This has been one of my favourite haunts for a couple of years now. Good music and fantastic cocktails - more potent and cheaper than posh cocktail bars.
The Old School Yard
Forget about bullies and homework. Now is the time to run to your bar and playground, The Old School Yard. Bring some friends or make some new ones here and share a few cocktails under a clear blue sky.
Get carried away, be late for dinner and blame it on your new found simplicity and innocence.
We won't tell your mum. You might have guessed it already: kids at heart are always welcome at The Old School Yard. show less
111 Long Lane, London SE1 4PH
- Borough Tube Station (0.4 km)
- London Bridge Underground Station (0.5 km)
- London Bridge Railway Station (0.6 km)
- Contact us:
020 7357 6281
- Opening hours:
Tue - Thu, Sun: 17:30 - 23:00
Fri - Sat: 17:30 - 1:00
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29 reviews of The Old School Yard in English
I came here for a drink and left after the first one, it was pricey, empty and not much more to say other than that!
My friends and I left to a nicer venue with on Borough High Street with way more reasonable prices.
I won;t be going back unless they give the beer away!
This place is awful – I booked an area which they confirmed by telephone and they called me 2 hours before the time my reservation was and said that they couldn’t honour my reservation due to them triple booking the karaoke room. Ridiculous and unprofessional behaviour. They have lost a lot of custom as a result of this.
We were here for a few drinks last week. Its a fun place, the bar staff are friendly and helpful. I had booked an area for 10 people, and had been impressed that they followed up on my booking with both an email and a phonecall – however when we arrived, we struggled to seat 6 in an area that was supposed to sit 10 and there was a lot of odd sitting on people’s laps action going on. We had a few jugs of cocktails in happy hour and whilst I was able to drink them they weren’t that nice and some people wouldn’t drink them. Perhaps this was because we ordered the cocktails from the upstairs bar rather than the downstairs bar but they got me a bit drunk and that’s whats important. There were less computer games than I had been led to believe and we only found the karaoke area just before leaving
I love this place! So many pubs and bars half-heartedly adopt and sell on a 'theme' without really delivering, but this place goes all-out to capture the good bits about being in school!
From a cocktail menu devised from the national curriculum to graffiti'd lockers and toilet cubicles, everything in this fun bar makes a fitting nod to the educational theme. The cocktails themselves are yummy, and worth grabbing at happy hour. Karaoke downstairs is a nice touch, and the back garden is well worth a visit.
Seriously, don't go. This place has the look and feel of a shabby pub/college bar, but really it's just shabby. No beers on tap, just cocktails. They are overpriced and not great.
I had birthday drinks there in the karaoke "room" (dungeon) and I was appalled at the service by the bartenders. They were rude and completely unaccomodating, even though we had about 30 people there buying drinks all night! The karaoke setup was a piece of junk and it was impossible to find and pick songs.
Oh, and also, the "yard" in the back is a piece of fenced-in concrete.
Don't go here unless you want rude service, overpriced drinks and a smell you won't get off you for days. Just go to a regular pub instead.
Update Yay! Karaoke! I can't add extra stars, but I super like the new downstairs bar. The karaoke videos are delightfully tacky, but that's what makes them awesome (although I'm still a bit scarred by the Bohemian Rhapsody one, which had the power to stop everyone singing and just watch). Staff are as friendly as ever, I like it muchly and might not have parties anywhere else ever. Update
This is a wonderful, strange little bar. It's set to become my new favourite secret place. So I'm not really sure why I'm telling everyone about it here. It was recommended to me as I was looking for somewhere in London Bridge to get a margarita. It's such a pub-rich area, but there aren't many decent bars. So I found my way here. I'm not sure why I walked the back way from London Bridge, but it's a strange walk through a suburban area. Which makes you wonder if you're going the right way at all, and if you are, why would someone put a cocktail bar here?
