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London Grill Bar & Restaurant

Not Rated.
London Grill Bar & RestaurantLondon Grill Bar & Restaurant

Taps: 14 / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
86
very good

13 Ratings
Ratings: 13
Reviews: 11
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 10.22%
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]

2301 Fairmount Ave
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19130
United States
phone: (215) 978-4545

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: WilliamPhilaPa)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 13 | Reviews: 11 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

3.89/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

I've never eaten at the London, although I understand it's supposed to be quite good. I have spent some time at the bar, however. The selection is decent with a house beer from Stoudt's (called Willie Sutton? - the guy who escaped from the penitentiary...) as well as another which rotates, a beer or two from Young's, Flying Fish ESB, Yards ESA and a few fairly common European beers (ie. Hoegaarden). The line-up is nowhere near as interesting as what Bridgid's offers just a couple of blocks away, but it's better than most of the other restaurant/bars in the area (Rembrandt's, Jack's Firehouse). My one beefs with this place is that the bartenders seem to think they know everything, but don't. Several times I've been corrected when ordering the proper beer, or just asking about one. (Just one simple and very basic example from amongst the many... I ordered a Flying Fish ESB and was corrected that it was an "ESA... extra special ale". Hmmm, I thought that was from Yard's!) I appreciate that they go to the trouble to pay for their employees to take a beer training class, but not all of them get it. However, some of the bartenders are great so it's a trade-off! If you're looking for dinner in the area give it a try, but if it's beer you want head to Bridgid's, or even the Bishop's Collar.

11-28-2002 19:15:02 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of InspectorBob
InspectorBob

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +10.5%

02-26-2014 15:48:42 | More by InspectorBob
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +14.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

I've been to this place a bunch of times and have been going frequently since moving two blocks away. I'm surprised I haven't entered a review yet.

This is a really cool bar/restaurant in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia. The bar area is pretty small but they offer outdoor a bunch of outdoor seating in the warmer months. They have a good gastropub bar menu in addition to their full dining room offerings. They usually have a good selection of local craft beers as well as some west cost stuff and Belgian options. Nothing that exciting but an above average selection.

Their food is very good, offering casual light fare and a full finer dining menu. Everything from burgers(which are served on a toasted English muffin) to gnocchi and pork tenderloin and everything in between. They also have quiches and pizzas including selections of the day. They service is very friendly and attentive. The servers aren't very knowledgeable about beer but are adequate. The bartenders tend to know their beers though.

I really like this place even though the beer selection is that great. They always have a decent selection of good beer, great food and service. The atmosphere is pretty cool as well but can get pretty crowded at times. Perfect for beers and a light meal as ell as a nice night out for dinner. Recommended.

10-16-2009 14:41:23 | More by corby112
Photo of blitheringidiot
blitheringidiot

Pennsylvania

3.18/5  rDev -12.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 3

On the corner of 23rd and Fairmount, is London Grill & Restaurant. You MUST enter through the double doors on the 23rd street side. The swank red restaurant area is to the right and the bar (yeah!) is to the left and down a few stairs.

The interior is just turn of the century style to be cool. A giant flatscreen t.v. is immediately behind the bar that shows mostly classic movies or AMC. The bar has about 12 wooden backed stools and there are four elevated pub tables with wrought iron pedestals to hold the overflow in the bar area. Tiled floor, tin paneled ceilings, coat hooks under tha bar and green accountant lamps above the back bar give a real 40's vibe that makes it feel like Humphrey Bogart is going to walk in any minute. This passes the "Could you bring your Mom here" test., despite being a tad smoky. Even the wait staff smokes while you sit there.

The selection is certainly above a prosaic average. One large brass tap has Anchor Porter and Liberty Ale, SNPA, Whitbread, Vic'ry Golden Monkey, Stella Artois, Rolloing Rock, Hoegaarden, Strongbow, their "house beer" Willie Sutton which is Stoudt's Gold Lager and last but not least, Vic'ry Hop De'bil on the hand pump!

Bottle selection was formidable also with Yards ESA, Delirium, La Chouffe and a few Sans Coulottes that the guys next to me bought to scratch the panties off the girl on the label. Extra props goes to the neatly written, up to date chalkboards behind the bar that explain the taps and bottles, even with Ales and Lagers separated.
*** Why don't more bars do this??? ***

My brew du jour was a "Willie Sutton" and a hand pump Vic'ry Hop De'bil.

Service was pretty poor. It started ok with usual pleasantries exchanged and a Vic'ry glass to compliment said choice, but headed South when the 'tender disapeared for 15 minutes and didn't come back after my glass was empty. Other employees just walked by and looked at me. Staff even griped about their jobs right in front of me. F'in lame!

Last call: Pop in for one brew on a crawl and then leave. I'll say that the restaurant looked hip. This would be a good place to drag a date. Having a cask is cool. There is an old prison next door that does great tours too. The Willie Sutton story is worth inquiring about if you order one. London also does a cheap Happy Hour and Blue Monday 11pm movie nite with old movies and $3 for a shot, can of PBR and pork rinds. No joke!

