Mark's Bar

Bars and pubs, Cocktail bars Soho
Recommended
5 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(21user reviews)
Mark's Bar (Rob Greig / Time Out)
1/6
Rob Greig / Time Out
Mark's Bar (Rob Greig / Time Out)
2/6
Rob Greig / Time Out
Mark's Bar (Rob Greig / Time Out)
3/6
Rob Greig / Time Out
Mark's Bar (Rob Greig / Time Out)
4/6
Rob Greig / Time Out
Mark's Bar (Rob Greig / Time Out)
5/6
Rob Greig / Time Out
Mark's Bar (Rob Greig / Time Out)
6/6
Rob Greig / Time Out

The basement of Hix Soho remains one of Soho’s most popular cocktail haunts, and that’s only partly because of its highly unusual drinks based on true-Brit recipes from years (and centuries) gone by. It’s a subterranean haven, and a great place to have serious drinks alongside delicious bar snacks (substantial enough to make a light meal even if you don’t follow them with dinner upstairs). Cocktails are king here, but the gin and scotch lists both repay ample exploration. Be warned that it can be hard to find space here, and it doesn’t take bookings. But it’s worth it.

 

Posted:

Venue name: Mark's Bar
Contact:
Address: Hix
London
W1F 9UP
Cross street: 66-70 Brewer Street
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11am-1am, Sun 11.30am-12am
Transport: Tube: Piccadilly Circus tube
Price: Prices vary
Do you own this business?
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Average User Rating

2.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:5
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:8
LiveReviews|21
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1 of 1 found helpful

Excellent drinks, great food, fun atmosphere, staff were really sweet, went the extra mile. Was surprised after reading the reviews below.

1 of 1 found helpful

Love this place. An oasis of cocktail genius in beer swilling Soho. The guys at the bar always remember me, and know I'm up for one of their latest concoctions. They are artists, and are warm and inviting.

Tastemaker

Mark’s Bar is a favourite when I feel like some classy drinks are in order. They keep the amount of people that can pack in under control, so it never gets too crowded or too loud so that you can’t hear each other. On the downside, be prepared to be turned away if you arrive too late (but really, it's for the better). Dimmed lights, low bar, large mahogany chesterfield sofas and a menu full of British libations - it all makes for a great experience. People watching is not bad either. Importantly, the cocktails are great, all of them, actually. They normally demand (I believe as per their alcohol license) that you get little bites to go with drinks, but the requirement seems to be easily waived. But, in case you are wondering, I would totally recommend their snacks (and every now and then they have promotions whereas you can get 3 snack for £10).  I am marking down one star, however, as I haven’t visited for a while and upon my latest visit last week I found out they raised the prices. Cocktails used to be a tenner each, but are now discretionally priced at £12 and more. Sorry guys, but that’s too steep an increase, unless you pack in something more in terms of taste, quality or experience.

Tastemaker

Went here after a show in the west end for a cocktail and desert on a friday night- it must have been around 10h30pm and we were allowed in straight away. The venue itself is really cool and they were playing old school hip hop. I had the temperley sour which was really nice and for the desert we had chocolate tarte- which was OK at best. It was a buzzy place which was not too packed. The service was quite lukewarm when we arrived- this might be because we were reaching the end of the night. I don't know if the other bar snacks are better and if the waitress was just having an off night and if so it deserves a 5*. 

Tastemaker

Pretends to be a classy joint but I wasn't impressed. After seeing people turned away because they were full, I was allowed downstairs from Hix to meet a couple of friends who were already there. It was 8pm and the table they had been at since 3pm still hadn't been cleared, covered in bottles and old cocktail glasses. I had to go to the bar to ask for table service and they cam to take my order 15 minutes later. Another 15 minutes later my drink turned up, then they wanted to charge £3 for not ordering food, despite the other guys having food earlier, and also service! Because there wasn't much in the way of service, we asked them to take it off, which they did. Not bad décor, just slow and the bar staff seemed miserable.

Tastemaker

I've lost count of the number of times i've tried to get into this bar for a drink and it has always been completely packed, so when my date and I managed to just walk in on Tuesday night and get given a comfortable sofa straight away, we were pretty thrilled. This bar is nicely decorated, with a stuffed fox standing proudly behind the bar which is actually positioned quite low down, so no-one can comfortably stand at the bar - it's all seating. I quite like that, it makes it all quite comfortable and relaxed in here.


The menu is interesting, but we wanted an off menu Old Fashioned which they were more than happy to make for us - it was smooth and topped with a lemon twirl and a sweet glossy cherry. The round cost £25 or so, so these are by no means cheap drinks but there is an obvious quality about them.


Service was actually superb - i'm surprised to read the below comments (including the ones written by people who havn't even visited the bar which is a little rogue) - our waitress was attentive and very smiley. The other bar staff were polite.




Rude staff. Lithunian waitress insulted one of our group calling them a donkey! Drinks overpriced. Don't go here!!


