An old Brick Lane boozer given a brand-new lease of life.
On our first visit to The Archers, many years ago, we watched a chap sing a Westlife ballad on a karaoke machine to an audience of three teenage Stella drinkers and an elderly barfly. To say it’s had quite the makeover (the previous manager narrowly escaped a prison sentence last year after safety inspectors found it to be a ‘fire trap’) would be an understatement.
Yes, there are filament lightbulbs, and okay, the snacks are gastro rather than pub grub, but this is not a case of Shoreditch wankery. The booze is cheap, the seats are comfy and the staff are friendlier than your average Andrex puppy.
As well as a heated cabinet full of teeny but delicious pasties, there’s a short menu of here’s-one-I-made-earlier snacks that are delivered from nearby (considerably flashier) sister pub The Culpeper; our favourite of these was a gloriously buttery pot of duck rillette with fresh crusty bread. There’s only one thing we’d change about The Archers: there were only three cask ales on offer, and two of those were from local if slightly crowdpleasing Truman’s. What they’re pouring is good, though, and a bottle fridge offers a small but fine collection of crafty options from the likes of Lagunitas and Brixton Brewery.
On both our evening and afternoon sessions the clientele seemed to be mainly locals of a pleasingly wide age range. Hopefully its down-there-beyond-the-curry-houses positioning will prevent it being flooded by tourists of a weekend so it can stay that way. Gentrification certainly isn’t always the answer, but we can’t help thinking this little East End boozer is much the better for it. Even if it does spell a loss for the midweek karaoke scene.
|Venue name:||The Archers|
42 Osborn Street
|Opening hours:||Mon-Thu 4pm-12am; Fri 4pm-1am; Sat 12pm-1am; Sun 12pm-11pm|
|Transport:||Tube: Liverpool St|
|Do you own this business?|
Snap up exclusive discounts in London
Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...