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BITE bites the dust???? with RealAleRobUK on the Pub Forum

The Owl & Pussycat, Shoreditch, E2

34 Redchurch Street
E2 7DP
Phone: 02034870088

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 5 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Tris C left this review about The Owl & Pussycat

Certainly no gentrified gastropub and originally The Crown, this place dates from around 1788, but was rebuilt around 1850, though I suspect it’s the frontage which dates from this time, as some of the interior does look really rather old and CAMRA concurs; its current name dates from about 1990.
A visit here was precipitated by it featuring on CAMRA’s inventory of historic interiors, this being of Some Regional Importance and nationally listed Grade II.
The interior is really rather dark, with what little light coming from downlighters set into the ceiling, which is very low, papered with Anaglypta and all a rather mungey colour; further illumination came from two TVs which did nothing other than act as food menus. There are deep windowsills, which act as ledges for drinks. Furniture here is geared towards vertical drinking, with a few tall tables to the rear with tubular steel high stools with horrible ‘ergonomic’ bum-shaped plastic seats which proved to cause much discomfort whenever I shifted, as what is best described as a pommel repeatedly collided with my perineum.
The lavs might be described as a bit sexist, as gender is denoted by a cartoon of an Owl over the gents, then a Pussycat over the ladies; they were a bit grim. There’s an upstairs function room, but I couldn’t make out how it’s accessed.
The main star here is the beautiful wood of the bar back which is mahogany, being one of the oldest in the country. It features wonderful rich, warm wood with scrolling and columns with ornate capitals and an off-centre clock. The bar front is painted black – like much of the walls – and is probably fairly new. There are also some wooden beams which look suitably old, as well as a large and functional fireplace which I very much doubt is used; the floor is dark, uneven and old. Out back, there’s a decent covered ivy clad garden with TV (off). Music played at quite a loud level, no doubt to appeal to the relatively young Shoreditch wannabes, the volume of whose conversation increased accordingly.
Ales on offer were Brakspear’s Gravity ‘coming soon’ and Young’s London Original (£5.10), served by a disinterested barmaid and freezing cold, though ok once warmed up.
This is an ok pub. Later in the evening when it started to empty out, it started to improve; 30 years ago I would have loved this place, but it scores well in the wood department.

Rated 5.5.

On 16th September 2021 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1502 recommendations about 1481 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

custodian 42 left this review about The Owl & Pussycat

Basic place with the bar to the middle. Four hand pumps - two off, others weak. Rest keg rubbish.

On 19th September 2018 - rating: 4
[User has posted 1693 recommendations about 1691 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Moby Duck left this review about The Owl & Pussycat

Very busy on a Sunday afternoon, so much so I didn't notice any tattiness as mentioned below, it could however been tidied up in the ensuing three years since Rex's review.The seating arrangements seem to still be the same as does the rather dull(to my taste) beer selection, Brakespear's Bitter and Oxford Gold and Young's Bitter were noted. It seemed popular here, but its not really for me.

On 19th November 2017 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1524 recommendations about 1505 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Rex Rattus left this review about The Owl & Pussycat

This didn’t strike me as a gentrified gastropub (as the previous reviewer found it) when I dropped in for a swift one on Wednesday afternoon. Anyway, this Owl and Pussycat is not at sea, but to be found in a Shoreditch backstreet. Rather appropriately, the bar counter, panelling, and walls are all painted pea green, which is peeling in places but to be fair the barman was re-painting the front of the bar counter. It’s unusual for a pub to remain open while a paint job is being undertaken, plus there was a bit of tattiness around the place, but these sorts of things don’t put me off visiting a pub that’s open. Furnishings are mainly normal tables and chairs, but with a clutch of armchairs at the back. A door at the back (past said armchairs) leads out to a garden.

There were three ales on when I visited – Brakspear’s Bitter (£2 a half); Brakspear’s Gold; and something else with a handwritten pump clip that I had difficulty reading (looked a bit like “Red Etrkin”). There was no sign of any menus at 2.45 PM, but all the tables had standard condiments on them so they must have food available some of the time. This is anything but a destination pub, but is OK and handily placed near Shoreditch High St Overground station.

On 17th August 2014 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2596 recommendations about 2510 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Chris 87 left this review about The Owl & Pussycat

This is a gentrified Gastropub type place owned and operated by the Brakespear Brewery in a side street off Bethnal Green Road. On my friday afternoon visit it was moderately busy with local Shoreditch types. Beers available were Brakespear only - Special, Original and Oxford Gold. Special (£3.60) was average. To be honest, although I didn't find anything offensive about this pub, I only came here because Mason & Taylor was shut because of some sort of private function. As such it was okay but I wouldn't rush back.

On 4th April 2011 - rating: 5
[User has posted 179 recommendations about 179 pubs]