The King's Head

Bar, Eatery

254 Commercial St
Portland, Maine, 04101-4664
United States

(207) 805-1252 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 75 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by slander:
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slander from New York

4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

A shorty long weekend between Christmas and New Year’s in Portland. There’d been some talk about the new player in town, fairly so, anyway. Mad taps, they say, right around the corner from that other place been. Used to be the Blackback guy, that there alone is enough for me to look in on it, I suppose...

Located set back on a pier you can’t park on. Enter and in, you’re greeted by the bowling lane slat topped wrench head shaped bar, with a wood panel base & phat phoot rail; seating for 27 all around. Taps taps taps everywhere; 3 on an upright in front of me, a barbell of 8, another 8, a 6 tap, a 10 tower, and a few more in the next room. Tiered booze over the corner taps and an expansive dangle glassware rack for stem, tulip, & snifter.

The walls in big brick with wood panel lowers all around, wood slat floors, & vaulted ceilings in black with matching ducts. Drop single filament softball bulbs tracing the bar and side room seating, and dangle eggplant bulb lamps throughout otherwise. A pair of horizontal framed blackboards listing tap selections in alt colored chalk on the back wall, a flat screen on the side wall with a board to each side with more taps and beer club info, and oddball beer trays. A half dozen+ 2-seat tables running an ‘L’ off to the side on shared benchage. Just brought in a bottle cooler for the filling soon.

The side room is a wine bar, with a baby horseshoe bar seating 9 and a baker’s dozen 2-seat tables in pairs mostly on shared benches, three sides around. A smattering of beers and a dozen wines on tap there.

I count 38 taps up just now, 1/3 of them from Maine (Banded Horn Norweald Stout, Allagash Dubbel, Saison, & Interlude, Gneiss Monolith & Obsius, Foundation Ember & Blaze, Bissell Brothers The Substance & Angels with Filthy Souls, Maine Beer Mean Old Tom & Another One IPA, Rising Tide Calcutta Cutter), and the remainder a mix of American craft (Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza & Bam Biere, Prairie Hop, Cherry Funk, & Christmas Bomb!, 21st Amendment Brew Free or Die IPA, White Birch Hop Session, Evil Twin Femme Fatale Noir & Molotov Lite IPA), import (Amager Fusion & Sinner Series Envy IPA, Mikkeller Spontanrosehip & Crooked Moon Tattoo DIPA, Rodenbach Grand Cru, St Feuillien Saison, Petrus Aged Pale Ale, Duchesse de Bourgogne, Van Honsebrouck St Louis Gueuze, Paulaner Oktoberfest-Marzen & Original Municher Helles, Kapuziner Weissbier, Murphy’s Irish Stout, Thornbridge Medici Lions EBA & Jaipur IPA) and a lone cider (Woodchuck Out on a Limb BA cider). I drank the Bissell Brothers The Substance & Allagash Interlude ‘cause they are excellent.

Revisited a month later with Brophy, while Davo napped indefinitely (since 5 pm anyway). 10 IPA’s on tap, daaaaaaamn. A few beers (Hello, Bissell Brothers Swish, good to see you again, Allagash Confluence) and late night eats; I started with the tuna sashimi with maple drizzle & seaweed, and then Ricky hooked me for the duck fat BLT off the lunch menu off hours. Brophy took in the meat & cheese plate and a scotch egg. Yeah, um, no.

And suddenly, it was 12:50 AM, last call. Conversation just got real with a regular. It’s good time at closing time. Owner Ricky behind the bar both times I’ve been here. He certainly knows his beer game as he’s had the practice in Vermont. He’s a pistol, I got a good chuckle at his banter with the customers. Cool place. They’ve got a great ‘Andy Dufresne, just checking’ Raquel Welch Shawshank poster covering the tunnel to freedom in the bathroom. Music was mix & match but went old timey. Good crowd, there were some people here; a group from Chicago blew out and some young’uns rolled in. Excellent goddamn drink here. I’ll be closing this place every time I’m in town on a go forward.

Apr 26, 2015
More User Reviews:
Photo of jmdrpi
jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.41/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

In a brick building down by the water. They had outdoor searing set up in the parking lot, but assume that was just because of COVID. Inside there is a 3 sided bar where we sat for drinks. Some indoor tables in a side room. Nice long and varitied tap list of quality beers, mostly regional. Bartender was friendly. We didnt eat any food as we had dinner reservations elsewhere.

Sep 06, 2021
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StoutSnob40 from California

4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Jul 16, 2019
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nwhittin from Indiana

4.56/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Jun 01, 2019
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Tmappin from Canada (NS)

4.41/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Mar 12, 2018
Photo of orangesol
orangesol from Pennsylvania

4.34/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Oct 30, 2017
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Eddiehop from Texas

4.5/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Sep 23, 2017
Photo of SomethingClever
SomethingClever from Ohio

4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

This is a great place on the water, parking is no fun but its a very nice place with a great tap selection. If you want a place to try a lot of different Maine brews in one place without brewery hopping you will be happy with this place. They had a nice variety on tap with maybe favoring IPAs more, but that is pretty common anymore. Service was great and friendly, the patrons in the bar were friendly and the food looked good although I didn't try any.

