look the other way when you attempt to exchange some pleasantry, push in at the coat-check queue, etc etc. What is it about this place that makes people feel they can leave their manners at the door? The staff aren't much better - I was abused by the short bartender nearest the entrance because he couldn't hear my order, - I'd probably go deaf too if I worked every night in a place like this! Overcrowded, overpriced and far over-rated. DON'T GO - if you're new to London there are far more civilised bars about where you can still have a boogie try to pull a bit of drunk totty, if that's what you want.
Niceguyeddie - 27 Nov 2005 14:17
Better than you might expect downstairs bar in the heart of Covent Garden. Prices reasonable for the area especially for the cocktails. Reasonable range of bottled beers and vast array of spirits available. Music is normally good with live bands and DJs keeping the atmosphere going. Sitting at the bar is advisable if you get there early enough as it makes getting served, which can be difficult here, very easy. Cocktails are nice. Food is ok. Nothing about this place is too grand or flash but if you want good old fashioned unpretentious fun in a friendly environment, this should be ideal for you.
Mr.Monkfish - 8 Sep 2005 15:34
Cool place to go, really enjoyed my Monday night ( not my normal drinking night ) The band were really good and a so were most of the other singers. The food was good and the drinks were great ( Roadhouse Rootbeer ) all the staff were happy to sit and chat and make up any cocktail you could think up. Only let down was the mens loo which could do with a bit of a make over.
d0nmac - 19 Jul 2005 13:16
I've only ever been on a Saturday night and I've been twice. The Band was good, the place was rammed, and boy is it a meat market! Full of Hen Nights. Both times I went there were at least three. Mind you, it is the summer! It can be difficult to move around and talking definately isn't an option. Had a good dance and met a nice lady.
muckyjoe - 30 Jun 2005 17:57
Love this place, one of the best happy hours in London between 5.00pm and 7.30pm, Friday nights there are always great bands and a real party atmosphere. They have a fantastic open mic session on Monday evenings where anyone can get up and sing in a really laid back, supportive and friendly atmosphere. The cocktails are fabulous and great burgers n'ribs too.
Amanda_Fuller - 13 Jun 2005 14:54
Haven't been here for some time as it was beginning to look shabby however, was 'forced' to go there for a friends birthday party and what a fantastic suprise to find the place was totally rejuvinated.It looked great, the staff were fantastic, this included the very polite doormen. The offers on food and drink were very resonable, almost too cheap and the entertainment was really good with a band that went on about 10.30 sandwiched between 2 very good djs playing classic tunes from the last 3 decades. Can't remember the last time i had such a good night, really nice to find a fun alternative to the 'meat market' or pretentious bars that have saturated the London market.
neilsproates - 9 Jun 2005 13:03
Quite a good laugh to be had here although the Bar is a total rip off. I ordered 5 long island iced teas without ice (as they fill the entire glass with ice and not alot of drink) and was then presented with half a glass of 'tea' as that was all I was entitled too aparently, because there was no ice. £6 for half a drink - not bad heh!!! Staff and Managers behind the bar were arogant and rude. Wine tastes like crap and its quicker to go to the bar yourself then to wait for the waiters to serve your drinks to the table, they take ages! Also, there is no alcohol in the cocktail included with the party menu. Rip off! The music is very good though, a good place to have a good old fashioned boogie - even if it is a sober one!
anonymous - 24 Apr 2005 20:52
i was ripped off by the bar staff.
gave over a 20 pound note for 2 drinks and got 3 pound change.
when i pointed this out to the barman he pulled a 10 note out of the till and insisted that it was the last note he put in.
as i had no evidence to prove otherwise i gave up my argument.
well done a nice easy way to make money. if only all bars realised this!

tonyod - 25 Mar 2005 20:18
I soend my 21st there and it was a great night! The live music was great, the staff were great, all in all the atmosphere was outstanding!
The place to go for a few late drinks!
anonymous - 15 Feb 2005 15:41
I like the food and the music. One of the best American bars around.
anonymous - 29 Dec 2004 13:13
what is everyone talking about, I hate meat markets and this place was great, good fun dancing and genuinely friendly people who weren't trying it on. Pricey though- but where in London isn't.
anonymous - 29 Nov 2004 23:31
It smells of sick to me. The last time i went, the table we were sat at callapsed and dropped a round of drinks costing over £50 on to the floor. Staff refused to accept the table was faulty even though we found the cause ( a missing nut). Downright rude. Don't venture in....
Baldrick the baddy gone off in a huff - 27 Oct 2004 16:20
It like all bars has its ups and downs!! the music is always enjoyable and the staff always excellent at serving the cocktails however unless late in the evening avoid as without atmosphere of a live band and a crowd you might aswell be in all bar one!
The live music is always excellent and although the quality of women is lower than the tiger tigers of this world it certainly wont prevent anyone having a wild time

geoff - 25 Feb 2004 09:32
the only time i truly enjoy myself here is on the last friday of every month, yes its flair time! i love to watch the boys do thire stuff, although they normally do the same routines there will allways be at least one new move you can go home and practice. thanks lads.
peaches - 23 Dec 2003 03:22
Love it down there,it is a great place to go, I always have a great night,
Jackie Lepine - 21 Dec 2003 16:50
The bar staff in here are from the 'Cocktail' school of serving and seem more intent on throwing drink over the customers rather than just giving them their drink! I'll agree this place used to be packed every night of the week, but I guess people just got bored of this cheesy 50's American bar and obscenely over-priced beers. That fact that it now has a 'happy' (and it's not that happy to be honest!) hour until 10.30pm speaks for itself. Mind you, there are still quite a few ropey looking birds from the local estate in here who will be happy to put their hand down your trousers in exchange for a Smirnoff Ice and one of your Marboro Lights.
crazyfunster - 2 Nov 2003 18:49
The Roadhouse rocks!

There is no place like it when you are looking for a lively venue to continue your evening into the early hours any day of the week...

Not sure what Phils on - obviously wasn't successful at pulling in their...!!
Kurt - 2 Oct 2003 16:38
Complete and utter meat market.

Avoid at all costs.
Phil - - 5 Sep 2003 14:49
cheesy meat market - might be your thing
corin_pearce - 18 Aug 2003 17:10
charming bar men who turned fit by the end of happy hour!! ha ha! hey mat x
yes it is - - 22 Jul 2003 15:16
Invented by Beelzebub before time began, the Roadhouse is frequented by suits and tarts amid a cacophany of noise (99 red balloons, It's raining men et al.)

Its redeming feature is the availability of alcohol (£s as you'd expect for a London bar) and the ever present possibility of getting your end away. ("I'm a nice guy, please, it's been aeons")

Many gangs of men from sales and women from accounts who can't spell their names.

Met my ex there (see Hogshead, Leicester Sq) although she was a mate's mate, so it's not like the Roadhouse is some kind of great place. To be perfectly honest, had I pulled cold there, no doubt the girl would have been some kind of cockney troll. Is any of this advice helping? I think not.
Ruby - - 15 Jul 2003 19:23

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