The Scene: Formerly a grubbed-out den of a pub, this was a ‘locals only’ boozer, and even then it was fairly empty. A swift makeover has seen its fortunes reversed as out went the spit n’ sawdust and in came mood-inducing lighting, double, four- and six-person tables packed in to give some real atmosphere, and a back area reinvigorated into a dining room celebrating the building’s Victorian origins. With an element of style, assorted furniture maintains an improv vibe, and they’ve also kicked things into gear in terms of the entertainment, which boasts regular weekend DJs and comedy shows (Ardal O’Hanlon and Andy Parsons recently, with Micky Flanagan on April 25 doing a 90min set). 

The grub Regular pub grub – but carried off with panache and not likely to bust the bank either. Sausage rolls and scotch eggs as snacks, mains include Cumberland sausage ring, Welsh black rump steak, and homemade beefburgers. 

Behind the bar Old and new world wines jostle for position, with a generous range of ales (Harvey’s Sussex, Purity Ubu, Sharpe’s Doom Bar along with a guest ale) and your standard breed of lagers (Carling, Amstel, Kronenbourg).  

Bill please Pints £3.60; wine from £12.95 by the bottle; snacks from £1.50; mains from £7; and Sunday roasts from £9.

verdict Perfect for a post-work pint ‘n’ bite, or weekend visit. alasdair morton

2 Upper Tooting Road, SW17 7PG  
Tube | Tooting Bec