Things don’t always work at 5B Urban Bar - all the disparate bits don’t necessarily settle into a satisfying whole - but they get a lot of points for effort. After so many fill-in-the-blanks pubs it’s refreshing to come across one that shows a bit of originality.
5B Urban Bar, previously called the Five Bells and Blade Bone, is located on a quiet side street in Limehouse, opposite the beautiful St Anne’s Church - an Eighteenth Century lovely designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor. The exterior of the pub is zebra print with colourful flags – you can spot it all the way from the high street. Inside, it is quirky and comfortable with wood panelled walls and bashed up tables and leather sofas. A collection of exotic wood carvings are scattered about. Out back is a spacious beer garden covered by a tarpaulin.
You can expect a large contingent of well-behaved twentysomethings to frequent 5B Urban Bar, indicative of the location that attracts huge swathes of young professionals thanks to its proximity to Canary Wharf. The soundtrack is pleasantly groovy and complements the joint but isn’t so loud that you need to shout a conversation.
The staff are friendly and open to a bit of banter, even if you’re not one of the regulars. Overall, there’s a real neighborhood feeling that stays on the right side of being inclusive.
There’s a surprisingly good menu at 5B Urban Bar. The kitchen is open past midnight and whether you fancy a nibble or a full meal there should be something to suit. Some of the snacks available include ones and zeros (skinny fries and onion rings for £3), a twisted trio (three nibbles plus three toppings) and coconut prawns with chili sauce. Best of all, the prices are incredibly low (a good thing if you don’t fancy splashing out the Gordon Ramsay prices of the nearby Narrow) - burgers are only five quid for a double. Bangers and mash, steaks, lasagna with goats cheese and chilli are all appealing options and also well priced.
5B Urban Bar offers up a choice of Carling, Carlsberg, Life, Stella, Strongbow and Guinness on tap. There is also a good selection of bottled beers, cider and spirits. If you dare, give the barstaff a cocktail challenge and see if they’ll mix you up an off-menu cocktail.
The Last Word
Hats off to this shabby chic watering hole for trying to be a bit different. The menu is particularly attractive and 5B Urban Bar would be a great place to host a party or gathering.