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Primo Bar (Bar, Hotel)

Picture of Primo Bar in Waterloo, London

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, 200 Westminster Bridge Road, London, Waterloo, London, SE1 7UT
Cuisine: Bar
Tel: 020 7620 7282 | Email to Primo Bar | Transport: Waterloo | Write review

Primo Bar Review

Best for: flashy cocktails and nightly live music.

Great: service and location.

My name is Ol’ Willie Bassoon, of the Ol’ Willie Bassoon Five, the wildest free-form jazz combo to ever spring from the no-good back alleys of New Orleans. We been all over the world, spreadin’ the gospel of jazz, and now we’ve touched down in London town to put the word on the streets and the folks on their feets.

The Five are a ragtag bunch of cats. There’s Thumper Jefferies on the skins, Blind Dead McJones on the saxomophone, Larry “No Fingers” Wallis on the ivories, and yours truly on top-level scat duties. There ain’t no fifth member, for tax reasons that I can’t go into right now.

We heard there was a jumpin’ joint called Primo at the Park Plaza Hotel near Westminster, south of the river from where The Man makes his rules in that Big Ol’ Ben.

They got live music there every night, from folk to crooners to sweet, sweet bebop. And since my love of music is matched only by my penchant for hotel gratuities, I told our manager Booker Harris to get us on the bill.

Straight up we could tell this was a classy place – the Park Plaza entrance is opposite them Houses of Parliament, and we had to drag our instruments up a whole mess of stairs before we got to the shiny, colourful wall that closed off the Primo restaurant.

Bein’ but a humble jazz urchin, I can only afford to stay in four-star hotels about five months a year. But even I know that places like this got to be jumpin’ through hoops to make you look twice, since everybody there be solid gone after a night or two. Plus all them fancy hotel bars start to look the same after a few libations.

And don’t be gettin’ me wrong, Primo is one swanky establishment: first off, there’s a very tasteful open-plan area with low-down leather chairs, and a whole lotta high-falutin’ sculpture and pot plants; then you got the bar, all black surfaces and low lightin’; and then there’s the live music lounge, where the real magic happens.

The stage was just right for the Five, and we got a warm reception, but I kinda felt we was intrudin’ on the guests and their parlays, so I had to tone down the scat and keep it real mellow. I felt like I was channelin’ Michael Buble, not Mingus and Miles, which was a solid bringer-downer since we in the Five do so love to cut loose.

The bar was all present and correct, and the seatin’ was sure enough comfortable, but I could not shake the feelin’ that we was still in a hotel, all shiny and impersonal-like, and I do doubt I’d be back there again if I wasn’t gettin’ my complementary band drinks, you dig?

Speakin’ of drinks, I will say that Primo has itself a fine line in cocktails and wine and whatnot – Thumper, he was ossified on them strong Watermelon Martinis by the end of the night, while I did happen to favour the Green Dalmatia, with all the flavour and savour of a grape and litchi glacier, amen.

We was fed too, and mighty fine it was, with platters of satay chicken skewers and pulled pork sandwiches just like we like it. There was all kinds of salads and burgers for the rest of the band, and the service was tight, all night. With a portion of tiramisu it cost a little more than fews and two, but the fare was square and Ol’ Willie did not care.

Let me lay it on you straight: as a regular hotel bar and restaurant, Primo is pretty damn swell, and a good place to kick back and relax after a hard day slavin’ over a hot trombone. But I believe in the spirit of jazz; you gotta improvise to revitalise, man. And the place seemed a little staid, a little set in its ways. Too eager to meet and greet, too discreet so’s not to step on no one’s feet.

Primo talked the talk but it did not walk the walk. And ain’t nothin’ the Ol’ Willie Bassoon Five can do ‘bout that.
...read more

Customer Reviews for Primo Bar

Average (based on 2 votes): 2 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 Primo Bar.

“I was pleasantly surprised by this bar when visiting the South Bank recentyl. Good music and affordable cocktails, although the food left a little to be desired. I'd recommend it for guests and non-guests alike.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Manon Signoret, London (6 years 5 months 17 days ago)

“Pretty cool venue. Stylish and not too stuffy and some great looking girls.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Lukas Frings, London (9 years 24 days ago)

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Primo Bar Opening Hours

Monday: 12:00pm - 2:00am Friday: 12:00pm - 2:00am
Tuesday: 12:00pm - 2:00am Saturday: 12:00pm - 2:00am
Wednesday: 12:00pm - 2:00am Sunday: 5:00pm - 2:00am
Thursday: 12:00pm - 2:00am    

Additional Information

  • Cuisine Type: Bar
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Group: Park Plaza

Special offers, discounts and deals at Primo Bar

Overview Promotion Monday to friday 5pm to 8pm, 2 for 1 on cocktails, bottle of wine for the price of 2 glass and 10 beers for £30.

Updated 23/04/2013

Events and other great things going on at Primo Bar

FREE live music every day of the week. Soul, funk, jazz, bossa nova, Brazilian, house and more...
Stage times : 8pm week days and 9pm on Saturday

Updated 23/04/2013

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Venue ID: 20591

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