But they did, and it's wonderful. A bit of a dive, yes. But somehow that works. It looks like a school common room, but only if your school was like the one in Saved By The Bell. There's Ninja Turtles video games, and they have Guitar Hero tournaments too. The cocktails are a bit hit and miss - my marg was average, the apple martini too sweet. BUT, and this is the saving grace for me, the Pisco Sour was AMAZING. They get extra points for my epic hangover the next day.
But it's shortcomings are soon forgotten when everyone is dancing and watching the barmen bodypopping and flaring. We left and came back, but the staff remembered us. The atmosphere was friendly, despite the bar feeling like a local. I really really like it here. I also like that happy hour makes the cocktails £4.50 a go, but even after happy hour has finished they're only £6 or so. Brilliant.
This isn't a swanky place. But it's fun, it's silly and I wanted to stay here and dance to Queen and Savage Garden all night.
Decent Pisco Sour AND Savage Garden? They get five stars for that even though the toilets were a bit of a mess. Some things about school shouldn't be replicated.
I love everything about this bar. I had my 25th birthday party here (the first birthday party I've ever had!), regularly 'drag' friends here, and have even been lucky enough to attend a Qype/My Kind Of Phone event here. So why do I love this place so much?
Environment: When I first ever walked in here, I was utterly wowed from the off. There is old style arcade games, a big projector screen that usually has the Wii hooked up to it, a table football table, mis-matched sofas, and a very well stocked bar. Outside there is a 'playground', with ample seats, a tiny patch of grass and if you're lucky a BBQ going. The downstairs bar (which I was in for said event) is an ecclectic mix of bar paraphanelia and tucked away corners.
Staff: The bar staff are very friendly, up for a chat and a lark around, will suggest drinks if you're not sure what you want, and are just all round fab.
Drinks: The real selling point for this place. A great selection of cocktails, themed by school subject (e.g. Singapore Sling under geography, Pimms Cup under English), and these guys really know how to mix their drinks. Best of all, every day before 8 and all day Sunday, cocktails are only £4.50 each!
If I had to be picky on anything for this place, I would say that the toilets are a little pokey. But after a Pornstar Martini or 5 (my favourite drink), who cares?
I've never been a fan of this place. It always seems swamped with drunk suits after work just lusting after any female who walks in the room.
However, the outside and downstairs areas are much better so if there is an event on which has cordoned off these areas then it's worth a visit. Most recently the Old School Gamers night, promoted by the Windows 7 phone, was terrific.
The Old School Yard was awesome. I spent most of my time in the room downstairs and the backyard, so my review will be of these areas.
Staff were friendly, and the cocktails were fantastic. The French bartender in the room downstairs was on fire (not literally, of course), making customised cocktails for anyone who wanted one. This involved you telling him what you liked, and, more importantly, what you didn't like, and he'd concoct a cocktail designed to titillate your tastebuds.
Surprisingly enough, while I didn't take part in the snake tournament (I arrived late, yes, that's my excuse), I found myself revisiting my childhood by playing Streets of Rage on the X-Box in the room with the big-screen TV. Absolutely awesome. I loved playing that game when I was a kid, and I still love it now. Beating someone up - whether it's a bad guy or your partner (accidentally) - is always good fun.
And - I may be the only one to think so - but the downstairs room was rather Jamaican to me. Maybe because it was all the barrels? I don't know, it just gave off that vibe!
The backyard was really nice, especially given the hot weather which had turned the downstairs room a little bit too humid. It wasn't too smoky, and it was a great place to chill out and catch up with friends, old and new alike.
When I was leaving the bar, I walked through a group of obviously happy regulars who had started singing and dancing on the bartop. Seemed like a really good atmosphere all round!
If there’s one thing I love, it’s a themed bar and the Old School Yard certainly doesn’t disappoint. Boasting everything from table football to retro arcade games there is plenty of themed entertainment, while graffiti lockers and 80s posters take you back to your school days. The beer garden is large enough for a good 20-30 people and it stays sunny until late into the evening – and with room for a barbeque you can’t ask for more.
