“ 28-30 London Road, St. Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 1NG. Tel: +44 1727 840 100 „
located near the junction of Holywell Hill, so right in the centre of town and all the excitement. Barney's Bar is not only a bar but also has a restaurant located to the rear of the establishment.
I first discovered Barneys in my university days, my friends and I would often start the night here, grabbing a bite to eat and having some drinks before moving on.
The atmosphere all evenings is good, and of course on Fridays and Saturdays they tend to be busier and noisier but still a great atmosphere. There is often a live band on special occasions and at the weekends, but they do have a sound system and play music all the time. It is nice as the restaurant being at the back is quieter, it can be a pain trying to fight your way through all the drunks to get there but it is quite separate which does help if you want a quiet meal, you can also avoid the music as it on lower there.
Barney's have just currently refurbished the restaurant and fitted booths and seats that don't move rather than the old fashioned chairs and tables they had before. It does look modern now without trying to look like a TGI Fridays.
The restaurant offers a menu of 2 sides of an A3 sheet, there is a large variety, with burgers, wraps, sandwiches, combos, fish, steak and small dishes too. (There is a lot more on offer I really can't think of everything). I love the food as it's fresh, it is all freshly prepared rather than frozen and cooked and I must admit, Barney's does the BEST potato skins I have ever had - in my life!!! There are many options and if you want something on the menu with something else or slightly different, the staff are usually very accommodating. I have never been disappointed with the food here and I have eaten many choices from the menu, the steak sandwich is lovely!! Once the chips were slightly undercooked which was a little annoying but usually the food is perfect.
I would say booking a table during the weekend is advisable as it does tend to get very busy and it's surprising as it's quite a well kept secret. Food is reasonably priced, if you like fish you will pay more for the fresh fish options but generally a burger will cost you £7-10 including chips. (It is well worth it - again probably the best burger I have ever had!)
The portion sizes are decent and for example you can choose sizes of some dishes, the potato skins either come in 6 or 10. They are rather big though and I wouldn't recommend 6 even to eat on your own, unless that is all you are having.
The bar is at the front of the establishment, it is a rather large L shape bar. There are high tables and stools throughout the bar which are scattered around with about 4 stools per table. There are TV screens as well, with football being a quite prominent feature.
As for the drinks menu, the serve a variety of lagers and beers as well as the usual alco-pops, cocktails, soft drinks and wine.
The prices are not too expensive they are the same as any other bar in St Albans and even this is not overly priced.
The bar is a reasonable size and even when it is crowded at the weekends it still seems quite manageable, it never seems like you are a sardine. Even when fighting your way to the toilet it seems relatively easy even though its busy.
The toilets are located downstairs which also makes things easier, unless you've had too much to drink. There is no queue or space being taken up by the toilets upstairs.
There is obviously no smoking area inside but there is a terrace outside near the back towards the restaurant, you can smoke out here (with heat lamps) or outside the front like so many others. This does block the door way though so smokers - move out the way please!
I often visit Barney's I must admit it is mainly for food but also for a drink and I would rate its atmosphere, menu and prices. It is an all rounder and very nice inside to start off your Friday or Saturday night.