39 Broadwick Street,
0872 148 1911
Note: Calls cost 10p per min plus network extras.
The ViewLondon Review
The John Snow pub used to be an incredibly popular Soho hang-out. That was until the landlady allegedly threw out a gay couple for kissing. Cue London’s biggest gay kiss-off outside the pub in protest and suddenly this little Samuel Smith’s hang out is flung into the spotlight - for all the wrong reasons.
Spread across two floors, The John Snow is a sprawling pub with a pleasant wooden frontage that makes it look historic. Named after Dr John Snow, who discovered that cholera was a water-bourne disease, they play homage to the man, with a plaque in his name. Other than that, it’s a pretty standard traditional pub. Lots of woods, plenty of places to sit, a large bar laden down with Samuel Smiths draught pumps and plenty of nooks and crannies for settling into (but not kissing in, apparently).
Soho has a big gay community and, although the John Snow isn’t a gay pub, the scandal surrounding ‘that kiss’ has had a noticeable effect on the pub’s trade. It has always been well served by the many media workers that fill the area as well, and it does continue to do business. But the issue is still quite raw and seems to infect this pub. Visiting it now makes you feel like you’re taking a side, like you’re getting involved in a big issue when all you really want is enjoy a chilled out pint. And with so many good pubs nearby, it’s all too easy for people to just visit those instead.
Being a Sam Smith's boozer, the drink at the John Snow is excellently priced with some pints even coming in at the £2 mark. Really. They offer options like Sam Smith's OB, Taddy Porter and Alpine as well as regularly rotating options. It’s not the best-kept beer in the world, and it can sometimes be a little hit and miss, but the price is so competitive it barely seems to matter.
The Last Word
Regardless of where you stand on the whole ‘big kiss’ issue, it has had an effect on the business – and hence atmosphere – at The John Snow pub. It's a real shame that its reputation has been tarnished as this used to be a cracking pub for a pint. Only time will tell if it can recover.
The John Snow has been reviewed by 28 users