03-24-2005 02:45:19 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of Seanibus
Seanibus

California

3/5  rDev -17.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 2 | $$

Oh, if only the quality of the food matched up to the decor. The bar is beautiful and homey and the dining room is open and airy (Though don't bother with the outside tables unless you love repeated blasts of bus exhaust in your face). It's worth going to London if only just to sit in the bar. The beer selection is pretty good, mostly local micro brews, and they always have something fun on their hand pump tap, usually Victory's Hop Devil. But the food. Ah, the food. It ranges from the adequate to the terrible. The best bet is the happy hour small plates in the bar, but even they are hardly excellent. Still, a Happy Hour small fish and chips with a couple of pints of something cold can make a late afternoon in the bar near perfect.

08-12-2008 22:05:00 | More by Seanibus
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$

A long running neighborhood favorite known as much as a dinning spot as a beer destination. We tend to go for either/or but never both at the same time. A nice pre-prohibition charachter to the small bar area, but nice comfortable homey vibe to the dinning area (like a nice family run italian restaurant).

When it comes to the food, the overall experience is very hit or miss. The bar food is generally sub-par while the dinner options can range from excellent one night, to incorrectly prepared, bland and overpriced the next - consistency is not a word I can use here. Service tends to be surly at best - from the bar staff to the wait staff. The prices can be, well pricey - $17 for a pasta entre which contained no meat. A recent visit saw us order a small pasta, but served in much greater quantity than the "entree" described above. Another recent visit had an appetizer prepared and served after the entree due to a "backup" at the pizza oven.

Back to the beer. Mostly local craft with a mix of mid range imports and decent domestic crafts. Generally there is a cask on at all times.

All in all, we tend to visit the bar when passing by - rarely making it a destination for that. And after very incosistent service and food over our last few visits, it may be hard to go back for that.

05-16-2011 14:03:37 | More by rfgetz
Photo of jrancan
jrancan

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

If you're hitting Bridgid's or the Bishop's Collar, you might as well walk the extra half block....
Pro- plenty of outdoor seating available (which is hard to come by in Philly).
Con- if you're outside, good luck getting quick service.
Beer list is good (Bridgid's and Bishop's are better) and everything else is pretty much solid, but overall I only go here when the other two are too crowded or I really want to sit outside.

07-30-2003 01:01:54 | More by jrancan
Photo of soulcougher
soulcougher

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

06-03-2014 22:46:53 | More by soulcougher
Photo of nomad
nomad

Kansas

3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Though many agree that Bridgid's or Bishop's is a better place for a beer experience, London Grill just felt right to me. The place is dominated by simple but nice wood work, has a magazine rack (a rarity), has great airflow, and posssesses outdoor space heaters - I guess all the intangibles came together to give a nice feel to the place. Beer selection was pretty good, with about 10 taps ranging from the Interbrew Belgian Trio (Leffe, Hoegaarden, Stella) to locals like Yards, Victory Hop Devil, Yuengling. Bottles included Samuel Smiths, Stone AB, Smuttynose Brown Dog, and a couple other micros that were tough to remember, mainly because they were common but good. Service was mainly the bartender yelling, "hey, watcha want?" Much less crowded than many of the other bars in Fairmount, so check it out if you want a pint but everywhere else is packed.

11-03-2003 16:50:09 | More by nomad
Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
WilliamPhilaPa

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

The London has a nice interior, when first entering from 23rd St. you’ll have to go to your left and step down a couple of stairs to the bar area. The bar area is on the right, and seats about 12-15 patrons, behind that there is three tall top tables.
Bottled brews include, Chimay Cing Cents, Rogue, Anderson Valley, Sam Adams Triple Bock and many other.
The London has a good selection on tap, Yards ESA, Yards Queen’s Head, Yuengling Traditional, Yeungling Porter, Bass, Guinness, Sam Adams Winter, Hoegaarden, Bulmers Cider, Anchor Steam, Red Hook, Rogue and Stoudt’s Fest which they call the Willie Sutton…
Who is Willie Sutton you say…
From what I hear, the legend goes, Willie Sutton (famous for robbing close to 100 banks from 1920 - 1952) escaped from Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary (only a block away) by digging a tunnel under the prison's walls. After his first breaths of freedom, he got his bearing and headed straight for London - not the city, but the bar named London located at 23rd and Fairmount Streets in Philadelphia. If you’re in the area, and you never took a tour of the Eastern State Penitentiary, you should it’s cool, those crazy inmates could make a gun out of tooth paste. The Willie Sutton Story is in the basement area along with weapons made by the inmates.
The Sutton story isn't the only history associated with this establishment. The building has housed a drinking establishment since it's inception. Even during prohibition, the caretakers of London blackened out the windows and ran the place as a speakeasy.
Anyway this place is a great stop in the Fairmount area along with The Bishops Collar and Bridgid’s.

01-02-2003 10:35:07 | More by WilliamPhilaPa
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London Grill Bar & Restaurant in Philadelphia, PA
86 out of 100 based on 13 ratings.