SquareMeal Review of
George & Dragon Hackney Road
Fears about the conversion of this former LGBTQ hangout to luxury apartments after its 2015 closure have proved baseless, and the George relaunched in July 2016 without fanfare. It’s now decorated like a Georgian squire’s candlelit country parlour, complete with ye olde battered milk churns by way of seating. The new licensee (who also runs handsome Hoxton boozer, The Prince Arthur) focuses on Kentish ales; various Shepherd Neame brews such as Bishops Finger, Whitstable Bay Pale Ale and Spitfire appear on tap. Otherwise, order New York ‘hard’ cider Angry Orchard, or choose from a range of quaffable vino. Whether the old wild crowd will take to the place is moot. Also moot is the purpose of the back bar’s plethora of premium hooch: Opihr and Tanqueray Rangpur gin, Reyka vodka et al. Hopeful, we ask for a recommendation. ‘I’m no good at cocktails, me’ grimaces the barman, before scuttling off.