Big Chill House

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars St Pancras
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Big Chill House

Poor ticket sales at the 2009 Big Chill festival led to the event seeking voluntary liquidation, at which point it was purchased by the Festival Republic behemoth.

Happily, the two London bars have proven more stable, and continue to earn acclaim from fans who are inspired by the artwork and tickled by the signage (‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ on the toilet doors).

Housed in a large, difficult building, the King’s Cross branch can feel a little tumbleweedy on quiet nights; it’s best to head here when there are DJs, generally Thursdays to Sundays with occasional events on other evenings.

From the drinks list, cocktails (served in glasses or pitchers) are more enticing than the dull beer list (Amstel, Heineken, Budvar); food includes individual dishes (burgers, burritos) and sharing platters. An upstairs patio comes into its own in summer.


Venue name: Big Chill House
Address: 257-259 Pentonville Road
N1 9NL
Opening hours: Open noon-midnight Mon-Wed, Sun; noon-1am Thur; noon-3am Fri, Sat. Food served noon-4pm, 6-11pm Mon-Fri; noon-11pm Sat, Sun
Transport: Tube: King's Cross tube/rail
Price: Admission free-£5
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Average User Rating

2.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:8
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:2
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1 of 1 found helpful

I used to love this place, especially in the summer for its terrace and the game room where I would frequently come with friends for a game of fooseball. I went there Friday night and that will be the last time I ever step foot in the place. My friend mixed up an order and I kindly asked the barman with longish hair if we could change the order. He responded in a very aggressive way and when I asked him what the problem was he went outside and called the bouncers who escorted my friend and I outside. But not before hissing in my ear that "he has seen me there before and I am such a slut". I was horrified. Because I liked the bar and always took my friends there I am being told by the bar staff that I am a slut..?? I tried to explain to the bouncers outside what had just happened but they were having none of it, telling me to go home and giving me a hard time. Eventually a girl claiming to be the manager was outside talking to a bouncer and I managed to tell her what had happened. At first she didn't believe me but when she double checked with the bar man she came back out and apologized. Thats when the bouncers started saying "hey, you should have said! Do you want to come back inside?" ...NO. It looks like the bar staff are often being described as rude in other reviews. Why go and spend your money in a place where you are going to leave feeling angry and offended when there are so many other nice places around (go to Simmons and Simmons on Caledonian road, or the Lexington just further up Pentonville road. Otherwise Angel is a very short walk away with plenty of bars!)

1 of 1 found helpful

Having visited both Big Chill venues on several occasions and had a great time, I’m sorry to report my last visit was cut short by a rude barman. Having finished one drink, I went to buy exactly the same one from the pretentiously wannabe Skrillex barman who tried to charge me more. Having explained that I just paid less for the tequila and soda I had less than an hour before, he told me that he “had” to charge me for the soda water (normally free from pubs and clubs unless served from a bottle). He then snatched my money for me, muttering “fuck it” and storming off like a hipster who’s discovered someone wearing the same t shirt at a warehouse party. It may have been loud there, but I can lip-read, mate. I left once I finished that drink, not wanting a similar encounter the next time I bought one. Just because you’ve got geek-chic glasses, a snap back hat, long hair and tattoos, it doesn’t mean you’re too cool to be a barman. And if you think you are, you should leave as you’re losing the venue money and business. A place to avoid - grab a beer from the shop and walk away.

1 of 1 found helpful

The WiFi never works, the plug sockets are dodgy, and the staff are largely inattentive. This place is not as good as it thinks it is, and too expensive for what you get.


Have to say I agree with most of the reviews here! 'Sticky' is the first word that comes to mind when I think of Big Chill ;)

I've been to Big Chill twice now, as a Plan B option. Once in summer, where we did enjoy 'chilling' on the roof terrace, which is pretty spacious and had a good atmosphere. 

