Bottom Line Up Front: I thought this place had divey-charm. If "divey-charm" sounds like mysterious nonsense to you, head elsewhere.
Dirt-cheap beer, funky weird furniture, oddly arranged outdoor tables, and gruff service. Check.
I saw student specials that looked dirt cheap - something like "4-pint-pitcher-for-price-of-3-pints" (on top of cheap pint prices to begin with) and "buy two large glasses and get the rest of the bottle free" specials - don't quote me on it, but you get the idea.
The Bailey is such a disappointment.
The staff could have been friendlier. The floors were sticky, but not in that rustic "hey this place has a lot of character and the wooden floors are so worn that the wax can sometimes stick to your feet" way. Instead, the floors were sticky in that way that a men's restroom floor at a dive bar is sticky. And the beer selection is mediocre.
On the plus side, the place is rather spacious, and they have good deals for students. But if you are going to make your way to The Bailey, you might as well just walk the extra five minutes around Highbury Corner to Upper Street.
Also, don't go when Arsenal is playing at the Emirates. But then again, unless you live in the neighbourhood, you shouldn't go anywhere near Holloway Road on match day.
Apart from the fact that they serve a couple of real ales I can't think.of anything else to recommend this pub. I guess the big wooden tables were kind of nice?
When I arrived there were no barstaff at all. After a couple of minutes a girl finally emerged, but by the time she had got through the backlog of people waiting to be served (including getting annoyed at a guy who asked for a small apple juice for his kid, after she had given him a pint of it) I had been there for almost 10 minutes. She still didn't see me so I had to call her over. Great service!
Apart from the TVs adorning the walls the walls are bare. They really good use some kind of decoration.
Serves Thai food, but I wouldn't be tempted to order it given the trouble they seem to have with serving drinks.
Used to enjoy the Monday night quiz at the Bailey, which is run by the highly entertaining 'Fat Controller'. I haven't been in a while, partly because quizzes were put on hold during the summer while students were away, but also after having my bag nicked from my table. It can happen anywhere and the staff were helpful, but it's worrying when these things happen right under yer nose. Suggests a professional element.
Decor has been changed recently, but is still rather bare and could do with a decent overhaul.
Three stars, but only because of the excellent-when-its-on quiz.
One of the better pre-match pubs for games at the Emirates Stadium, the bailey has a great pre-match atmosphere and is for home fans only. I usually go here for mid-week games as it's a handy spot half way between Highbury and Islington tube station and the stadium. On Saturday, we popped in to get the full "Arsenal Karaoke" experience- featuring any popular song with references to Arsenal crowbar'ed in! Some worked quite nicely but the version of the recent hit "Human" by The Killers stuck in my head for it's sheer stupidity... "Are we human... or are we Arsenal?" went the refrain. I suppose the original was hardly an Oscar Wilde turn of phrase in the first place!
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