If I had a spirit animal, it would be Grumpy Cat. I am probably the grumpiest 93 year old woman living in a 20 year old’s body ever. However, when challenged, my partner in crime could not think of a single redeeming feature of this bar either. That sounds excessively cruel, but it’s true.
Somerville bar was recently built in 2013 and is a modern add-on to the sinfully ugly Vaughan residential hall. Trying to get in without a Somerville access card would be nigh on impossible and we had to get through two sealed doors to actually get to the bar. The access card gives you a discount (as you get on hall food) and the prices are still very very high and it’s annoying trying to split cash when there’s an access card involved. The bar happens to be a café during the day and a bar at night, but they don’t serve hot food and the sandwiches in the glass presentation case looked pretty grim. They serve coffee,which was okay but since we were on Little Clarendon Street, I know I could have had one elsewhere.
The selection of beers, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks was impressive but my pint was quite dismal since it had no head. The bar staff were friendly but not particularly responsive, with one of the bar staff members actually just sitting on a stool listening to his iPod at one point. Unfortunately, the bar itself takes up a significant amount of space in the main part of the room so there is no space for booths. You have to sit on a bench-style sofa which is uncomfortable and makes it difficult to talk to a large group.
The acoustics are also appalling, given the glass roof, so chat is difficult. There’s a pool table but if you are a female and wish to use the bathroom you have to risk being hit in the face with a pool cue. Behind the pool table is a widescreen TV, although because of the way the sofas are organized it would be impossible to actually watch the game with a large group of people. According to my Somerville contact, no one actually ever watches the games in there and when I visited they seemed to be playing music videos on VIVA UK that was playing obnoxious noughties re-runs. It was fairly reminiscent of a school disco.
You can’t smoke ANYWHERE in Somerville, even outside, but to be honest, the Brutalist patio is not exactly enticing, and the views of concrete admin buildings aren’t fantastic either. The interior is also fairly lacking in ambiance, and the décor matches the colours of a Travelodge, making it feel a lot like an NHS waiting room.
This bar was not well thought through; given that there are a great many good pubs in Jericho, and lots of good cafes and bars on Little Clarendon Street (which are better value) I really cannot see the point of going to a bar with absolutely nothing going for it.
Verdict: â˜†â˜†â˜†â˜†â˜† (0/5)