Our Kro Piccadilly Review
Kro Piccadilly is the latest bar from the brains behind the massively successful Kro Bar and Kro II. Sat on the side of Piccadilly Gardens, the bar is essentially a big glass box. There is plenty of seating and a large bar, with Kro’s trademark collection of European beers and excellent spirits, as well as a good food menu during the day. It gets very busy during the weekends and after work.
However, there’s something that is hard to warm to about the bar. Being surrounded by glass on all sides, especially when the bar is positioned at one of the busiest crossroads in town, makes you feel as though you’re surrounded by people trying to go somewhere else. What décor there is tends to be minimalistic and functional, and the whole place is rather sterile and cold. It is a good place to see and be seen – especially when you’re dressed in your finest and looking for attention. But if you’re looking for a comfortable corner to forget about the world in, you’re unlikely to find it here.
UPDATED ALTERNATIVE REVIEW May 2008:
MAD's new review of Kro Piccadilly will be brief since our visit there was brief also.
The first problem that beset our visit was that a circle of doormen are obstructing the entrance. You might consider this to be their purpose, but this wasn't a strategic positioning designed to bar entry to undesirables and monitor the entrance. No, it was just clumsy management of a space. People were free to walk in or out, it's just that they had to walk around the security to do it.
Once inside, there was a decent amount of space within which to move for 10pm on a Friday night. The crowd was a mix of business and office types that had allowed their post-work drink to become an evening of it, a few of the party crowd and tourists. The queue was one-deep at the bar with spaces to jump into. Here's where the lack of a bar queue means nothing though: when the bar staff are inattentive and out of proportion. That's not to say that they were gazing at their shoes and had hips that were twice the size of their chests, but rather that even though they only had a few customers to deal with, they were unaware as to who was next to be served. This is one of the major problems with modern bar staff that have been inadequately trained. It's not the job of the customer to be pushy and try to get served ASAP, it's the job of the barman to know the pecking order. Regards the proportion bit, the staff were congregating at either end of the bar, but thin in the middle. We were ignored at the middle for too long, and then someone that stepped up to the bar after ourselves was served before us.
With that, we spun on our heels and left, and yes, we had to walk around doormen that were chatting in a circle directly in front of the entrance once again. It's not likely to be a problem that we'll try and negotiate a second time.
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