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Old-timer Joe Allen opened in the late 70s & its time-warp charms are still appreciated by those who like their transatlantic grub with a side of ‘theatrical history’. Posters & portraits
of noted thespians crowd the exposed brick walls of this capacious basement, usually with a piano tinkling in the background: the easy-going Manhattan vibe ‘feels like you’re a 10-minute cab ride
away from Times Square’. The menu also does its bit for the US cause, touting New England lobster roll, deep-fried potato skins & pecan pie alongside solid Euro-bistro fare (think mussels in
white wine, confit duck or pan-fried calf’s liver with mash). The cooking isn’t always consistent, though the never-advertised burger is an ever-reliable bet. A pre-theatre deal offers two/three
courses for £16/18, but beware the pricey kids’ menu.
Nestled down the back streets of Covent Garden sits Joe Allen. An American casual dining experience which i think can now claim to be part of London's 'furniture'. The restaurant opened its door to the eccentric theatre goers in January of 1977 by of course, Joe Allen himself. This Covent Garden branch is little sister to its New York and Paris counterpart. Both of which have equally as much history.Very recently the restaurant was been purchased by two passionate, very endearing and proud new owners Lawrence Hartley and Tim Healey. They both bought the restaurant not only because of its rewarding capital returns (which i'm sure it is) but because they wanted to be the proud owners of such an establishment steeped in history. We dined at the restaurant on Thanksgiving (and bumped into The Hoff) to sample a traditional, yet modern take on the American staple which celebrates good food, drink, friends and family...
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Jo Allens is an American Brasserie in the heart of theatre land in the West End of London. It is an exact copy of the same restaurant in New York. When Jo Allen’s opened in London in 1977 the intention was to make it a hang out for everybody in the peforming arts industry, even the waiters to be jobbing actors and this intention is still true today. It is a brilliant option for dining anytime especially at the weekend as they have fantastic American style brunches.If you are heading to the theatre Joe Allens is a great choice for pre or post show dining and is open until midnight...
More from Empty Pocket Guide »
If you didn’t know that Joe Allen was along this very small quiet side street, it would not be the obvious place to look for a restaurant. It is hidden away from the all the main restaurants in Covent Garden.Joe Allen is on the lower ground floor and the red brick walls leading to the the restaurant are full of framed posters. The same style of wall decor is continued throughout the whole of the dining area. The restaurant area is quite big with round wooden tables and there are a couple of alcoves as well. The service was good and the staff were friendly and professional.The menu was interesting and varied with seasonal daily specials...
More from Rate My Bistro »
In New York during the 60′s Joe Allen opened a restaurant in the heart of theatre land and it became a big hit with show goers and Broadway performers. Following that success, in the 70′s, Joe Allen opened his London outpost in the West End which also received similar popularity with the theatre world. If you’re a lovie or a West End Wendy then you would have definitely been to Joe Allen – it’s that kind of place.Tucked away behind Covent Garden in a quiet side street you’d be forgiven for walking past the secluded doorway. Walk down the stairs however to the basement restaurant and you’ll find a rather busy and lively dining room...
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