I recently went back a few days ago and got a table in the main indoor space. Positives are that it's got a lot of areas and seating, and it's a good place for an after-work catchup. However, I think the space isn't used as well as it could, leading to some big empty spaces on a Friday night (possibly causing that 'tumbleweed atmosphere' mentioned by Time Out!) The drinks prices are also a bit steep for what they are, and I will always be forever confused as to why the gin drinks cost more than the cocktails... 

Overall? I'd go back to the roof terrace in summer, as it's still probably one of the more quiet ones when London hits 30 degrees.


I am a complete sucker for a roof top bar and it's even better that this one was only two tube stops from home. Big Chill House has a cute rooftop design with plant pots, colored wood and lots of space to mingle. I unfortunately only went in October so missed the balmy vibe I imagine it would have in summer; however I will definitely go again once the weather warms up as it is a very nice space to me in. Now rooftop aside, I have a big complaint about this place. I ordered a double spiced rum and ginger beer and it came to a wopping £9.15- £9.15!. I just can't understand how it could cost that much, for that price I would normally order a really fancy cocktail or prosecco, not a measly double that I could get in spoons for a fiver. If I came here again I definitely would not be drinking as I think it is a complete rip off and the only thing going for it is the roof top. So if you're looking for a relaxed afternoon on a rooftop its great, but maybe just get tap water.


Don't expect the best bar ever from the Big Chill - cocktails aren't anything to rave about, it's quite packed in, and feels a bit like a canteen, but it's a safe spot to have a drink with a big group. The upstairs terrace is a real gem in the summer, as is the cinema/pool room, so I'd definitely encourage you to venture upstairs for the best spots. Pop in here if you want a buzzing vibe, tunes and a lively atmosphere, but it isn't the place for an intimate, quiet or romantic moment!


More like 'Medium Lukewarm' than Big Chill - it is just a very average bar, with an OK music and beer selection. The rooftop terrace was closed the night we visited (midweek), the furniture is the worst of any bar I've been too (part Ikea, part school-room desks) and the staff seemed pretty disinterested. 

One of my favourite bars in the summer.

Not the best view but the roof top is sunny and not super crowded.

Food is average but the cocktails are good.

The staff are lovely and you can book rooms for private parties.


If I needed to add a headline to this review, it would be 'An all right bar'. Basically, nothing to cancel a holiday for but some fun can be had.

The decor is minimalist, the music inde, the beer fizzy and the food - well, I wouldn't know because the kitchen closed very early so I didn't get to try it. It had a nice atmosphere and I was told it is much busier at the weekend than it was on a Tuesday night.

The staff was really friendly and wuick to serve, which I very much appreciate.

It's a great place to visit on a sunny afternoon as they have a lovely roof terrace.


Drinks prices are reasonable here. The food looks good, although I haven't had it.

Went here on a Fridsy night and would definitely recommend. Drinks were reasonably priced and there is lots of seating. Good Dj too - perfect if you don't want a club but want to have a bit of a dance!


Went there on a Tuesday night and it's a pretty popular bar for the area! Quite a student vibe, with dance music playing to keep a buzz going. Can see this would be worth a visit for a Friday/Sat night. Winter weather meant we didn't check out the roof terrace! My friend had his drink order mixed up, but otherwise had a fun time.


I went to Big Chill House the other week after not visiting there in a good 5 or 6 years. I went for a midweek drink and the atmosphere was lively and staff were busy making cocktails and bopping along to the beats played throughout the venue. I still like it but it does have a feeling of passed glory. It needs a bit of re-do in my opinion. It still is super cool and I had a good evening! I actually went on a date and the date turned out very well : ) BUT the balcony was a bit make shift (plastic chairs and a bit shoddy looking) and didn't seem to have that 'Ibiza Del Mar' chilled vibe it used have at it's peak. 

I would like to say the staff are bloody lovely and do take pride in the cocktails and beers they serve. It does make a difference and worth noting. 

It attracts a cool crowd,old residents of the EGG 2001 and past ravers of The Fridge, but now they are office workers and parents seeking a slice of yesteryear and nice bevvie! 

I say go and have drink and some food post work,great for midweek birthday drinks and the like. It may not be a cool as it used to be but it really has remained chilled.