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Sports Cafe, Haymarket

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user reviews of the Sports Cafe, Haymarket

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

Made a mistake on saturday in arranging to meet friends in here. £5.00 entrance fee to sit on filthy seating and a free drink (WKD = disgusting). Bouncers were throwbacks to the 1980s, no common sense, no smiles, just boring and boorish. Rip-off beer too. Best avoided.
saphalanka - 6 Feb 2012 14:02
Visited on a Sunday evening. The bouncers were fat, rude and full of attitude. Decided not to pay £5 to get in (a sunday evening) and walked away.
T00THBRU5H - 16 Jan 2011 20:08
went here last night only because couldn't think of anywhere else that would show an FA cup 1st round replay. Had forgotten what a horrible place it is. Disgustingbeer, plastic cups, uncomfortable chairs, Inedible food, over-priced, unpleasant atmosphere. As soon as half time came, we left. Avoid at all costs.
Tescoid - 17 Nov 2010 14:10
This bar has seriously gone downwhill. It is trying to be everything to everyone and failing in all of them. They didn't show the rugby game that that their manager promised to show us. There is no bitter. Guiness was poor. Larger - well - larger. Back line spirits - laughable. Horrendous music. This bar is failing and the sooner that something else comes in its place the better. The name "sports bar" is a misnomer. Try the sports bars in Marylebone or Victoria stations - which we have done on the last two times that a group of us have tried to meet here - to see how if should be done properly.
xajones - 22 Oct 2010 23:49
Went in there on Friday to watch an ice hockey game advertised on their website. It was switched off 30 minutes from the end and it took 10 minutes of wrangling to get it back on again.

Ordered food and, after half an hour, asked where it was. Was told the order had not gone to the kitchen.

In short not a bad place as long as you arent watching a minority interest sport and eat before you go there.
WalthamstowBlade - 13 Oct 2010 11:39
Reason #1 to go: Good place to watch American sports.

Reason #2 to go: Cheap wings.

Reason #3 to go: actually, that's it. So if you don't need to watch baseball or NCAA basketball, find another place. I mean, if you want to watch any UK sport, there are about 2,000 other places in London that show the games AND have real ale, cheaper prices, and character.
Mr.Matt - 4 Apr 2009 19:36
Simply dreadful and they dont show all the sport that they advertise on thier web site, £3.50 a pint is inexcusable and has to rank as one of the worst places I've ever had a drink in in my life.

0 is too high a rating.
kenincamden - 15 Aug 2008 11:40
Oh dear oh dear. Just can't force myself to write anything favourable about a bar that will not serve you a half because "we don't do halves". The only thing this place has going for it is a shed load of screens showing sport sport sport. Problem is the extremely poor service you will get at the bar is the stuff of legend. Also gets PACKED for big games, meaning getting a drink can take the entire first half. Take my advice, don't even think about it. There are better options in the area.
northernmonkey - 29 Apr 2007 15:51
An unbelievable £3.30 for a pint of Fosters. Asked for half a Guinness and was told by the barmaid “we don’t do halves”. You get your change back on a plate, even the change that I asked for to buy some fags!

I was looking at the lunch menu when another barmaid comes over at 16:00 and switches the menu from the afternoon one to the evening one. Double bubble on the prices, but the food was nice and arrived promptly. However I have been here before and waited over an hour for a cold burger and chips.

I would recommend this place if you are in town and want to watch some sport or are meeting up with a few friends and want to have a couple of games of pool before going on somewhere else. It is called the Sports café after all!

Also be weary in the toilet as to avoid being sprayed with lynx and having soap and bog paper thrown at you by the change jingling, lollypop dispensing, teeth sucking, annoyance that is a toilet attendant.

