Joe Allen has always been something of a contradiction.
Its most famous menu item is undoubtedly its off-menu burger. It’s a modern theatrical institution, but its walls are lined with posters for shows you’ve never heard of. And although it’s been around since 1977, it’s only just opened…
Well, to be clear, in 2018 it moved to new premises, and reopened a few yards down the road from the original location. Then, a few months later it closed once again, for the same reason everywhere else did. Then in 2021, it finally reopened. Again. And this time around, they’ve also taken the liberty of unveiling a new addition: a cocktail bar.
Joe’s Bar is a moodily low lit, New York style joint with a conker-brown polished wooden bar, bentwood chairs, and a well-trodden original parquet floor. From Tuesday to Saturday, a live pianist tinkles away in the evenings. It won’t surprise you to hear that the drinks are mostly classic. In fact, the Jerry Thomas Manhattan comes from an original recipe dating back to 1884. And you can also get a bone-dry gin martini, and an old fashioned Joe Allen Margarita. Oh, and an Old Fashioned.
Of course, you can still head into Joe Allen’s for a great meal too, surrounded by vintage theatre posters plastered over bare brick walls. Executive Chef Gary Lee is channeling his 30+ years’ experience at places like The Ivy & The Dorchester into dishes like brick-flattened chicken with black eye bean salsa, chicken gravy and a corn muffin; a full rack of oak-smoked baby back ribs with raw slaw; and some Portland crab and sweetcorn soup with a shaved fennel & chicory salad.
And a burger.
NOTE: Joe Allen is open daily. You can find out more, and make a booking at their website right HERE.
Joe Allen | 2 Burleigh St, WC2E 7PX
If you’re at Joe Allen… you’re going to want to go to the theatre too.