Since this review was published, The Commercial has undergone refurbishment. Time Out Eating & Drinking editors, March 2017.
On a narrow bend opposite Herne Hill station, a short bus hop from Brixton, the Commercial is a pleasurable pub in which to spend some time. It’s one of the more modern Mitchells & Butlers pubs, not dissimilar in style to the Crown & Sceptre in Fitzrovia in the way it mixes old-fashioned pub culture with new school pub cooking and a comparatively enlightened approach to beer.
Two expansive rooms of stripy furniture and contemporary colours, with Wi-Fi and board games, accommodate drinkers and diners, while a pie slice of back garden houses a handful of tables and umbrella heaters. A board in the spruced-up main bar proclaims the presence of 21 draught beers (including Red Stripe, Paulaner, Franziskaner, Sierra Nevada, Peroni and Beck’s Vier), three ciders and four ales (including Fuller’s London Pride and Sharp’s Doom Bar).
Food stretches from bar snacks (fried chorizo, houmous) to larger, workaday meals (burgers, Sunday roasts); a Monday quiz diverts the locals.
212 Railton Road
|Opening hours:||Open noon-midnight Mon-Thur; noon-1am Fri; 11am-1am Sat; 11am-midnight Sun. Food served noon-10pm Mon-Thur; noon-11pm Fri, Sat; 11am-9.30pm Sun|
|Transport:||Tube: Brixton tube/rail then bus 3, 196, or Herne Hill rail|
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Average User Rating
2.5 / 5
- 5 star:0
- 4 star:2
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- 2 star:3
- 1 star:1
TERRIBLE SERVICE!! Went here for Sunday lunch 7.4.13. We booked for 8 people but only had 6 seats and no help was offered to recover the missing seats (which clearly the table next to us had taken!) We ordered and the food arrived promptly. Well all but 2 melas, when we'd ordered all together. Beef roast and asparagus salad we're really yummy. Pity that when one of the starters arrived - sweet potato wedges - it was literally half a potato, 3 wedges and 3 burnt to a crisp skins - all for £4.50!! We complained and the staff were rude and would have no interaction, merely taking the food and giving back the money. Overpriced for the portion sizes in all meals and the service is awful. All staff were rude and didn't care about what they were doing.
Surprisingly poor time, after previously having quite enjoyed The Commercial. It might just have been a bad night, but: - They had forgotten to put out a sign for our booking, so we had to wait for a table. - They had run out of about 6 of their 18 main choices by 6pm on a Sunday. 30 minutes after we ordered they advised that one of the other items we had ordered had also run out. - One of our group wanted no peas with her fish and chips; this was translated to no peas for anyone on the table with their fish and chips. - The food wasn't very warm when it arrived and I noticed another table sending back their soup to be warmed. - They got the coffee order wrong at the end. - The music was way too loud for a Sunday afternoon/early evening (unless the vibe they were going for was shout at the person next to you in an effort to be heard. There was no chance for a general catch up). This last point might explain the issues with the orders being wrong. They were very nice about it and very sorry about the table muck up, but it just wasn't a good showing.
Wholly average gastro chain pub... the service is unfriendly, the food passable at best and the drinks are expensive. That said, it has a nice layout and looks quite good inside. Like so many small pub chains though, it has little individuality or style.
The kitchen here really seems to have turned itself around. I ate there a couple of time in 2010 and had to complain both times but since the launch of the new menu, the food's been consistently delicious. All in all, the Commercial is a lovely place to sit and while away a few hours.
The food was OK when we got it but took ages to arrive. The staff were hopeless - no apology, more like 'what do you want me to do about it?' Items were not as described on the menu and to cap it all, we were overcharged by about £12 and then told the manager would have to sort it out 'in about 10 minutes'. Really caters for people who want a drink and then some food to soak up the alcohol. Don't go if you want a relaxing evening and a good meal.