The days when this was a sticky-floored, studenty gig den are now a distant memory. Funky young professionals now dominate, wine isn’t available for less than £20 a bottle, and on a Friday night locals without reservations hover at the bar, fervently scanning tables for the first sign of movement. In the rear dining area, vast skylights pour light on to green and white tiled walls, smartly upholstered red leather booths and a big wood-fired pizza oven.
A menu that leans towards American fast food has burgers, pizzas and foot-long hot dogs as mainstays, alongside a more European range of starters. We enjoyed tart, creamy cauliflower cheese dip served with squidgy, inch-thick breadcrumbed halloumi sticks, but a dry lamb burger and watery dill-based tsatsiki were less successful. Service can be rushed, but don’t let that deter you from sticking around for dessert. The range of curious-sounding sweet takes on Italian cuisine are excellent, particularly a gooey chocolate, banana and marshmallow calzone. Be warned, though: it’s not advisable to tackle it solo.
The pub is part of the Capital Pub Company, with siblings including the Florence microbrewery in Herne Hill and the Actress in East Dulwich, so there are house beers such as Weasel and Bonobo on tap.