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The Sun Tavern

  • Bars and pubs
  • Bethnal Green
  • price 2 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A newly refurbished pub with a focus on Irish spirits.

Brewed up by the people behind the Discount Suit Company, the newly made-over Sun Tavern (a pub since 1851) focuses on nearly 40 brands of Irish spirits: whiskey and the (formerly illegal) home-distilled potion called poitín (pronounced poe-CHEEN). Whiskeys include the poignantly named Writers Tears, and the selection of poitín – some scarily strong – is the UK’s largest. There is also a short cocktail list (£7.50-£8) and good beers, both bottled and on tap (£4.20-£5). The latter will soon be joined by products from the Sun’s own brewery.

The owners have followed the now-standard bare-brick formula, but have handled it beautifully, with walls comprising a palimpsest of plaster old and new, plus ancient block-print wallpaper. If you can’t bag a red-leather banquette, the bar stools are comfortable.

The Sun is a smallish pub with DJs on Wednesday to Saturday evenings, and on other nights you can spin your own vinyl on the turntables. There is a limited food offering: charcuterie, cheese and the like. They even make a good espresso. On a bright Saturday afternoon people trickle in, drinking beer and cocktails. In the evenings, it gets busy. Not surprising: there’s a lot to love here.

Review by Richard Ehrlich


441 Bethnal Green Road
E2 0AN
Tube: Bethnal Green
Opening hours:
Sun-Wed noon-midnight; Thu-Sat noon-1am
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