Tuesday, 3 March 2009

All Bar One

One of the big chains you see in almost every town. Full mostly of people who have just left work and happy with the old 'you know what you're getting, so why try anywhere else' approach.
I'm going to tell you why you should try elsewhere. When I arrived I had to stand and watch for fifteen minutes as some pretentious woman slowly gave every glass of wine on the menu a sensory examination. This is with three bar staff (two of which were distant Europeans and obviously had little experience working in a bar). Finally, I ask for a 'southern comfort and coke' and was looked at like I was talking another language, eventually a barman stepped in and we got our drinks. Upon closing, a barmaid swipes our unfinished drinks and vanishes before we can say a word. What the f...
The crisps, cost £1.20, have the taste of cardboard and ironically display how they were specially made with 'bland crisps' in mind. All a bit rubbish.
With so many other places to go, I can see that All Bar One's only reason for being here is to make an easy profit from the Richmond workforce.

As the weather was not so good this evening I headed in to get myself a drink while waiting for the others and then realised as this was an All Bar One (which I have been to the one in another town quite often) the drinks on offer are the more fancy foreign ones and not your standard selection (Fosters, Strongbow, Corona, and Budweiser are all strangers here). Finally choose one that I recognised and found a table, it was quite busy so I was lucky to find one that would accommodate all 3 of us. I noticed that the ambient noise level is very high, much like other All Bar One's the d├ęcor is wood panelling, wood floors and wood tables which causes a lot of echoing from everyone talking, and the sounds system could have been a few levels lower too, felt like talking with raised voices all evening (just adds to the echo). We were about to leave when we noticed a torrential downpour outside so stayed for one more (reluctantly) and as Alex wasn’t drinking we did the Snack round instead, shocked that an £8 jumped to nearly £11 by adding 2 bags of (rather tasteless) cheese crisps, Ollie reckoned it was the first time since we started Kingston that I had questioned the cost of a round, something worth noting!
Overall I’d say this place is okay for a quick drink after work, but not somewhere to stay for very long (unless its pissing it down outside and you have no choice!)

Pub facilities / features:

Food served
Real Ale
Wine Menu
Bar Snacks
66% Non-English Staff

Pint of Amstel, pint of London Pride, cranberry juice:

Alex - 5.0
Andrew - 6.5
Oliver - 7.0

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