Jul 08, 2017
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littlestevie14 from Massachusetts

4.66/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Jul 06, 2017
Photo of rjp217
rjp217 from Massachusetts

4.48/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Apr 24, 2017
Photo of John_M
John_M from Oregon

4.1/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.75

Just a couple minute walk from our hotel, the wife and I stopped in for lunch today.

The King's Head pub is located a bit back off of Commercial Street, and it appeared to be located in a large warehouse building. The place has a nice feel and vibe to it, with high airy ceilings and nice horseshoe shaped wrap about bar as you walk in the front door (seating for maybe 20 patrons?). There's also some tables and chairs in the main bar room, with what appeared to be another moderate sized dining room off to the left. In addition to a current tap list menu, King's Head has all the current available draft options up on a chalk board on the back wall as well. The vibe here is relaxed and informal, and this seemed like a very nice place to hang and have a beer or three (to wash down our fish and chips). In terms of the beer, I think there were around 33 beers on tap today, divided on the beer menu into hoppy offerings, darker and maltier items, sours, etc. The selection was very good (4 or 5 different interesting Allagash offerings, among other things), with the typical emphasis on local and regional offerings. The fish and chips were pretty good I thought (haddock was very good, and the fries were fine). The lunch menu isn't huge here, consisting of a few salad, appetizer and sandwich/burger options (along with the fish and chips). However, everything I saw looked good and appeared to be prepared well.

Service was OK. The bartender seemed a bit distracted at times, and seemed to be a bit overly focused on the Grateful Dead music playing on the sound system. However, she was friendly enough, and while not overly chatty or engaging, she was fairly prompt with our food and drink orders.

The food here is OK, but I think the beer is really the draw at King's Head. There are a lot of places in town where you can find good food, so while I'm not sure how often I'd come back for the cuisine, I'd definitely come here again and again for the beer selection.

Apr 06, 2017
Photo of tmac
tmac from New Hampshire

4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Oct 22, 2016
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stephenjmoore from Maryland

4.06/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Really nice location, with a bar area and separate dining room. Tap list was very good and the food was good, but it was very dead on the Saturday afternoon we went. No complaints on that end, but kind of a strange vibe.

Sep 28, 2016
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mig100 from Texas

4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Jul 03, 2016
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zimm421 from Ohio

4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Jun 20, 2016
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WhitmansNiece from Massachusetts

4.86/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 5

May 31, 2016
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Gavage from Nevada

4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

One of the many Commercial Street bars, but this one has a nice beer selection. Old brick building with a U-Shaped old school wood bar that can seat about 20. Separate dining area in the back. 30 beers on draft with a good number of local brews and some easy to get national brands. Blackboard behind the wall lists them out, bu they also have a paper menu. During my visit I enjoyed a few pints but didn't eat. Service was friendly and personable. An enjoyable stop on my bar crawl around town.

May 19, 2016
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kevincasey from Maine

5/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

The King's Head is favorite new beer bar in Portland! The tap list is always changing, with a great selection of local and beers from away. The food is great without being pretentious, and it's the best scotch egg in town!

May 12, 2016
Photo of almostinzen
almostinzen from Maine

4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Met up with some friends here to have some cocktails and had to totally switch gears when I saw the beer and bourbon selection. The location is really cool right near the water, almost kind of hidden from the rest of the busy old port. Probably had the best fish n chips I've eaten yet in town.

May 12, 2016
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PatAPalmer from Maine

4.86/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

May 12, 2016
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Microbarbie from Maine

5/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Tap list is impressive! Totally blown away with how good the food is, not your average pub food by any means! A little off the beaten path but well worth the trip! Really chill atmosphere, sat at the bar but would definitely come back with friends and grab a table. Also i should add they have cocktails too, which worked out great because my best friend isnt a beer junkie like me!

May 12, 2016
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needMIbeer from Virginia

4.48/5  rDev -0.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Feb 13, 2016
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SenatorSpaceman from Connecticut

4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Best taplist in Maine. Maybe I just caught them on a good day, but there were probably close to a dozen beers on tap that I was salivating over. The food is good enough and the service was perfectly acceptable. If you're in Portland, this place is a must!

Jan 22, 2016
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cufarley from Maine

4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Jan 13, 2016
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jhavs from New York

4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Great little pub in the Old Port. Has an old school feel similar to pubs in the UK. Tucked around the corner on a wharf and built into an old factory style building. Large bar area in main room with a few long tables. Side room has another smaller bar area. Great beer list including around 30 taps which included big local names (Bissell, Foundation, MBC, Allagash, etc.), other high quality US offerings and a good amount from around the world. Tap list broken down by style with a good selection of each. Nice glassware, beer is handled and served with care. Small, but well made menu including small plates and charcuterie as well as larger entrée items.

Jan 04, 2016
The King's Head in Portland, ME
Place rating: 4.5 out of 5 with 75 ratings