Janet's Bar, South Kensington

Our rating: FAP Rating 2 - Click for an explanation of our ratings      User rating: Community Rating 1 - Click for an explanation of our ratings   (7 reviews)
Janet's Bar in London awaiting image
FancyaPint?'s review...
FAP Rating 2 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Something of an institution in these parts, hence its inclusion here, as there's nothing much resembling a pint on the menu. Janet (yes, there is a Janet) is an American who opened this bar in the dim and distant past - we can't remember when it was, and we strongly suspect she can't either. Opinions of the place vary from loving it to hating it and most places in between. To describe it as eccentric is a bit like saying Prince Philip has a problem talking to the public. There's a cover charge on your first drink (it was £3 on our last visit) and you're unlikely to walk out with much change in your pocket. The staff vary between rude and inattentive, and some think that's part of the charm. With regular live music nights and what seems to be a loyal following, we don't think this one's going anywhere anytime soon.
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Reviews (2)
28 Jul 2012
Rating 0 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Roaming the streets of South Kensington last night in search of a screen to watch what was left of the open ceremony, a woman on the pavement was looking for preys: it was Janet!

She quickly sized the opportunity and shouted "y'all looking for a screen? there's one right here but you gotta buy drinks!"

We all looked at each other and thought: we are in! So we went in. Big mistake.

We could not even finish the first round of drinks that Janet sent the young girl to our table to push for more orders, then Janet herself came to tell us we had to move our chairs closer to the table as "the bar was about to get packed and she needed space" then the boy came to give us an ultimatum: order more drinks or leave.....then the final blow: Janet raided our table saying she needed it for some customers that had just come in with a reservation.

How rude, pushy and agressive!!!!!

The bar was empty(ish) there was no sign of a crowd mobbing the place....what was she on?!!!

We stood up and left pretty angry....what an undignified way of running a tatty bar!! The older the bar, the greater the need for management to compensate the physical inadequacies....normally!! But in this case: the tattier the business, the cockier the Janet... more like it!!!

She literally shouted: "GET OUT"....yep, that's because some of us did not order more drinks and others were still drinking theirs. Unreal.

As we stood outside on Janet's familiar pavement gathering our thoughts on the unfortunate encounter, a group of girls came out of the bar and having heard it all just said: "expensive plastic surgery clearly requires more maintenance!" We couldn't agree more.

Cheerio Janet, and indeed.....let the Games begin!
Reviews (2)
28 Jul 2012
Rating 0 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Roaming the streets of South Kensington last night in search of a screen to watch what was left of the open ceremony, a woman on the pavement was looking for preys: it was Janet!

She quickly sized the opportunity and shouted "y'all looking for a screen? there's one right here but you gotta buy drinks!"

We all looked at each other and thought: we are in! So we went in. Big mistake.

We could not even finish the first round of drinks that Janet sent the young girl to our table to push for more orders, then Janet herself came to tell us we had to move our chairs closer to the table as "the bar was about to get packed and she needed space" then the boy came to give us an ultimatum: order more drinks or leave.....then the final blow: Janet raided our table saying she needed it for some customers that had just come in with a reservation.

How rude, pushy and agressive!!!!!

The bar was empty(ish) there was no sign of a crowd mobbing the place....what was she on?!!!

We stood up and left pretty angry....what an undignified way of running a tatty bar!! The older the bar, the greater the need for management to compensate the physical inadequacies....normally!! But in this case: the tattier the business, the cockier the Janet... more like it!!!

She literally shouted: "GET OUT"....yep, that's because some of us did not order more drinks and others were still drinking theirs. Unreal.

As we stood outside on Janet's familiar pavement gathering our thoughts on the unfortunate encounter, a group of girls came out of the bar and having heard it all just said: "expensive plastic surgery clearly requires more maintenance!" We couldn't agree more.

Cheerio Janet, and indeed.....let the Games begin!
Reviews (1)
13 Dec 2011
Rating 0 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
If you're looking for a bar to recommend to someone you don't like - where the staff are rude, the cocktails really don't get much worse and prices are extortionate, this is your place.

