The Pub Guide, 2013

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The Black Friar, London

Posted on 19. Apr, 2010 by in Pubs

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The Blackfriar, London

Unique, fabulous and completely over the top. The Black Friar is unlike any other pub in London.

Brief History

Built around 1875, the Black Friar took its name from the Dominican Friary that existed in the area between c1278 and c1538. Located on a triangular site across the road from Blackfriars tube station, the pub underwent a remodelling in 1905 by the then-publican Alfred Pettitt and his architect H Fuller-Clark. It was unusual for a pub to undergo refurbishment during that time as the London pub market had crashed and bankruptcies were more common.

The Interior

Blackfriar, London

The Art Nouveau Grade II listed pub is decorated throughout with jovial friars eating, drinking and enjoying themselves. They are made from a variety of copper, plaster and marble (around 50 types or marble are employed). The friars are featured in a variety of scenes including them singing carols, collecting fish and eels and gardening. Outside there are beautiful metal signs indicating the location of the Saloon Bar, a statue above the door and a fair sized seating area.

Beer and Food

The pub is owned by Nicholsons and as such there is a good selection of beers – around 8 are available at any one time. On tap when I visited was Doombar, Timothy Taylor Landlord, 6X London Pride plus 4 others. Also available are premium lagers such as Peroni, Staropramen and Amstel as well as Erdinger wheat beer.

As well as the usual pub grub they also have some interesting bar snacks such as mini fish and chips, mini toad in the hole, calamari, mni pies, mini pork pies and mini Cornish pasties. All are £1.95 each.

Visiting the Pub

The pub is open seven days a week from 10am. It gets very busy during weekday lunchtimes and early evenings so it’s advisable to visit during the quieter times when you are able to relax with a beer and spend time viewing the pub.

More Photos of The Black Friar

Venue Location

The Black Friar

174 Queen Victoria Street



Tel: 020 7236 5474

(Twitter: @awv)

Beer Taster, Pub Attendee, Photo Taker

Robert Gale likes beer, pubs and beer festivals. He also likes to take photos of beer, pubs and beer festivals. Most weekends of the year you can find him travelling around the UK (and sometimes beyond) photographing and reviewing good quality pubs and beer festivals. He also has a day job in the form of a web developer for Ozum.

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8 Responses to “The Black Friar, London”

  1. Darren T 20 April 2010 at 7:49 am #

    This place looks Amazing. And my office (when I’m down in London a couple of times a month) is literally over the road and for two years now I’ve been asking colleagues what the Black Friar is like and they’ve all said “it smells like old men”. So we’ve always gone over the Bridge to Doggett’s Coat and Badge instead.

    That’s the last time I ask for pub recommendations from my colleagues…

  2. rob 20 April 2010 at 7:53 am #

    I haven’t noticed an old man smell in there but if there is, it’s worth putting up with it to admire the interior.

  3. Martin Horan 27 October 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    I wonder if the architect who designed the Flat Iron building in New York drank here. It’s the same shape–only taller. England is full of great pubs. They have the best ones in the British Isles, probably Europe. The English are ruined for choice when it comes to pubs. I’m Scottish and most of ours are merely drinking dens. We’re all envious up here.

  4. A jealous American 19 August 2013 at 4:28 am #

    One of my favorite (favourite) places to take people when in London. There’s only one Black Friar in the whole world. And to be sure, The Cittie of Yorke smells more like old men than the Friar. You know this to be true. Two other fave places are Ye Olde Mitre in Ely Court (though the one in Bayswater is a nice friendly place too), and the Churchill Arms near Notting Hill Gate, which is the last place you’d expect decent Thai. One more, The Holly Bush in Hampstead.


  1. The Black Friar, London | Beer Lens | Photos of beer, pubs and breweries from around the world - April 19, 2010

    […] The Black Friar, London This Saloon Bar sign is on the exterior of the extravagently decorated Black Friar pub in London. You can view more photos and read a review on Travels with Beer. […]

  2. The Old Bell Tavern, Fleet Street, London | Pub Review | Travels With Beer - May 26, 2010

    […] if you do visit there are no shortage of pubs in the area including Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, the Black Friar, the Crown and Sugarloaf, the Punch Tavern and the […]

  3. The Coal Hole, London Pub Review | Travels With Beer - June 18, 2010

    […] the London pub market had crashed and very few pubs were being rebuilt. The Coal Hole and the Black Friar were two […]

  4. Lered and lewed | Malcolm Redfellow’s Home Service - July 31, 2011

    […] What is truly astonishing is that this place ever needed rescuing (it’s now Grade II listed) from the vandals. It ought to be obligatory on every London visitor’s schedule — and not just for the astounding interior. Nice selection of pics here. […]

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