.
22 July 2014
(menu)

Ape & Bird

124 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC1N 4HS

Pubs Covent Garden
Be the first to rate this restaurant Write Your Review
  • Wine: £18.00
  • Champagne: £48.00
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-11.30pm Sun 12N-10.30pm

Square Meal Review of Ape & Bird ?

Giving the London boozer a hip makeover, restaurateur Russell Norman (Mishkin's, Polpo) and business partner Richard Beatty have transformed the old Marquis of Granby on Cambridge Circus by knocking through to the next-door building. The large space now includes a restaurant and four bars over three floors; the pub feel remains with cosy design touches, although exposed vents and a mural by local artist Neil Fox bring things bang up to date. It’s a pity the same attention isn’t paid to the all-day menu of honest pub grub, which lacks consistency and suffers from service delays. Our starter of black-pudding hash with soft poached egg was richly satisfying, but both this and our underwhelming main of chicken, leek and mushroom pie came in tiny portions, with a disappointing side of soggy truffled cheese fries. Better to stick to the fine range of booze, including UK and US craft beers.

Click here to read our diners’ reviews, or write your own
 
 

Got a blog?

Add your blog review of Ape & Bird to Square Meal

Win fab prizes • Attract traffic to your blog • Add prestige to your blog Find out how

  1. Published : Monday, 17th March 2014

    the good londoner :: Ape & Bird

    Ape and Bird is a relatively newly-opened bar and restaurant on Cambridge Circus. They’ve clearly tried very hard with the décor; perhaps a bit too hard. On the website they talk about where fittings Ape & Bird3were salvaged from or what inspired them, but some of it looks plain silly, such as the copper light fittings made to look as if they’re gas lights to the odd-looking taps in the toilets. I’m not sure what the intended ‘look’ was, but it sometimes felt like being in a Steampunk graphic novel. There’s a pub, restaurant (over two floors) and a dive bar, so it’s quite a big place...
    More from the good londoner »

  2. Published : Wednesday, 18th December 2013

    Frenchy love food :: THE APE & BIRD PUBLIC HOUSE

    I was looking forward the opening of The Ape and Bird Public House, the new restaurant of Russell Norman, as I like Polpo restaurants, I thought I will like his new place...
    More from Frenchy love food »

  3. After a string of successful ventures including hot spots such as Spuntino and Mishkin’s, the Ape and Bird is Russell Norman’s newest trendy London offering but this time with an ironic twist – it is located in the shell of a former pub in one of London’s most tourist heavy areas. Sceptical much? This was something which had to be seen to be believed and that KS had heard much hype about the Ape and Bird only added to the excitement. KS arrived at 142 Shaftesbury Avenue somewhat confused to find what still looked very much like a pub...
    More from wetrykai »

  4. Although I’ve categorised The Ape and Bird as a gastropub for the sake of easy searching, it’s not a restaurant in all but name like most other gastropubs. A large swathe of the ground floor, as well as the basement, is devoted to drinking while the upstairs and a small space on the ground floor are set aside for eating. Like Polpo, reservations are taken at lunch time but not for dinner. If you’re eating by yourself or as part of a two-some, then the bar in the ground floor dining area is a perfectly pleasant place to while away an hour or two as the bar staff are a chatty, friendly and informative bunch...
    More from The Picky Glutton »

  5. Russell Norman and Richard Beatty opening a pub was music to our ears. Especially as it’s in an area that is crying out for a decent public house. The Ape & Bird is the latest addition to the Polpo/Spuntino/Mishkin’s empire, and it is truly lovely. A three-storey Victorian building on Cambridge Circus that was previously the Marquis of Granby. They have even knocked though to some offices next door to create more space totalling 5000 square feet. On the first preview night on which we visited it was absolutely rammed, so a little hard to get a proper feel of the space...
    More from We Love Food, It »

  6. Ape & Bird opened last week to much fan fare. In a huge old Victorian pub in Covent Garden, the team behind Polpo, Mishkins and Spuntino have brought something to the area that was desperately needed: a decent, large pub. Soho and Covent Garden aren’t exactly famous for their decent pubs with great customer service. It’s more of a “drink on the pavement, try not to get run over and fight your way to the bar” type vibe in the rest of the area. Ape & Bird is an oasis of calm in comparison. Last night I went along with two of my favourite people to see whether the place lived up to the hype. On entering the pub, it was totally empty. “Err, hello?” I said to the three front of house staff who were eagerly waiting to greet people. The place was dead, but it was 5.45pm on a Monday evening. I was swiftly taken through the main pub/more formal dining room to a back “public bar”...
    More from The Z Factor »

  7. Published : Saturday, 30th November 2013

    Samphire and Salsify :: The Ape & Bird Public House

    Ape & Bird is Russell Norman’s latest venture and unlike his other restaurants (Polpo, Spuntino, Mishkin’s and soon to be opened Polpetto) this is a pub – and a very large pub at that. It’s situated in that bit of Cambridge Circus that’s always manically busy, right next to the Pizza Hut and it sits in the former site of the Marquis of Granby. They’ve also knocked through to next door too so it really is big. Inside it was a beautiful affair; it felt simple like a pub yet there was plenty of attention to detail. There were two areas that served food - upstairs which felt more like a dining room and less “pubby” or the ground floor where you could either sit round the small tables or perch on a stall at the bar. We chose the latter as it had a real buzz to it...
    More from Samphire and Salsify »

Essential Details for Ape & Bird

  • Address: 124 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC1N 4HS
  • Telephone: 020 7836 3119
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-11.30pm Sun 12N-10.30pm

Location of Ape & Bird

Diners at Ape & Bird also recommend...