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The Barrowboy & Banker, SE1

6-8 Borough High Street
Phone: 02074035415

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Barrowboy & Banker

This is a large Fuller's pub, obviously a former bank, and with its name giving a nod to the erstwhile workers at the nearby Borough Market. I doubt whether anyone working there now could be described as a barrowboy. As it's such a high ceilinged room, they've managed to squeeze in a mezzanine floor looking down on the main room. There's also a dining area up a few steps on the left, with the dreaded "wait to be seated" sign guarding the steps.

The main room has some fixed bench seating around the sides, with a few tall tables/tall stools and normal tables and chairs in the centre of the room. There's some attractive herringbone parquet wood flooring, as well as a bit of black and white tiling. A visual reference to the previous use of the building is provided by the numbered security box covers, complete with locks and keys, along the front of the mezzanine floor, plus a safe front set into the front of the bar counter.

There was a pretty good ale selection (as long as you're OK with Fuller's beers). From the Fuller's stable we had London Pride (of course), ESB (£2.55 a half), Oliver's Island, and Day Dreamer (some sort of New Zealand themed beer); a couple of Darkstar branded beers in Hophead and Revelation, plus a guest in Truman's Zephyr. Seven ales isn't bad going even though there wasn't anything very special - apart from ESB of course!

A standard Fuller's Ale & Pie house menu is available - pies are £15.50 a go here, but do include seasonal veg, and mash or triple-cooked chips. It is an expensive area, and Fuller's have never really been known for inexpensive food and drink.

I wouldn't go out of my way to visit again, but there are very many worse pubs around. It gets a 7 mainly for the ale selection.

On 5th April 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2575 recommendations about 2493 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Delboy 20 left this review about The Barrowboy & Banker

More a comment than a review. I fell foul of the old "no football fans" line so didn't get to visit - even though the football fans I was due to meet were inside! Plenty other pubs nearby....

On 11th October 2018 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 1049 recommendations about 1010 pubs]

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E TA left this review about The Barrowboy & Banker

Pretty well described below, the striking building has found a new role as a Fuller's town pub catering for the itinerant tourist and market trade. The architecture is impressive, though the upstairs was roped off so we couldn't appreciate the whole building. There were mute tv screens, padded bench seating and some of the original bank features – for example the safe built into the bar counter. Sadly, most of the families were unwilling to control their children who created a trip hazard and tried nosing around in our bags. The staff were pretty decent, but the food let things down a bit – apart from being expensive, it was under-cooked and poorly presented. There were 8 handpumps in total, dispensing Pride, ESB, Navigation, Santa's Grotto, Three Wise Men, Holly Bush and Oliver's Island from Fuller's, and Sambrook's Prussian Red Ale. Architecture aside, there's not much to distinguish this place from other London pubs in the tourist areas.

On 2nd February 2018 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2530 recommendations about 2508 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about The Barrowboy & Banker

Another typical Fuller's take on the banking crisis, a former branch of Nat West until 1996, situated at the God-awful interchange of London Bridge, Tooley Street and Borough High Street. Think the Counting House, the Old Bank of England or the Butcher's Hook & Cleaver and you won't go too far wrong. Fine for what it is, another Fuller's Ale & Pie House but in one of the most commuter-infested hives in all of Christendom and one with an iMAX projector screen injecting sport intravenously into one's retina.

In Spain, do they convert former branches of Santander into Tapas e Cerveza Casa? Just a thought...

On 12th August 2016 - rating: 4
[User has posted 953 recommendations about 939 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Moby Duck left this review about The Barrowboy & Banker

A big very busy place , Fullers beers,not really my cup of tea but I guess it serves a purpose.

On 5th September 2015 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1322 recommendations about 1308 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Barrowboy & Banker

Big, busy, bank conversion opposite the London Bridge station approach road. Interesting curvy bar, with a grand staircase leading up to the mezzanine. Little in the way of atmosphere despite the paintings, memorabilia and other traditional-style decor. Efficient bar staff, though. The beer's usually good too, with a selection from the core Fullers range plus a seasonal (e.g. Seafarers, Pride, ESB and Fire Cracker at £4.35 on my latest visit) from a number of duplicated handpumps distributed along the counter.

On 29th November 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6000 recommendations about 6000 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Barrowboy and Banker

Fuller's ale and pie house located close to London bridge underground station. 2 floor pub with a curved bar that snakes it's way round the ground floor.

On 23rd November 2013 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2692 recommendations about 2636 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

john gray left this review about The Barrowboy and Banker

Great interior.Always busy and a good choice of Fullers beer inc bottles rarely available in Fullers pubs.Seems to be one of the first pubs to get the Fullers seasonal beers.Sky football shown.

On 20th May 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 933 recommendations about 920 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about The Barrowboy and Banker

Another of Fuller’s London bank conversions (this one was a Nat West) that is part of their Ale & Pie genre and situated by London Bridge. There are plenty of eye-catching features on the two floors; ornate dark wood, immense light fittings, intricate pillars, murals, portraits and open staircase. The Charge of the Light Brigade mural was particularly epic. Upstairs is often closed but if you can sneak up there (as I did) then the views of the bar area are quite impressive. The huge curved bar had six pumps dispensing five of the Fullers range with London Porter on keg. As has been mentioned elsewhere, the service level isn’t the best and my uninspiring half of Red Fox came in at £2.03. Having settled down with my Private Eye I noticed that I was sat next to a frieze entitled “The idle Barrow Boy who pay’d through the nofe”. The irony was not lost on me.

Pop in for a look at the interior.

On 25th October 2012 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3969 recommendations about 3957 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Barrowboy and Banker

This Fullers Ale and Pie House, located opposite London Bridge station and the new Shard development, is a bank conversion typical of this particular chain. Formerly the Nat West bank, the interior retains a number of bold features from the original building. The servery, with a lovely curved bar counter and integral lamps, is positioned in the centre of the right hand wall, creating distinct drinking areas either side. Opposite the bar is a wide sweeping staircase which leads up to a gallery area with additional seating, which is useful during peak times when the ground floor can get extremely crowded. There is a lot of dark wood throughout and there are a few bits of partitioning towards the rear of the room with etched glass panels. Seating is mostly of the standard table and chair variety, although there are banquettes at the front of the room and numerous drinking ledges. Music played in the background during my stay and there was a TV on showing muted French Open tennis. A mural above the bar depicts an epic looking battle scene, the relevance of which was lost on me, but on the left hand side of the pub there are two Hogarth-style murals depicting the ‘Idle Barrowboy’ and ‘Industrious Banker’, which perhaps tells you all you need to know about which of the two the pub is pitched at.
Further evidence of the target market came when I ordered a pint of the Fullers Hope and Glory and was charged a whopping £4.10. Other Fullers beers were available including London Pride, ESB, Discovery, Chiswick and Summer Ale. The service, as has always been the case when I’ve previously visited, was rubbish, with long waits at the busy bar whilst the staff chat amongst themselves, fail to keep track of who is next and get confused about what they are supposed to be getting you.
For a long time this pub was a bit of an in-joke after several failed attempts to drink here – twice due to private parties, twice due to being ignored by the bar staff and once due to building work – but now that I’ve managed to get a pint in here I’m not all that keen to come back, especially given the better (and cheaper) alternatives nearby.

On 9th June 2012 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2429 recommendations about 2429 pubs]

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