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  • 4.0 star rating
    12/3/2014
    1 check-in

    Ahh I'm torn on this place - great potential but isn't quite executing as well as it should.

    Fellow ex-addicts of US teen drama series will understand me when I say this bar is a cross between Gossip Girl and Glee. For everyone else, that means beautiful people and super sexy NYC penthouse décor mixed with waiters and bar staff that spontaneously stand on tables and burst into song (yup I'm serious).

    While that obviously isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea, I thought they actually pull this off in a way that is more cool than cheesy, and some of their voices are pretty damn good. The place also looks beautiful - cushy velvet sofas, wood panelling and sophisticated lamps and mirrors that make you want to call their interior decorator asap.

    So where does it go wrong? The main thing for me on a Saturday night was capacity - getting from the upstairs obligatory coat check to the bar downstairs is a painfully long shuffle whilst you should allow half an hour to fight your way to the toilet and back, and then prepare to get truly squished at the bar. In fact, consider ordering two rounds at a time as otherwise you'll finish one drink just on the way back from the bar.

    You'll need to be feeling spendy too as cocktails come in at £11-13ish, and watch out for the puntastic names on the menu (Rhu-barbra Streisand anyone?! Hmm okay that definitely struck me as funnier at the time...).

    I was there for a birthday and as a solo female who had made an effort with her appearance that eve shall we say, I had no trouble getting in - though I heard that others had a less welcoming experience with the door staff. Seems a bit hit and miss but would say if you're in a group then it's definitely worth booking an area.

    I had a fun time overall so have erred on the generous side, but they need to realise that a bigger crowd doesn't necessarily mean a better atmosphere. The place is so nice looking though I can imagine it'd make a good midweek date place - I'd like to go back and try it out on a weeknight when hopefully the rubbing up against other people is more optional than necessary... :P

  • 3.0 star rating
    18/8/2014

    So much potential!!! Great idea, singing bar staff and funky cocktails and ive had a few great nights here but as its got more popular its become too cramped!

    The guys and gals that sing here are all really good (really really good!) But you can't move, getting from one end of the bar to another will see you hard pressed up against so many people.  Getting to the top floor to go to the toilet or drop off your coat is a russian roulette as the stairs are only wide enough for one person coming up or going down.

    The drinks are a little on the pricey side, not really out of tune with cocktail bars but not exactly up to the same standard either.... in the plus side you get served pretty quickly (dor a packed out bar)

    Its never gonna be a regular spot but good for a night out.

  • 3.0 star rating
    1/6/2014

    Archer Street was my favourite bar in London when it first opened.
    Great service, attentive staff and delicious cocktails. The quirkiness of having the bar staff get up on the tables and sing or dance really was a winner for me. It's a bit like Glee for adults.

    The problem now is that the place has become so popular that even at 8pm on a Saturday you are likely to have to queue half way down the street, then when you get in the place is so crammed that you are literally squeezed in, and your only hope is that you are squashed near the air con. It really is a shame because it was a fantastic place to have a dance to some cheesy pop music and now there isn't much opportunity to do that.

    Mid week isn't so bad but the new rule that you must take off your jacket to go in for a drink really got my back up. I don't know about everyone else but I like to have the choice of whether or not I want to remove my jacket. Maybe its part of the outfit... duh.

    Overall the bar is a cool place to go, but I really think they need to address their capacity issues, and perhaps be a little less pretentious about the jackets.

  • 3.0 star rating
    21/4/2012
    First to Review

    OK, so I didn't really like this place, but it's nice enough, if that's your thing.

    A friend was having her "I'm moving to America to study law" do here, which is why I ended up here. A couple of us were trying to describe it whilst there, and this is what we came up with:

    Archer's is a gay bar for straight single women.

    They've big, sometimes vintage, glasses and lots of lavender and pale grey and chintzy sofas and whatnot.

    They've a range of champagnes and an extensive cocktail list, with a very few beers by the bottle only.

    Every table seemed to be booked ahead, with a framed name of the party in a frame your auntie might have bought from Woolworth's in 1976.

    The staff have their very own karaoke machine, and belt out a song every now and then. Everyone on the staff does this, it seems. Many of them look slightly like they're about to step on stage somewhere in Theatreland.

    So, at this point you're thinking either: "This sounds awesome!", or "god, please keep me away". I'd be willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, probably.

    But.

    The cocktails aren't that good. Nor cheap. Nor in the right glass. It's a champagne & cocktail bar. Then they were priced randomly - 3 of the same cocktail ordered within 25 minutes of each other came in different (all wrong) glasses and with different prices.

    Service is... OK. nothing special.

    I've given it the third star as if I liked this sort of thing this is where I'd put it.

    But it's not that good, really. Which is unfortunate, because it could - heck, it should - be.

  • 1.0 star rating
    15/8/2012

    Just a quickie. Archer St is a nice looking bar with decent albeit expensive drinks and it's in good central location. The music will get you dancing and strangely enough they don't care if you jump up on the tables (or maybe it was just us).

    The downside is the service and attitude of the staff, in particular the doormen. Apparently politeness is not encouraged but massive egos are. I've been refused entry to places for a variety of non-sensical reasons (too full, not a high enough girl to guy ratio, one of the party is too drunk, etc) and I'm fairly chill about it as long as the reason is politely communicated. Being shouted at for asking why I'm not allowed in? That doesn't fly.

    Turns out, after talking to another staff member on a break outside, they have a weird dress code. According to the bouncer, it's "smart casual". To me, that means jeans, shirt, and some dark shoes. Easy enough to handle. However, if you call them in advance, they'll tell you there is no specific dress code. Quick translation: this means it's really up to whatever the bouncer feels like. On this particular night, it was either dress shoes or sandals but nothing in between.

    Overall, Archer St is a nice enough place but given the low value ratio of the drinks, there are a number of better spots (Floridita for example) just around the corner. But if you are going, make sure to dress up or get your New England prep on otherwise you may be kicked to the curb.

  • 4.0 star rating
    29/6/2012

    This used to be a bar and comedy club and since it changed a group of my closest friends have been frequenting rather a lot and raving about it and one of them finally took me there the other night, after we'd seen Micky Flanagan (so were in high spirits!), and I loved it!

    It wasn't at all what I was expecting, I loved the decor - quite vintagey, kitchsy and homely (lots of cushions, sofas, photo frames) with subtle and flattering lighting, so I would say it's a good date place for that reason.

    We only stayed for one drink - a beautiful glass of red wine - but were there for about 45 minutes and although it was fairly quiet - it was a Tuesday night and we'd got there after 9pm - there was a good and nice atmosphere.

    The staff seem to be what makes this place extra special, they are all West End or wannabe West End performers and frequently all perform a 'number', our waitress who was really friendly and lovely (and it was her first shift), sang "At Last" and it was really good. All the staff that we came into contact with were really polite, friendly and efficient.

    I can't wait to return and definitely would recommend it to others as it's quite a hidden gem tucked away on the Soho back streets - which is kind of a good thing too so everyone doesn't discover it!

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