The downstairs bar is more impressive still, awash with vintage artefacts and more of that retro feel. The games room a great addition and I must have whiled away at least an hour relaxing on one of the generous sofas, sipping a mojito and re-acquainting myself with Streets of Rage 2. Certainly something not your average bar!
The drinks deserve a special mention. With an enormous variety of spirits and fresh ingredients in the downstairs bar you can be sure of some truly excellent cocktails. Of particular note are the Jamaican Mule and the Amaretto Sour, but if you’re after a simple pint then you won’t have any problems finding something to your liking. This isn’t one of the pretentious ‘bottle-only’ bars and everything is on offer at reasonable prices.
With a warm atmosphere, an excellent range of drinks and a cool 80s feel, a fun night is guaranteed at the Old School Yard.
If Grange Hill were a bar, it would definitely be the Old School Yard. This school-themed bar boasting graffited lockers and situated next to a primary school is everything that you wish your sixth form common room was, but secretly know that you would have failed your A-levels if it actually was.
There’s a cool crowd, squidgy sofas and a couple of games consoles packed with retro video games – think Streets of Rage and Donkey Kong. I was here for a Qype and Window’s Mobile event and because of the gorgeous June weather we decided to make the most of the outdoor courtyard area and enjoy a barbecue cooked up by our affable host Darren.
The burgers and sausages that we were served may have been deliciously succulent, but a special mention needs to go out to Mickael Perron, the Heston Blumenthal of bartenders. After talking me in to trying a refreshing thyme and red pepper cocktail, his drinks proceeded to get even better throughout the night. The icing on the cake was an amaretto sour containing citrus fruits, which managed to be both deliciously fruity whilst still keeping that delicious marzipan flavour. The spray-painted Che Guevera on top of the cocktail was the piece de la resistance and I couldn’t stop gushing it for days afterward. Mickael even runs cocktail classes at the Old School Yard and this is something that I definitely need to look into.
A great pub with lots of friendly folk, a good location to meet up with friends for a few drinks.
The Old School Yard also has a basement pub which kind of reminded me of the basement party room in the house I grew up in. And to top it off there was a fantastic bartender who mixed some great cocktails. I told him that I wanted something fresh with cucumber and after a few minutes of mixing and shaking I was presented with a unique cocktail made with cucumber, bell pepper, thyme, some ginger to give it a kick, and probably a few other secret ingredients. It was a great drink to have on a wam summer night.
There is also a small outside area which is great if you smoke and we were also treated to a barbecue.
I had a great time and will be back - the Old School Yard is such a chilled and friendly place with great staff you can't help but to feel at home.
Ah Cat Stevens, you inspire many things, and I assume this bar is amongst them in a few ways, considering the diversity and unexpected nature of this Old School Yard.
It's recently undergone a bit of a renovation, and at the Qype Mobile Gaming event we got the full run of the newly funky painted outdoor BBQ area (great burgers) and downstairs gaming area.
Like most women I kind of feel like I got my fill of gaming in my early teens, and suffered through fawning on boys who had only just begun their love affair with tech. However i do with to applaud The Old School Yard, and My Kind of Phone (Windows 7) for being able to engage me!
The downstairs bar is what got my attention. A fancy old wooden thing (I assume pilfered from a bar that was furnished around the turn of the century). but here's the kicker... its wall facing. You are in the bar, which the fancy cocktail bar tender, talking laughing, it's more like being a friends place (think a slicker version of The Dude from The Big Lebowski).
There are neat little nooks with games consuls and red lighting (cause lets face it you need to feel like you're IN the games!).
I visted this venue as part of the Windows 7 Phone Qype event, as such I headed staright through the bar when I got there to the back of the pub.
Thinking it was going to be outside I was pleasantly surprised to find that the outside area, whilst smallish, could hold a BBQ and about 20 people comfortably whilst leading the way to the basement area.
