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Yet another list with Tris39 on the Pub Forum

The Old Doctor Butlers Head, Moorgate, EC2

Masons Avenue
Phone: 02076063504

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Komakino . left this review about The Old Doctor Butlers Head

A dark-wooded Shepherd Neame pub located up an alley off Moorgate, I initially thought this was a Nicholson's pub; them being so beloved of such decor. It's a single room on two levels with two front entrances; the bar is to your left on entry and there's a raised area in the second half of the room beyond the bar. According to 'writing' printed onto a ceiling beam, this was founded in 1610 by Dr William Butler, Court Physician to James I. A victim of the Great Fire of London, it was rebuilt in the same year (1666) and "re-opened" by Shepherd Neame in 2002. Six handpumps offered 4 x SN brews (with one pump clip reversed and another pump unclipped) in the form of Spitfire, Whitstable Bay, Citra Smack and Master Brew. I managed to select an untried (to me) SN brew in the Citra Smack for £5.80, only be presented with a pint of vinegar. Exchanged without fuss, a replacement Master Brew was only so-so and a cursory glance around the busy, afterwork-crowded room saw no-one else on the ale. Sorry, but brewery-owned pubs should pride themselves on their beer quality: especially a smallish one like this boasting six handpumps. Me having to explain why my pint might not have been right to the four staff present made me feel like Homer Simpson talking to the two other guys guarding the bee in the glass jar.

On 6th September 2023 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1075 recommendations about 1075 pubs]

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Tris C left this review about The Old Doctor Butlers Head

Seemingly a very old pub, but this could be a more modern conceit, with lots of dark wood. Either way, a pub of some description has existed here since 1610.
This is a Shepherd Neame pub with a large array of their ales - my half of Spitfire Gold was fine and cost £2.20 a half which is good for the area. The pub's interior is split level, TVs show sport and there's a games machine. Furniture is conventional.
The TVs, loud music and games machine are the kind of things which don't appeal to me in a pub, so I doubt I'll return.

On 25th August 2016 - rating: 4
[User has posted 2057 recommendations about 2022 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Old Doctor Butlers Head

Fine old City pub, hidden away in a small alley. Quite a plain dark-wood interior, with little furniture in the 'vertical drinking' zone around the bar but some basic tables and chairs on a small raised area further back. Restauarant upstairs, but with no traffic you can usually find many of the customers outside. Six handpumps - usually with a good selection from the Shepherd Neame range - with Master Brew, Whitstable Bay Pale, Spitfire (£4.10) and Bishop's Finger available on this visit. Well worth seeking out.

On 23rd August 2015 - rating: 8
[User has posted 8268 recommendations about 8268 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about The Old Doctor Butlers Head

Another City pub tucked down an alleyway, this one claims a heritage back as far as 1666 and was acquired by Shepherd Neame in the early 2000’s. The exterior and general demeanour of the pub’s frontage as you approach is impressive but I have to say that I was fairly underwhelmed by the interior – it was very plain and most of the floor area is left bare for vertical drinking, with a small raised section at the rear. The bar is to the left as you enter and the rest of the place is low ceilings, wooden floor and wood-panelled walls. A large TV was showing the cricket on my visit. The corridor on the way to the bogs houses a large collection of the punningly war-themed Spitfire posters that caused a micro-fuss a few years back when the Guardianistas got their organically grown hemp knickers in a twist. Five Shepherd Neame ales are spread over six pumps, at £3.45 p/p. My ale was served in a Peroni glass, which perhaps shows a lack of awareness on the staff’s part and whilst not bad, it wasn’t overly-inspiring either. Empty on our Friday afternoon stop-off, this is clearly a place that relies on the nearby office trade to survive. The large empty floorspace merely served to exaggerate the effect.

Overall, I wasn’t particularly taken with the place in the way others seem to be – the Jamaica Wine House is a much better bet for an alleyway based ale pub in the City in my opinion.

On 8th August 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 5308 recommendations about 5291 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Old Doctor Butlers Head

The only remaining watering hole in what must have been the first chain of pubs ,originally dispensing "medicinal ale" brewed by the notorious quack Dr Butler with all the pubs that sold his potion displaying The Dr Butlers Head signage.These days it dispenses a wide range of Shepherd Neame ales with Kent Best,Spitfire,Master Brew,Bishops Finger and the seasonal Whitstable Bay on offer on my trip.I have to say that I find a lot of Sheps output these days to be rather bland and my visit here did nothing to change my prejudice.
This pub has been well reviewed by others ,I thought the interior a little worn and the flat screen on the wall detracted from the traditional atmosphere.I found the history more interesting than the current incarnation.

On 23rd June 2011 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2796 recommendations about 2796 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about The Old Doctor Butlers Head

This is a good place to search out being a shortish walk from Moorgate tube station. A Shepherd Neame pub dispensing most of the range and the Spitfire and Kents Best have always been good on my visits. Main bar area on ground level and then a restaurant section on the first floor.
Nice wooden interior and the pub dates back to the 17th Century.
It’s another City pub with a bit of history being formerly owned by, and now named after the physician to King James I, more details of which can be found on the pub web link below..

On 19th February 2009 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2189 recommendations about 2061 pubs]

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train man left this review about The Old Doctor Butlers Head

You've gotta love finding these pubs tucked away down old alleyways. This one states that it was founded in 1610 by William Butler, the eponymous Dr. & physician to King James I, rebuilt 1666 after Great Fire and reopened by Shepherd Neame 2002. Enter to wood-floored standing bar area and find good range of 5 Sheps beers, incl Porter, but £3.10 for pint of Spitfire! Beyond this is a seating area adjacent to a sandwich counter servery. Comfortable chatty atmos, albeit 80% suits, obviously, two small plasmas with low-volume SkySportsNews. First floor restaurant and function rooms, apparently. Contrary to previous reviewers, I found the place to be not remotely busy at 13:30 Tues.

On 14th February 2008 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 412 recommendations about 411 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The Old Doctor Butlers Head

It was doing a pretty good trade at around 3.15 on a Tuesday afternoon, with a fair number of suits who looked as if they couldn't summon up the enthusiasm or energy to drag themselves back to the office. And they were not all watching the cricket. The Kent's Best was pretty good and the barman was friendly and helpful. As you would expect, being down an alleyway with tall buildings adjacent, not much natural light gets in so it is rather dark inside. But no matter, it is still the best pub in the vicinity.

On 17th April 2007 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2606 recommendations about 2520 pubs]

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john mcgraw left this review about The Old Doctor Butlers Head

An old fashioned bare floored pub up a vary small street that runs between two main roads.Very basic and comfortable.Full range of Shepherd Neames beers.Can be difficult to find.Closed Sat & Sun.10 mins from Moorgate station.

On 7th December 2006 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2044 recommendations about 2025 pubs]