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Pillars of Hercules (Bar)

Picture of Pillars of Hercules in Soho, London

7 Greek Street, Soho, London, W1D 4DJ
Cuisine: Pub
Tel: 020 7437 1179 | Email to Pillars of Hercules | Transport: Tottenham Court Road | Write review

Pillars of Hercules Review

The Pillars of Hercules in Soho is – like its Greek Street neighbour, the Coach and Horses – something of a literary pub. Which is to say, assorted writers and hacks, some of them quite notable, used to turn up here on a fairly regular basis, smoke too many cigarettes and get drunk. There’s been a pub called the Pillars of Hercules on this site since 1733, and one of the earliest literary heavyweights to reference the place was Charles Dickens no less, who mentions it A Tale of Two Cities. Much later on, and perhaps more relevant for our times, the place was frequented by the then yet-to-be-famous Martin Amis’s and Ian McEwans of this world who found, in its dark and smoky crevices, a hidden place where they could go and gossip to other writers about the terribly important things writers gossip about. So far, Soho.

These days ‘the Pillars’, shows clear signs of being a literary pub by remaining refreshingly grubby and dark, and with no signs directing you to inconveniences like the toilet. So it’s a bit of a local then, and the truly jaded people-watchers amongst us can find good sport in spotting non-locals and other impostors who are immediately uncloaked by either asking where the toilet might be, or by striding confidently into the broom cupboard. You can avoid these social upsets by walking down the, admittedly unlikely-looking, stairs opposite the bar. Gentlemen can then avoid further confusion by walking through the door that has no markings on it and really does look like it should be the broom cupboard. Although watch out for the door to the kitchen, which isn’t marked either (evil, isn’t it?).

For all that, the Pillars is a friendly and charismatic old place, where the (mostly Antipodean) barstaff are sure to do unusual things like smile, chat, and serve you efficiently with no apparent trace of resentment. On the entertainment front, someone called DJ Wheelie Bag is in residence on Wednesday nights, playing old skool R’n’B and Ska from his portable decks, which are mounted upon, erm, the sort of shopping trolleys that old ladies use (I’m not making this up, you know), and there’s a good selection of hearty, honest-to-goodness pub grub that will be of absolutely no use to you if you’re currently on the Atkins Diet, if you get my drift. There’s also a monthly theme night, at which time the good sports behind the bar dress up in silly outfits for the amusement of paying customers – the next outing is Halloween, and I was treated to an advance peek of the costumes. Let’s just say that it’ll be an interesting night, and it won’t be the first time that this charming and authentic old place has seen one of those.
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Customer Reviews for Pillars of Hercules

Average (based on 1 votes): 1 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Pillars of Hercules.

“I drank at the Pillars just last week and although a little dark I had a great time. There is a wide selection of Ales to choose from as well as great bar staff to help you out if you are unfamiliar with the ales. Yes the toilets are a little hard to locate, but a great little pub with a good atmosphere. Bar Staff are all Aussies but seemed to be good fun.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Johnny, London (14 years 18 days ago)

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Loved

"We were 3 of us and we had the best meal in London and the best service from very friendly and kind staff.Im sure I will back again.The girl at the till she was amazing and very knowledge about everything,..." Which venue is this?

Hated

"Door staff are apalling, i turned up at 9pm on a weekday and the Eastern European doorman said they were closed despite bring clearly open, returned a month later at 7pm on a weekday and once again the..." Which venue is this?

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