I think the "gay bar" categorization might be misleading... they may have had an occasional gay night a while ago, but it would be on a special event basis, so I wouldn't make your decision based on that description.
We were here on a weekend night and quite enjoyed ourselves. It's nice to find a place open until 2 pm that is still essentially a pub and is easy going. The music was awesome. They played my favorite ever Cure song, which I've never heard outside of my own home, The Smiths, some genuinely awesome '80s indie or whatever. £5ish for a double whiskey.
I'm not entirely sure why it was so great, I think it was the crowd, mostly... it was just a nice mix of people who wanted to be out for the evening, but didn't want to be obnoxious about it, so it felt very natural and comfortable. Also, the bathrooms were not disgusting.
With the Sun and the Camel closed (forever? ARGH) thankfully the Star seems to be going strong although it and everything else in London was weirdly quiet the last Saturday I was there. The Star has some good DJs and is quite nicely modernised inside, with a mini dance floor. Definitely a solid (and now the only?) choice in the area.
The word 'star' suggests something standout - a star performer in a musical or a star player in a football team, for example.
The Star of Bethnal Green, then, should be the area's standout pub - unfortunately, it's far from it.
The saddest thing about this place is that the potential is huge, but largely unfulfilled. A great building smack bang in the middle of BG Road, a unique interior, reasonably priced drinks, and the usual hip young folk. But the service and general execution of the simplest tasks is pretty appalling.
I took my mates in there on a Sunday for a roast and a big footie game. We had to ask for the lights to be turned off and the curtains to be drawn so that we could see the screen. We begged for the audio to be put on, but unfortunately 'it's not possible', so we had to listen to jazz music while watching the biggest game of the season.
We all ordered food at the same time, and regretted doing so soon enough. Two of our party received their roasts after about half an hour, one waited an hour, one waited over an hour and asked for his money back, and one unfortunate fellow received a pizza in place of his roast.
And the pizza was memorable for all the wrong reasons. A toilet paper-esque base, sloppy cheese and slimy olives that conjealed into a hideous ball every time a slice was raised.
It's not all bad - I've been on a Tuesday for the pub quiz and it's good, very good. The lively DJ nights at the weekend are also a welcome addition to this pub.
But if you're with a group of wise men seeking food and football on a Sunday, you'll be well advised not to follow this particular star.
I really like the Star of Bethnal Green. I've been here for a film night where they showed Beetleguise, hung out during a club night and have come for a pub quiz and have had a good time at them all. The food is ok. I've only had the chips and nachos to be fair. I've seen their roasts and they look amazing. I'll have to come back and try it one day. The staff are quite friendly and the clientele is a mix of local people and hipsters.
I will say that this pub isn't always gay but it is gay friendly.
This would be a great place in theory- cool people, good music, cheap drinks, "interesting interiors" and acceptable toileting facilities.
However, the times I have been at this venue, it just didn't gel together very well; there was just a wrong vibe about it... let's just call it "I've just fallen into a set on Nathan Barley " vibe. Other reviewers seem to like it and think it is unpretentious and fun, but I seem to get the so unpretentious it is pretentious feeling to it.
Obviously having toilets that are perfectly acceptable is the problem here...
great nights, but I rather catch the same people elsewhere.
Formally known as Bethnal Green Pleasure Unit, this is a fun and packed venue on Bethnal Green Rd. I used to go to Pleasure Unit a lot so was intrigued to see how it had changed.
I walked in for the first time since it's name change and it smelled really badly of sewage! This put me off, but i persevered and have since been back a lot. The atmosphere is great, and they have an immensely gay night on a Friday hosted by a few chaps from Horsemeat Disco and Disco Bloodbath.
A great place to end a Bethnal Green pub crawl, or a welcome change from Shoreditch, check out their website for listings.
Definitely one of your best bets if you find yourself at a loose end anywhere around the Bethnal Green Road. The Star is stripped back East End boozer basics with a party/rave atmosphere supplied by always quality DJ's and a crowd who are exactly where they want to be.
Brought down by Horsemeat Disco, Friday is gay night and is meant to be a bit of a new thing here. It's £5 after 10 or so and can definitely take a while to get going but once it does it's right on the money. Sunday's are also a good day with nice roasts from about 1pm so you can dance off your food right after and forget all about Monday morning.
Meh...just meh. Have come here a couple times for a Sunday drink and for the pub quiz. I think it tries really hard. I will say the Bloody Marys are pretty amazing on Sunday and the bartenders are lovely, it's just the atmosphere screams too cool for school. Meh.
The Star is cool... it's a very chill, exposed interior. You can hang and have conversations upstairs, or you can booze and get some moves going downstairs. I do echo Vicky's sentiments, however, that there is kind of a weird vibe to it -- at least when I went. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but it didn't matter so much since I had a group of friends to throw them 'bows with. Oh, now I remember that someone stole my pint from which I only took one sip. That was annoying. And some girl didn't seem very happy about the fact that she was sitting on the DJ/dance stage, yet my friends were dancing on it. Go sit on the curb if you want to pout, fool. Bartenders are nice, and I remember the drinks to be fairly priced (although that just means I really don't remember much).