It's really unfair that some people who haven't even been before wrote 1-star reviews based on other reviews! I've been and had a very nice time. Staff were polite, drinks were good, spot was cosy. Would definitely recommend, especially considering it can be hard to find a decent place near Piccadilly.


I've been to Mark's bar a few times now and it's a great find! It's a little hidden gem in the basement of Hix with a great atmosphere and relaxing vibe. I've have always found the staff to be polite and friendly. My friends and I all met here for cocktails on a Sunday, there were probably about 15 of us and the staff were very welcoming and accommodating. A special thanks to Lucy for looking after us!

moderatorStaff Writer

After browsing a refreshingly compact menu I chose a sherry-based cocktail, which was as unusual as it was delicious. They know their stuff with out being pretentious and it's just a nice place to hang out. You have to accept a bar snack (£2 charge) to comply with the licencing rules, but they're also excellent so it's no hardship.  

Staff Writer

As it’s a little hidden underneath Hix restaurant, it can sometimes, in an early evening anyway, still feel like a private members bar, which is great for it’s location. Every cocktail I had has been great and what I particularly appreciate is the bartender’s consultation, if you ask for recommendation. They – like all good bar tenders should – really want you to enjoy their creations, letting you taste and smell all sorts of spirits and bitters before creating something bespoke – if that’s what you wish. The only downside here is that you have to order food with your drink, due to some licence restrictions (though depending on the night I visited some staff seem more relaxed about this than others…). But as one small chocolate truffle qualifies as such food which costs about £1 it’s a manageable extra cost.


Poor Service and rude staff!

I was in london for work and it so happened that I was alone on a saturday evening. I decided to check out Hix , Mark's bar for some drinks before dinner. I was shocked when the manager asked me to leave and said there is a huge queue! The line had two couples before me so I know that wasnt true. I have been to many nice places in london before and never been asked to leave and not being allowed to even wait in the queue to get in. When i read the reviews below i know which place i should avoid for sure!!


Great place with brilliant cocktails and great staff....up to a point - the maître d'/bar manager can be incredibly rude and dismissive. If it wasn't for him it would be a 5 star place.


if you appreciate attention to detail when your drinks are being made, this is the place for you.


AVOID - appalling customer service. Seven of us we were there for 30 minutes when a very rude lady came over to us and demanded that we either split up the group up or leave as she didn't want a large group in the bar. I have never been asked to leave a bar before


I have experienced similar rudeness from the staff here on two occasions. The first time was with a friend and we were left speechless by the abrupt rudeness when we were asked to 'drink up' in order to make way for others. That kind of thing ruins your evening I'm afraid but I decided to put it down to being a one off. The second time I was enjoying an evening meal with a good friend and we were certainly happy to drop a fair amount of cash on several courses and drinks. It amazed me that when we were still eating and drinking that we were approached and told that we would need to 'hurry along' for the next sitting!! After we had finished eating and were enjoying the remainder of the bottle of wine we had ordered with dinnner we were made to stand at the bar where we were clearly in the way of the other staff. Lesson learned I'm afraid - I wouldn't recommend this place - the food is reasonably good but London has much better to offer elsewhere.


AVOID! I have never been spoken to so rudely in a bar before. We were sitting on a table on a fairly quiet evening, we had just received our 3rd round when a member of staff marched over and told us that obviously we were not aware but they had a group policy of only 6 people (there were 7 of us). She even more rudely suggested she could tell us where else we could drink in the area - which was her way of telling us to leave immediately. With all due respect - if this was a policy the waitress obviously wasn't aware of it - she should not have served us another round. We had just received our drinks so had to quickly drink up. Possibly the worst part was her telling us where else we could go - we know the area probably better than she does, she was incredibly patronising. She was also very angry at us which I don't understand as we were quiet and had caused no trouble. I don't expect to be spoken to in this way especially after having spent a considerable amount of money. Drinks are totally overpriced and service is beyond poor.


What started as a nice evening in Mark's Bar was sullied by a matradee that was not only one of the RUDEST people I have ever encountered working in a bar or restaurant, but anywhere full stop. Having sat in a quite corner, my group of 5 swelled to 7 following the arrival of my brother and a friend who just stopping by on her way to dinner elsewhere. Before they had a chance to order from the friendly waitress, the matradee approached us an stated word for word "you people may not be aware of our policy, but we do not allow large groups in here and I suggest you leave". We had been in the bar for about 90mins and had spent approximately £100. We were not made aware of their "group" policy and the waitress who was happy to keep serving us did not know of it either. Rather than argue the point we finished our drinks and asked for the bill, at which stage we had to argue (quite stongly) on why we shouldn't pay the service charge. Rude staff, overpriced drinks and more rude staff. AVOID, AVOID, AVOID ! !


Had a fabulous, impromptu, late evening in here. Busy Friday night, but staff went out of their way for us, having dined at Hix beforehand. Such a lovely atmos and great, classy service ......

0 of 2 found helpful

Browsing for cocktail bars in London, after reading the reviews on this one I will be avoiding it.