Visited PH on Saturday evening, and was that shocked at the poor level of customer service that it's prompted me to write my first review of any bar/restaurant, anywhere, ever. Took around 20 minutes to get served on each of the three occasions I/member of our party visited the bar, while the main bartender pranced around, peacocking, throwing glasses around and generally being obnoxious. Bar staff evidently need to be reminded that the paying public isn't there to watch them, but to have a drink with their friends. Real shame, because it has the potential to be a nice venue.
© Dan Malpass
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Thu Nov 8 2012
A Mexican wave of new bars has recently opened along Upper Street. I’ve visited all of them, and been disappointed by their mediocrity. The rock bar made my ears bleed, while another had the sort of hospitality I’d expect in a prison camp.
Then, some respite; a bar – open since October – that looks good, where the staff are friendly, the eclectic music selection is interesting but not too intrusive, and where they make some effort with the cocktails. Welcome to Public House.
Not everything was perfect. The kitchen’s inability to produce simple bar snacks, on a quiet night, in less than 45 minutes was baffling. I had no idea that potato wedges, a platter of smoked duck slices and some fried black-eyed bean cakes could present such a challenge to a kitchen. The wait wasn’t worth it, and it became clear that this is not a destination for an evening meal. But as a bar, it works – the reason for this four-star review.
Low lighting, photographic artworks of urban architecture, drippy candles, deep leather sofas and whimsical chairs give it a cosy feel (perfect for dates). The cocktails cost £7.50 each, and there’s a brief but adequate wine list too. Our bottle of Cruz de Piedra garnacha, a warm Spanish red, cost £16.50; if you stroll down to Oddbins you can pick up a similar bottle for £6.49. Mark-ups of this sort are common in bars, so this isn’t neccessarily a black mark; at least it was a decent wine.
A cocktail made with rhubarb bitters, soda water, rosé Champagne and pink grapefruit oils was served in a coupe glass, a real girl-pleaser; they’ve named it the Johnny Depp. Slightly more robust was a Bloodhound, a variant on the usual recipes but still recognisable for its red berry fruits, vermouth and gin. I don’t think the cocktail makers here are going to be winning any shaker-maker awards, but these were decent cocktails nonetheless.
The main reason most people go to a bar though is for a convivial environment, and Public House has this in spades. On our visit, several thirty-something couples – too mature for rock bars or lager drinking – were also blinking in surprise at this discovery, just off the well-beaten path that is Upper Street.
Accepts Time Out CardSee great offers available to all the Time Out Card holders
25% off food
Booking essential, please quote Time Out Card. Must order a minimum of 2 courses per person. Valid for parties of 2 or more. Open from 12pm on Sundays.
This offer can be redeemed on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sun between 5pm and midnight.
Public House 54 Islington Park Street
- Venue phone:
020 7359 6070
- Opening hours:
Open 5pm-midnight Mon-Fri; midday-midnight Sat, Sun
Tube: Angel tube or Highbury & Islington tube/rail
Meal for two with drinks and service: around £60
- 54 Islington Park Street
- 020 7359 6070
- 54 Islington Park Street
- Public House
Average User Rating
3.9 / 5
- 5 star:4
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:2
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:1
"A cocktail made with rhubarb bitters, soda water, rosé Champagne and pink grapefruit oils was served in a coupe glass, a real girl-pleaser" "On our visit, several thirty-something couples – too mature for rock bars or lager drinking" As a review this is a set of naroowminded cliches and assumptions that don't say much of the nightlife experience of person writing it. Besides, a bar that dares to tell their customers that they serve food and then makes them wait for more tha 45 minutes should not be awarded with 4 stars. I would encourage TO to review their reviewers. This article seems written by someone who lacks experience in visiting bars, making friends and producing reviews.
Hosted my 30th bday party here. Great location, great venue, great guys. Simon was fab with reserving an area and ensuring we weren't squashed up, plus there was no ridiculous minimum spend requirement (which at other bars sees the birthday girl putting £000s behind the bar...). Would highly recommend for an occasion or just a casual drink. Thansk guys
Never been to this place although would certainly be interested in having a look. Really just wanted to point out that the comment in article about the mark-up on the wine is absolutely ludicrous and shows zero understanding of how the industry works. A £10 mark-up on the retail price is actually very reasonable indeed so don't let that put you off... That said no excuse for poor service, long wait as detailed above and below
Fab little place that seems not to bee too well known so we got yummy cocktails from a bartender who remembered our names and our drinks! Loved it!!
A lovely new addition to the Islington scene. I just found it despite having lived here for many years and was very impressed by the combination of lovely food, friendly service and stylish ambiance. My rump of lamb with baby shepherd's pie was excellent and the bill at £70 for 2 including wine and service was pretty reasonable.