The Joker of Penton Street

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Square Meal Review of The Joker of Penton Street ?

The bones of this boozer’s self-styled ‘unconventional makeover’ (all distressed wood and scuffed furniture) are not dissimilar to its short-lived predecessor, Hundred Crows Rising. Named after archetypal Islington harlequin Joseph Grimaldi, this Joker is filled with portraits of Keaton, Chaplin and Ken Dodd, plus outsized comedy/tragedy masks designed to have punters rolling in the aisles. Service can seem like a Brian Rix farce at times and the prog rock is played loud on a 1960s Dansette – to the clear disapproval of punters when we visited. However, cask beers brewed at the Joker’s sibling The People's Park Tavern, plus Sierra Nevada ale, in-vogue marmalade gin fizz and reasonably priced wines are reasons to smile. So too, the grub from burger barons ‘Tongue ’n’ Cheek’, who are on pop-up kitchen duty: try their big, moist beef patty with Cheddar, chimichurri sauce, watercress and sour cream.

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