For all intents and purposes, The Phoenix is just another standard pub - old man in style if not in substance. However, peel back a few layers and you’ll discover a lot more than first meets the eye.
The Phonenix has an undeniably excellent location - found far enough away from Oxford Street not to be crammed with too many passers by, but close enough to lend itself as a huge convenience for those seeking it out, based as it is a five minute walk from Oxford Street tube station.
Inside, you’ll find a warm (which soon descends to sweaty on a busy night), large pub with dimmed lighting and a cosy feel. A sizeable central bar makes getting a drink convenient and easy - even on busy nights - and the large number of varied seating, from comfortable leather sofas to your standard pub chairs and tables, allow you to rest weary feet (although good luck getting one of these on a Friday or Saturday night). The colour scheme is traditional - dark woods, gleaming surfaces and wooden floors, nothing to write home about. However, what gives it its appeal is the downstairs club, which is where all the action takes place - from live gigs to country nights.
The atmosphere at The Phoenix is wholly dependent on what night of the week it is and, at weekends, what’s going on in the club downstairs. On their monthly country night, for example, you can expect guys and gals kitted out cowboy style - from glammed up girls leaving little to the imagination through to proper hippie guys who aren’t faking it. However, turn up to one of their heavy rock nights and the clientele is altogether different. Everyone crams into the pub before the club doors open at 9pm.
On a normal night, however, it’s the usual pub mix of locals, tourists, those tired from a long day’s shopping, and office workers grabbing a post-work bevvie.
There’s decent pub grub at the Phoenix, although it’s definitely not gastro. Served until 10pm, you can expect the usual ‘gourmet’ burgers, sharing platters, sarnies and, on Sundays, a traditional Sunday Roast - all at competitive prices for the area.
This is a large pub and, as such, they carry an impressive enough range of drinks. Don’t go expecting cocktails, this place is about beer and spirit mixers with over 30 bottles of wine thrown in for good measure. Although, ask for a gin and tonic and you may end up with a glass filled with several lemons - not ideal. This place is really all about the beer.
There are an incredible 22 draught beers and lager available at the Phoenix: Fransiskaner and Schneider Weiss, the fruity Liefmans Frambozen and Belle Vue Kriek, and continental offerings in the shape of Peroni, Staropramen, Budvar and Becks Vier. They also have regularly changing ales and a decent choice of bottled beers such as Pacifico Clara, Chimays and Duvel, Moretti and Tsing Tao. The prices are pretty decent for such a central location, too, with your average pint coming in at around £3 mark.
The Last Word
A great location and unusual addition of a club space is what really makes this place, otherwise it would be just another pub. Check ahead and see what nights they’re doing for a good all-rounder with your mates.