New ownership since late 2012 has given this Theatreland old-timer a shot in the arm. Not much has changed in terms of decor; the slightly scuffed basement room still has the same happy mix of show posters and photos on bare brick walls, and a pianist still tinkles away in the evenings. The biggest change is in the much-improved kitchen, which is now producing decent-to-good versions of American brasserie standards. You’ll find big salads (including a punchy but balanced bowlful of avocado, pecan, bacon and blue cheese dressing), fish dishes (yellowfin tuna with avocado and coriander salsa was a good piece of fish exactly grilled, though the salsa contained little coriander), egg dishes, chilli con carne and steaks (a small sirloin steak was cooked as requested, and came with plentiful golden fries). Old favourites – the black bean soup, for example – remain. A membrillo-like strawberry jelly with roasted peanut ice-cream was, like the rest of the dishes we tried, good without being memorable. As for drinks, all bases are covered by a choice of reasonably priced cocktails, a range of US beers, a global wine list and properly made coffee. The other major difference is in the service: it’s now efficient and comes with a smile.
When Joe's opened it was not only in theatreland, it was also all about a dining experience filled with theatre, where the waiters were wannabe actors, producers and directors, and the cast and crew of the West End's best theatrical productions would use it as their own canteen. Joe Allen rapidly became the place to hang-out, packed with every film, television, fashion, rock and stage celebrity.
Nothing has changed. The brickwork walls are adorned with posters of classic musical and stage productions, famous American stars and the odd sporting icon (a nod to Joe Allen's love of sport).
The food is always American. Steaks, grills and salads, appetisers and market fish. Ice cream, jellies and brownies.
The service is always relaxed and informal, complementing the all-American beer menu and outstanding world wine list.
Open seven days a week, come and enjoy the ultimate American dining experience for brunch, lunch, dinner and - of course - before and after a show.
Our newly refurbished and flexible private room is available for between 24 and 50 guests with tailored menus for receptions, buffets and canapé parties. The perfect menu for group bookings.