Strongers - 14 Feb 2007 11:27
Expensive and they've got those annoying toilet monkeys who try to extort a pound from you for handing over a towelette. When the footie's on it's Lad City but it turns into a club later and not an upmarket one that's for sure
murgatroyd - 11 Feb 2007 21:12
used to be a regular on saturday night -good mix of foreign girls and good music - dj appears to have changed and the vibe seemed to have gone.... now use the bar accross the road for my nights out..
tonys - 17 Sep 2006 18:47
Reported to be showing High Definition TV for their sports games. NICE!
widescreen - 13 Jun 2006 17:23
A fair amount of the chav breed in here, but big screens and the 5lb on chicken wings make it all worthwile.
oldelondonmerchant - 12 Feb 2006 21:28
A dreadful, horrible place that should be avoided at all costs. The only times I have darkened its doors were for matches I could not see anywhere else and every time the experience has been irritating. A bimbo in a low cut top greets you as you enter (like you need that), the service is slow, they give you change on a plate (as if they deserve a tip!)but above all it is the flipping loud music they play over the sports themselves. It is mis-named as they have no love for sport here. I enjoy sports cafes in the USA where you can eat and drink in relaxed surroundings and enjoy the sports - unlike in this hellhole. Full of yobs and Essex girls who seem to enjoy such 'ambience'. Ghastly, go elsewhere.
Seanino - 3 Feb 2006 00:05
Lots of screens, but def a football bias....
Beer is pricey, always has a large head and is average. Food OK, but nothing special we had no issues with how long it took.
Always feels crowded downstairs even when empty.
Bar staff do try, but are always busy.
When I was there a couple of weeks ago the gents toilets were broken and we all had to share with the ladies.... chaotic scenes at times.
Shame really - great concpet, but just not as good as it could be.
adamsant - 2 Feb 2006 18:33
Like "yankeeprof", I rate this place higher than it deserves because it's a place to watch American football. I can still only give it a 2, though, because everything else about the place is terrible. Slow service, bad pours, crowded, inconsistently-applied door charge, and terrible music whenever a game's not on (and sometimes when it is, since whoever's running the music isn't necessarily watching the TV). Not a place I'd ever go to if I had another option for my games. Even then, I have to think hard about whether it's worth it...
Hodsthorn - 1 Feb 2006 19:42
Check out live Oz band UNSAFE PASSAGE Thursday 26th January (Australia Day!) from 9pm.
ladyjaneg - 26 Jan 2006 14:37
Good to see the management have finally sorted out this pub........Not! Always a let down. Expensive beers served with a big head, the music is too loud so you can't talk to each other whether you are eating or just drinking, the sound is usually not on the TV screens unless it is a football match (no chance if you like watching rugby other than the 6 Nations). The management clearly have no interest in sport but somebody must think they are doing a good job. Good place to go if you want a disco at 2.00pm I suppose!
GaryM - 15 Dec 2005 14:24
The only reasons to go here are for 1 quid Carlsbergs on certain nights and to watch American football. I went with mates a couple times who loved it, but that's because they enjoyed being around other Americans. It just made me feel like another anonymous American tourist. Beer prices other than the pound specials make even some clubs look cheap in comparison. Mediocre even by the standards of an American sportsbar.

Until another place comes along that shows American football, however, it gets a "higher than it deserves" 3/10 (I assume people who are bigger NFL fans than me are the only ones who rate it higher...).


AnotherYankeePoof13 - 10 Dec 2005 01:45
Not terrible by any means but not as good as you might hope or expect. A decent venue for sports watching as you might have been led to believe by the name of the place and not bad for a meal or a quick pint or two at other times. Can get a bit rammed and rowdy on weekend nights which is surprising as the doormen can tend to be a bit on the fussy/surly side.The music is way too loud when the place is in "club" mode. Pricey, but Hey! That's the West End for you. Not as good as it's sister venue in Birmingham.
Mr.Monkfish - 15 Nov 2005 11:12
What a great night out. Great music and sport. £1 pints! What more could I dream for. Free entry with a student card. I have met the bar of my dreams
anonymous - 12 Sep 2005 21:04
Contrary to most peoples views the sports cafe was a great night out. Cheap drink (£1 pint). Great friendly atmosphere with dj and good selection of music. Definately a great place to go. Always good sports coverage and fantastic sports memorabilia.
anonymous - 7 Sep 2005 12:55
Not sure about this one really; on one hand its too crowded, the music is loud to the point where you can feel your brain being damaged and the quality of the beer being served is poor. However, the atmosphere is very social and you can have lots of fun beating tourists at pool. Also, opens until 3 on a Saturday and only costs a fiver to get in.
lennie384 - 1 Sep 2005 11:10
awful place - staff laughing and joking behind bar while angry customers wait ages to be served. no change when i went so after waiting a long time to be served i had to wait even longer for change. Went to watch cricket but most of the place was roped off for a private do. Short measures etc etc i could go on
Billy_Bintang - 29 Aug 2005 18:20
Having heard some good things about this place from other sources I went there last night for the first time to see the Lions game. It was truly dreadful, and all of us who went left vowing never to go back.

Try to get a pre-match drink? Well, you have to queue for hours because the staff would only serve from one out of the two bars on the first floor.

