Food & Drink

London’s 5 weirdest pub and bar names

If you’re from across the pond then chances are a lot of the colloquialisms us Brits use must sound pretty odd. Of course, the UK has a long and varied history, and our heritage has left us with lots of weird and wonderful ways to express ourselves.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the names of our pubs and bars. From ‘The Goat and Tricycle’ to ‘The Snooty Fox’ and the ‘Three-Legged Mare’, we’re suckers for a great moniker.

Traditionally, the names of pubs capture something unique or historic about the place they’re based in. However, in recent years, savvy owners have started using peculiar names as a way to garner interest about their business. The number of quirky, off-beat pubs and bars in London has risen dramatically, making for some of the coolest names in the world.

Let’s check out some of the weirdest pub and bar names in town.

The Mayor of Scardy Cat Town

This little speakeasy is probably the worst kept secret in London, and one of a number of hidden bars that, well, aren’t very well hidden at all. None of that matters though when you’re scrambling through a secret door hidden behind a fridge. A visit to TMSCT will make you giggle – guaranteed. And the name? Well, its got to be one of the coolest I’ve ever heard.

Ain’t Nuthin’ But

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I wish I had a penny for every time I’ve told a friend “I’m heading out to ain’t nothing but.” and got the reply “…but, what?”. This astonishing music pub makes the list for its most extra unwieldy name, which is short for ‘Ain’t nothin’ but the blues’.

Callooh Callay

Most people aren’t even sure how to pronounce this one, but if you know your literature I’m sure you’ll recognize it. Callooh Callay is an exclamation of joy taken straight from Lewis Carol’s classic nonsense poem Jabberwocky, and the perfect phrase to describe this unique cocktail venue. The bar is renowned for its unusual menus, expertly-crafted cocktails, and secret ‘Palace of Humbug’ room. We’ll let you see if you can find it.

Evans and Peel Detective Agency

Yup. Seeing this one on Google Maps one could be excused for mistaking this noir-themed cocktail bar for an actual detective agency. Well, maybe if it was 1936. But then, we wouldn’t have Google maps. Hmmm…

The Worship Street Whistling Shop

What exactly a Whistling Shop would sell, I’m not sure. However, it makes for a stand-out name for this Victorian-inspired cocktail bar on Worship Street, Shoreditch. Even with such a great name, the best thing about this place is the decor for sure. If you’re looking for a unique London experience, check it out.


Trust me on this one. I know it’s named after a toilet, but this wine bar off Clapham Common is as classy as it gets. In a devilish twist, the W and C actually stand for Wine and Charcuterie – a clever play on the fact that this underground venue was once a public toilet. Today it serves beautiful food in a refined, yet relaxed atmosphere.

That’s our top six! If you think you have a weirder pub or bar name then let us know in the comments. To get an even closer look at some of London’s best pubs check out our pub walking tour.