I've travelled a decent amount, done my fair share of drinking and eating out in a fair few countries and I've never written a review online, but this place resulted in enough firsts that I figured it was time to pop that cherry too and share them.

* Before this, never had I been to a bar where the staff take payment before they've even checked if they have what you want, let alone making it.

* Before this, never had I been to a dive bar where the drink prices were so disproportionately high when compared to the surroundings, quality of service and quality of beverages - £4.75 for a 275ml bottle of kronenbourg (yes 275ml) and £10 for a mojito in a small tumbler which tasted like sweetened carbonated water and the lime wasn't fresh to put it politely.

* Before this, never had I been approached by member of bar staff to ask if I knew there was a £3 minimum charge because I didn't have a drink.

I had been there not 10 minutes and was stood chatting amongst 4 other friends who all had drinks and had another friend at the bar buying me a drink. When I told the bar maid the latter she replied "oh really, who?!" Left speechless I went to find my friend queueing at the bar to say "forget the drinks we're leaving". At that point I worked out why they take your money first.

When I first walked in to this place I was perplexed by the hundreds of photos plastered all over the walls of people having fun. It felt like a poor mans facebook photo collection, all too personal for a public space filled with strangers but "hey ho", I thought "each to their own". Now I see that like a person with a complex about the quality of their social life, this place has to prove people have a good time there. If they do it's certainly not because of the service, prices, decor or quality of cocktails.

I can only assume the reason people come here is the same reason we did - it's the only bar, within walking distance, open at that time. It's full of tourists who are staying in a hotel nearby (of which there are many) and haven't yet been in the wonderful city of London long enough to know better.
Reviews (1)
04 Aug 2011
Rating 5 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
I would like to provide an alternative view to those stated below. As one of Janet's loyal regulars, I have always enjoyed going to the bar and feel certain that whenever I visit I will have an incredible night. The prices are actually very good considering the bar is located in the heart of South Kensington, one of London's most expensive and upmarket areas. The drinks menu is hugely extensive. There are numerous cocktails, ranging from classics to Janet’s own original creations. There’s also a wine list, an array of whiskeys, a selection of bottled beers, champagne, and of course soft drinks. You’re also paying for the entertainment, which really adds to the vibrant atmosphere of the bar and makes it thoroughly original. There’s a live musician playing most nights, not too loudly so you have to shout in order to make yourself heard, and he will also take requests, which is a lot of fun. The outdoor seating area is popular among the customers, too, so you can have a drink whilst watching the city go by. And while all the other venues in the area close up shop, Janet’s stays open, meaning its often buzzing late into the night and little hours. Its welcoming atmophere is appreciated by those who don’t want the night to end early! Additionally, the service is impeccable. You never have to wait for your order to be taken and your drinks arrive promptly. Janet herself might also pop in, and she’s always ready to take an order herself, meet new people and chat away like an old friend. Her laugh is infectious and I defy you not to adore and have fun with her! My favourite thing about Janet’s Bar is how quirky and original it is. There’s nothing like it in the city. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a laid-back, unpretentious night of music, great drinks and excellent company.

Reviews (1)
17 Nov 2010
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
ABSOLUTELY AWFUL

Overpriced, terrible drinks. Rude staff. Filthy toilets. Don't believe all the self-promotion on other sites, this place is to be avoided at all costs.

DO NOT GO TO JANET'S BAR
Reviews (3)
07 Sep 2010
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
TAKE MY WORD WORD FOR IT - DON'T VISIT THIS BAR!!!!

No matter how much you fancy a late beer in South Ken' - avoid this "bar" like the plague! Why?: ridiculously expensive, prices seem to change every time you visit the bar/how many you've had, rude/aggresive staff, visitors get hassled to buy drinks. And don't fall for the fake, happy, beery photo's out the front of people having a "great" time.

FELLOW DRINKERS - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!!

Contact details
30 Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 3DP
01270841313
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