Try to order food? Oh, no - no orders taken because there was a "backlog". Some people around us had got orders in well before the game and did not get served until the 2nd half.

Want to get pre-match atmosphere? No way - instead of putting the sound on for the coverage they insisted on playing their dreadful looped chart music at earsplitting volume until just before kick-off.

To add insult to injury they even cocked up our bar tab royally, and the bar manager was surly and totally unco-operative. If you want to see a sports event in central London my advice is DON'T come here. Sports bar essentials are hardly rocket science. If they were this bad for a Monday night rugby game god knows what they would be like for a major event.
rugbyfan - 24 May 2005 10:36
Disagree with most of the reviews so far - went recently on a wednesday and on subsequent wednesdays for european games and althouggh the results for my team didn't go as planned (trust me on this one..!!!) I found the night to be great fun - the dj - don't know who he is but the choice and mix of music was superb - he kept the happy balance between fun and the latest new tunes... he also played request although i suspect he's a liverpool fan as he kept playing 'you'll never walk alone'... who is this guy - cos i'd love to hire him for parties round my way....
anonymous - 11 May 2005 17:49
Awful place.

Go for any 'minor' event (ie non-Premiership or England football) and they will ruin the sport by playing very loud and annoying music.

Go for any large event and they will tell you they don't take bookings beforehand, so there is every chance, even if you get in, that you won't get a table to eat.

If you don't get a table (you have to eat to sit) you will not find anywhere to stand where the staff aren't brushing past you and telling you to get out of the way.

One day someone will do a proper sports bar which is a good place to watch sport with your mates. In the meantime you are better off in any pub that has a telly rather than this place.
anonymous - 28 Dec 2004 23:39
I cannot agree with GaryM.It is nice place to have some fun,especially on Mondays,when You can buy a pint just for one pound.There is also lot of people in there.I met some nice girls when I was last time.It's not so bad.
Sienki - 13 Dec 2004 12:39
I need to send the management of the Sports Cafe a letter of complaint which is why I found this website. The Sports Cafe is always a complete let down. It is little more than a "disco with TV's". The prices are sky high, the "disco" means that diners (if there are any!!!!) can't hear each other talk, and the management usually don't put the sound on the TV's so you can actually enjoy what you went in there in the first place for, which should be THE SPORTS! The management have the music on for the "ambience" I was told, which is of course complete rubbish. Oh yes, another thing, count your change, if you hand over "a tenner". You might get change from a fiver if you are not careful, but it will come on a nice plastic tray with a big till receipt, just to distract you! Always a true let down, but probably good for tourists who want to watch the American football late at night, who don't mind big heads on their beers!
GaryM - 12 Dec 2004 19:07
Tourist Hell. A dark, dingy place, where you can get an overpriced pint of over fizzy chemicals.
Avoid!
The GP
anonymous - 25 Nov 2004 16:52
Not a very good choice of beers, but the girls look nice.
Good on a thursday for happy hour when the zombies are flowing
kryptonite - 25 Nov 2004 15:42
What a dump. Frankly the worst pub I've been into, and believe me, I've been to some very poor drinking holes indeed (I used to live in Liverpool). A truly dreadful experience, symptomatic of everything I hate about London.
thegrimreecer - 24 Sep 2004 11:53
Nice place with a great atmosfear, didn't try the food but the drinks were affordable (went on a Service Industry Night). We'll be back with the next pay cheque.
Stephen - 20 Sep 2004 20:38
...What a trumped up piece of piss this place is and extortionately priced! I'm in total agreeance with Chris B here.....it's geared purely for the tourist and feck all else! I'll do my watching elsewhere, thanks.
Spudster - 28 May 2004 16:58
I'm afraid I have to disagree about wanting to watch sport here. To begin you can only sit down to watch football if you are a diner (min £10 spend), if not your ushered into a corner to make way for "paying" customers. Second they seem to play pointlessy loud music which does not allow for banter with your mates, pre, during, post event.
Awful place, if your into enjoying a pint whilst watching football, avoid this place like the plague! 1/10
Chris B - 10 May 2004 09:04
If you want sport in central London this is the place to go. Hundreds of screens in several different rooms allow lots of different sporting events to be shown at the same time. Not the sort of place you'd go to especially to sample the beer or food, but what there is is good and reasonably priced. Waitress service too, nice girls in nice uniforms! A good central location to meet your mates to watch the footy, rugby, cricket, American football..... 7/10
Steven - 1 Mar 2004 19:10

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