Overlooking the platforms and main thoroughfare of Victoria train station, this is a depressing sports pub that misses the mark.
Unless you spend a lot of time looking up at Victoria Station (which is recommended if you want to avoid all the pigeons that live here), you’ll be forgiven for having never noticed the Sports Bar and Grill. With just a doorway to belie its entrance, tucked out of the way near one of the many tube entryways, the only way you’d even know there was a bar here would be if you noticed the large windows and signage up high, with a few blackboards declaring offers inside. Upon entering, there are lots of big screen TVs, sporting memorabilia, a large bar and plenty of seating, and the colour scheme is bright, even garish, with vibrant oranges that seem designed to induce pre-hangover headaches.
The Sports Bar and Grill attracts sports fans who don’t seem to know where else to go, people desperate to catch the game but have found their train is delayed and commuters who have happened to spy this bar, hidden away up high. The staff are friendly enough but the service can be on the slow side and, especially during the day, the constant glare of so many screens without a big game on is depressing to say the least. However, to the bar’s credit, they do show a wide range of sporting events, from cricket and rugby to, of course, football.
There are several menus available at the Sports Bar and Grill, including a breakfast menu, but the food mainly revolves around easy to eat bar food. From soups and salads to sandwiches, burgers and even hotdogs, it’s not an inspiring menu by any means but is more than suitable for filling a hole whilst catching the game and prices tend to veer south of the £10 mark, which is good value for a train station, let alone one in central London.
For a bar of its type, the Sports Bar and Grill has a decent draught selection that includes Fosters, John Smiths, Amstel, Strongbow, Kronenbourg, Guinness and even a couple of ales in the form of Deuchars and London Pride. This is bolstered by a strong choice of bottled beers. Alternatively – and perhaps surprisingly – there’s also a good choice of wine with 10 reds and as many whites priced between £15 and £40, although it’s hard to imagine who’d come to a place like this and order a £40 bottle of vino.
The Last Word
Blink and you’ll miss it, Sports Bar and Grill Victoria does little to inspire sports fans. If they could do something about the bleak atmosphere, you could add another star to the rating.