The basement area is a mix of curiosty shop and the best stocked bar. Dotted around the area are various items of antiquity that gives the place an ambience and talking points. At the back is a small prepartaion area where Mickael was producing some amazing cocktails (I recommend buying Croft Pink Port great in or out of a cocktail).
After the event finished I stayed around and had a great chat with the owner Darren about the venue and the cocktails. Heading upstairs the main bar had a feeling of my old 6th form common room. A relaxed atmosphere with bean bags, table football and retro arcade games. Along with a various posters/paraphanalia about to remind you of school eg lockers, a giant clock set to 3.30 home time.
I will definately go back here, either with a group of friends to try the cocktail area again or just a small crowd to try the upstairs bar which looks like it will be good fun, people were even dancing on the tables and bar at the end of the night.
A heavily recommended place with cocktails to die for.
As we headed straight for the basement, I paid little attention to the main area of the venue. But if it's anything like the basement, I love it already! The basement of the Old School Yard is what I imagine the inside of a Pirate Ship (think Captain Hook's ship) to look like; with its vintage look piano, giant barrels and cocktail cabinets. And if you weren't already enchanted, the fabulous bartender will certainly put a smile on your face. I don't drink alcohol, but he was determined to please and made up an interesting variety of cocktails for me and my husband to try.
With drinks in hand, we settled down on the comfy couches in the cosy den area for some retro gaming. Equipped with a large flat screen television and Xbox, you'll find yourself all set for an entertaining evening.
A great venue and fantastic event. I'm sure I'll find an excuse to go back!
Old School Yard is a great place to go.
I popped in on Wednesday night after the football, mainly being that it was on the way home to Canada Water.
Great place to hang out.
I will defiently be bringing more people here.!!
Despite the name, this laid back bar with the friendly vibe is too cool for school.
I was there for last night's “Mobile Games Night” sponsored by My Kind of Phone (http://www.mykindofphone.com/). Unfortunately, I had to leave way too early but not so soon that I didn't get a chance to devour a juicy burger and taste a couple of expertly mixed cocktails.
I especially liked the comfy and casual downstairs bar. It's feels like you're hanging out in your coolest friend's home bar.
I've got friends who live round the corner from Old School Yard. I'm going to insist they check it out.
Comment 1 comment on this review
kingofcool, 2 July 2010:
I joined a large group of Qypers here last night for an event to promote the gaming capabilities of the new Windows phone.
I don't know about that though because I was more taken in by the surroundings.
I'm all about the beats and the lyrics so when you hear it you can feel it and this place had a vibe energized by the presence of a wide range of spirits.
With No interference we persevered to get served because The purpose was clear and the barman was here to leave our tastebuds rockin severe
Lurking in the basement,we take it back like grange hill, Gaming from N64 to table footy showing our skill
friendly staff on the grill, Cooking the full dinner (burgers and sausages)
let's take you back to the concrete yard, Rewind and feel the heat, Recline and take a seat
doo be doo dup dup.. etc
(apologies to J5)
So in less ridiculous fashion - a cool bar with lots of character - particularly in the antique filled basement - available for hire with a minimum spend on the tab.
Games and the School theme add an element of fun and make you feel a bit like a naughty schoolkid having a craft fag/snog/cider behind the bike sheds.
Bit of an odd location but would be a great venue with a bunch of pals. I'll bring the bubblegum.
Where should I start? The cocktails. Yes. The guy who makes them is probably the best cocktail master south of the River. Very animated. I sampled one which had cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, bits of veggie – basically your five-a-day with a few shots of liquor. This should be a standard everywhere. Even the vodka martini was chilled to perfection.
Oh by the way, reason I was here was for a Qype event and I must say that they are very good hosts. The waitress doing her rounds was super friendly, super helpful, super smiling. The burgers were awesome. The bar at the front is cool, open, foosball table, football projected massive wall, but the space at the back is very unique. The basement bar/space through the garden is cluttered with nostalgic pieces, some probably a century old. There’s a freaking piano! They’ve done the old school quirky theme very well.
An evening well spent, well enjoyed. Thanks guys.
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