I live almost opposite to this bar and especially on Sunday afternoons I can't stop wondering what goes on in this place as I can hear the parties from the night before still going on and bass beats all the way to my hallway. During the afternoon!
The place always has dark curtains covering the windows so instead just spying on the street like a granny, I finally went and visited the place. And? On a weekday evening it was surprisingly nice mix of happy and lively eastender teens, with few very drunk and annoying gangsters among. I can't recall what was the theme of the parties but I do remember that any one could get a glitter eye make up done. Cute!
The place is a bit battered but still charming and cosy. Good place for party organizers, and after quick look to their calender the selection looks very creative and alternative. I also noticed from their websites that bar classified as RAVE-PUB.
I liked the Star, as it's one of few places in Bethnal Green that stays open fairly late. Good vibe, cheap drinks and good music most nights.
The star would probably be just another slightly rough around the edges East London boozer were it not for the incredible line-up of club nights they put on, which transforms this spot into a den of iniquity and beautiful people. Top of the list has got to be Batty Bass, the jewel in the Star's crown if you will, which happens the first Thursday of every month. Free before 10pm, it gets packed out early thanks to the insanely talented line-up of DJ Hannah Holland and MC Mama Shimone. They rock, the people dance, it gets raucous, it gets messy, you will probably lose an item of clothing, you will definitely spot someone you'd like to take home for breakfast, what are you waiting for?
The best pub in bethnal green. Chill out to good tunes. 2 for 1 pizza on Monday's (they have a pizza oven so it's all good stuff) and the people (patrons and staff) ... well they rock!
Don't miss this one for a fab mid-week drink
Probably one of the best kept secrets of the East Endfor now.
Expect this place to get busier and busier, and before you know it you'll hear people lying about the now famous bands that they saw there with only three people.
During the week it's a drowsy boozer but from Thursday through 'til Sunday it comes alive with the cool kids and fashionistas alike.
Expect to see new and upcoming bands, dance your socks off to great nights, and be watched from outside as you're giving it your all on the dancefloor.
Went there yesterday for the 1st time with a few friends.
Lovely and friendly staff! Not amaizing choice of beers on tap, but to compensate, very nice atmosphere and the fact you can get food for the local curry place is grand! (food service is not available yet but will be soon!)
Will definitely go back, if not organise events in there!
However here is THE RIGHT NUMBER for The Star: 020 7729 0167
The place is nice enough decor-wise but they just really aren't trying. The staff seem at best a bit vague and at worst rude and indifferent. One girl particularly acted as though we were an inconvenience to be endured rather than the customers who pay her wages. I worked in hospitality for a long time and I would NEVER have dared to behave that way.
I ordered a bloody mary to kick things off and was pleasantly surprised when it arrived very quickly although I soon realised why it had arrived so fast. It had been poured from an already-made-up jug sat on the bar which contained warm, gelatinous red goo with small, white, unidentifiable chunks. When I asked what these were I was informed that they were horseradish but they tasted of nothing and added an extra unpleasant dimension to an already objectionable drink. I forced it down with difficulty.
We were there for the Sunday roast, which was also disappointing. The food was edible, but underwhelming none of it was terribly warm and the meat was dry and flavourless, with a bit too much gristle, and a salty, bland gravy. My vegetarian friend ordered the veggie roast and was shocked to discover that this consisted of half a butternut squash with a bit of sauce, a small Yorkshire pud and some more veg fine if it hadn't cost 11 precious quid. Anybody foolish enough to order dessert got a tiny square of stodge with ice cream for an unjustified £4, and when I finally ordered a mulled wine, thinking that they couldn't possibly get something so simple wrong, I deservedly (for my naivete) received a glass of heated cough syrup with a tiny splash of wine and absolutely no hint of winter spices whatsoever. I couldn't even force down a quarter of it for fear that I'd get type 2 diabetes.
Essentially I paid £23 to be repeatedly disappointed. I'm sure I remember the Star being a lot better in the past. I really hope they sort it out soon and stop being complacent just because they're in a good location. After all, people who are paying for an enjoyable evening deserve to get one, don't they?
Ok- so I'm slow on the uptake, it's taken me a while to go check out this place I admit. We were there a few weeks ago, a Friday night, the bar hosting our awful and fruitless attempts to match up some of our friends. It's fun, I like it But the bar staff, sweet once they are prepared to turn from their conversations and serve you won't be getting high marks for service from me (I stood there for a good 4 minutes watching the 4 bar staff chatter and pour themselves drinks while I waited to be served like it's parent bar the Lock Tavern, the Star's staff think the sun shines outta their asses. Why is it that some places, their staff and everything else, are so dripping in their own egos they just don't manage to get around to doing their jobs? The Florist in Bethnal Green is similar but hey ho. The Star is suitably grotty they clearly spared any expense on this place but that doesn't matter. They're open til 2 am and the drinks keep flowing til moments before you are shown the door. The punters are a cross section of the East End lost and found, blinkered by their thick rimmed glasses. But bitch I might, I had a good time. I just feel like I might be a bit old to go there all that often.
is one of those places that benefited from fag smoke to create atmosphere and hide the smell of spilt beer really good small gig venue that has had some great unheard of acts, although they do seem to overcharge for unsigned acts. but good atmosphere and music is definitely the focus.
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