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Beer of the Week (w/e 16th May 2021) with rpadam on the Pub Forum

The Newman Arms, Fitzrovia, W1

23 Rathbone Street
Phone: 02076361127

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Newman Arms

A very thorough PSM review needs little adding.This pub is a brewery tap for Truman's with three on offer on my trip Lazarus,Scratcheroo (season cricket theme) and Scorcher (another seasonal but lacking character).Another handpump was unused and several Truman keg beers were also available.
The food menu shows lots of sharing platters while I enjoyed a good salt beef bagel for £6.50.Upstairs is really a dining area with a waitress while it is strange that there is a Basement Lounge because this is also the location of the loos,detracting a little from the atmosphere.
It is small and maybe is best appreciated when quiet.I have felt for a while that Truman's are a second division brewer ,which would put me off a revisit for anything other than the interesting food.

On 6th September 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2091 recommendations about 2091 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about Newman Arms

This is a tiny, historic old pub down a quiet backstreet with an atmospheric alleyway, once known as Murderer’s Alley, running alongside it. The pub has recently undergone a refurbishment and reopened in May 2018 as the first pub from the new incarnation of Truman’s Brewery. The pub is remarkably small, with the bar located in the rear right corner of the compact ground floor room. There’s enough space at the front of the pub for a couple of high tables and stools and a couple more regular tables and chairs a little further back, but that’s about your lot from a seating perspective. The bar has a traditional counter and modern looking, part glazed tile bar back with some incongruous large display cabinets on the end wall full of stuffed birds. There is some nice wall panelling and basic bare floorboards, whilst decor has been kept to a relative minimum. A door leads down to a two-part basement with dim lighting and a reasonable amount of bench and chair seating, broken up by some partitioning screens. This area seemed to have a few George Orwell themed bits on show, which is a nod to the fact that Orwell used to frequent this pub and supposedly based the pub in his novel ‘1984’ on this place. The area was unfortunately being used for a private function on my visit, as was the first floor bar – a much brighter and airier space which I was quickly hurried out of by some snooty cow. The aforementioned alleyway is very characterful and atmospheric, doing little to make you doubt the sincerity of its nickname. The two private functions and packed bar area forced me and many others out onto the pavement area outside where doormen patrolled, keeping an eye on everyone in a fairly unobtrusive manner.
Truman’s beers seem to be the sole ale option here, with Attaboy and Waterloo Sunset available, whilst two more turned Truman’s clips occupied the remaining pumps. There were long, slow moving queues at the bar thanks to laconic bar staff and rude customers pushing ahead of others, but I eventually managed to get a pint of the Waterloo Sunset, which was a fairly unmemorable pint.
Visiting this place on a Friday evening, not long after the offices emptied out, was perhaps not my best idea, and as such it was impossible to properly enjoy the pub, finding myself instead exiled to the pavement. I thought the pub had a bit of character and imagine the basement and first floor seating areas could be nice spots to settle down, but the indifferent beer and service mean I won’t be rushing back to this one.

On 15th January 2019 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2546 recommendations about 2546 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about Newman Arms

The Cornish experiment clearly didn’t work and this pub shut down in early 2017, but after a year of closure it has been bought by the Truman Brewery who have done it up and re-opened it as a Tap pub for the brewery in May this year. Can’t recall visiting in its former guise so cannot really comment on what changes have been made but with reference to previous reviews it looks like they may have taken the small ground floor bar and the upstairs dining room back to closer to the original old pub feel mentioned below. Plenty of wood panelling (especially dark panelling in the upstairs dining room) modern mock gas lighting, leather stools and chair and polished table tops. But one change is the addition of two new snug rooms in what was the basement but these were both hired out for my visit.
The small corner bar with its centrepiece Truman’s mirror supports two banks of keg taps and four ale pumps that were dispensing Trumans Runner, Lazarus, Zephyr and Bow Bells. And further Trumans offerings, including their Lager, IPA and Pale Ale were available on the Keg taps along with a few other options.
This was only a fleeting visit and I need to return to give it a proper try but good to see this one back from the dead

On 24th July 2018 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 1712 recommendations about 1661 pubs]

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Ian Mapp left this review about Newman Arms

unchanged since my last visit 10 years ago.

Or there may have been less furniture.

Restaurant currently closed.

Decent London Pride.

Check out the alley along the side - location for an opening scene in the 1960 Film, Peeping Tom.

Photo at my blog -

On 30th September 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 277 recommendations about 276 pubs]

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Tris C left this review about Newman Arms

Very tiny indeed, though with a restaurant upstairs. A stark place, dark, gloomy, a flagstone floor, virtually no décor and bulkhead lamps to the walls; three other people in on our mid-evening early week crawl. Muted music played and there was a TV, off. Mr Man's not wrong when he mentions the pervading smell of damp as it really hits you hardest when you go to the loo - a note on the wall informs us that thieves operate in the area but I suspect the smell of damp will keep them out of here!

Beer: two clips reversed, thereafter Tintagel's Cornwall's Pride and Castle Gold at £2.00 a half.

Given the gloom, smell and availability of better pubs in the immediate area, I doubt I'll return.

Closes at 7.00 pm on Sunday.

On 31st March 2016 - rating: 4
[User has posted 1001 recommendations about 986 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about Newman Arms

A teeny-tiny pub which had been on my ‘to-do’ list for a good while. Quite a ruritanian L-shaped interior with low lighting (mainly due to the translucent leaded windows), a basic bar, slab flooring. Of note is the nice Newman Arms frosted glass panel along bar the topper. Pervading smells of damp. Four ales on and an initially eclectic mix of three from Tintagel (Arthur's, Cornish Pride, Castle Gold) and Five Points Railway Porter (I note now that this place is run by a Cornish appreciation society or somesuch). Mixed bag on the quality front, the Cornish was decent but the Arthur's was classic London murk, told my mate to take it back but he wouldn’t. Also noted Hackney Red, Beavertown Neck Oil (not very Cornish!!) and Five Points Pale on keg. I wanted to like this place but the damp smells and slipshod beer quality put me off. Noted a pic of Orwell on the counter (he used to drink here). Wonder what he’d make of London Murky?

On 22nd March 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 4042 recommendations about 4030 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about The Newman Arms

The pub has been revamped and is now run by something called The Cornwall Project, who's mission apparently is to bring the finest food and drink Cornwall has to offer to around the country. An unusual concept I thought but why not? The pub itself is a rather small one roomer, just about L-shaped with a handful of small round tables and a drinking shelf opposite the bar, flagged floors, pictures of sailing boats, one of ex-patron Oscar Wilde, nice leaded windows and evidence of a former life as a Charrington's house. The exterior pub sign has a translation below in Cornish.
Stairs lead up to a restaurant, not explored, tricky stairs down to the toilets.
Beers from Tintagel, four on, Harbour Special (£4.10), Black Jack, Cornwall's Pride and Castle Gold.
Bar food inevitably included Cornish pasties (£5.50) plus Scotch eggs and scratchings.
This is a nice pub now, one that always seemed closed when I've been near, glad to tick it off finally.

On 9th December 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1687 recommendations about 1663 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Newman Arms

Small back street pub serving 4 real ales.

On 23rd April 2015 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2762 recommendations about 2704 pubs]

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Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Newman Arms

Cosy little terraced pub, with some attractive tiling under the front windows. Very crammed inside on a Friday evening, so difficult to note much about the interior. Upstairs Pie Room further down the side alley that also acts as a smokers' shelter. Very smelly gents toilets. Four handpumps, offering a decent pint of Truman's Runner (£3.60) plus three beers from Fullers: Pride, Seafarers and Bengal Lancer (with keg Honey Dew also noted). Overall, the place seemed to have a good atmosphere and - somehow having missed it previously - I'm sure that I will be back.

On 20th October 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6229 recommendations about 6229 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Newman Arms

It’s a good few years since I’ve visited this pub, and judging by what I had heard about this place I was expecting something much worse to have been done to it. It’s still reasonable inside, although it doesn’t have the “old pub” feel of the previous décor. False flagstones don’t look right, and nor does the distressed grey/green/yuk colours which the bar has been painted. This must be one of the smallest pubs around, with only one room (ignoring the pie restaurant upstairs which is not really part of the pub proper) and only a handful of seats and stools. They had Black Sheep Bitter and London Pride on – the BSB was fine, which you would expect it to be at £3.20 a pint. One plus to be mentioned is the fact that they still sell toasties and pasties from behind the bar at reasonable prices (£1.50 and £2 respectively). Not as good as it was, but still a decent pub. It does look better now that they have spruced up the front, especially now that the tiling is revealed from under the green paint. This was apparently one of George Orwell’s favourite pubs, and he used it in a couple of his novels.

On 3rd April 2009 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2577 recommendations about 2495 pubs]

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