“ Address: 127 Above Bar Street / Southampton / Hampshire / SO14 7FH / England „
This pub is a waste of a great space in Southampton. As explained in the other reviews, it's in a good location within 10 minutes walk of the train station and 5 minutes walk of the main shopping centre, West Quay. It is also very large, mostly because the structure was originally designed to house a cinema. Lastly, there are remnants of some brilliant decor inside, including a large mock-hot air balloon above the central bar.
Despite this, The Square is not somewhere that i intend to return to in the near future. This establishment is dark, poorly furnished and grubby. The music on a Saturday night is the standard commercial, dreary fare. I would thoroughly recommend any discerning drinker to steer clear. Tourists should also avoid The Square as it would provide the wrong image of what is mostly a pleasant city. For a more enjoyable night I would recommend going to The Soul Cellar round the corner where one can find Staropramen instead of Carling, and Northern Soul, instead of RnB. However, if a blurry night out on the booze is what you seek, then The Square may well be what you're after.
The Square (or Square Balloon) is located on Above Bar, up from West Quay, Bargate, and Marlands and before the parks and London Road.
It really is an impressive building on the outside with an impressive frontage that used to be a theatre. On the inside its just as impressive as you have the full height on the old theatre in the main room. The bar is in the centre of the hall with a giant balloon suspended above giving the pub its name! There are theatrical parts all round the edges of the venue.
Most the seating is on the floor level with plenty of tables, there are also tables in elevated boothes around the edges of the hall.
The times I've been in during the week its been really quiet in there, with only usually a few older people in there (regulars I'd assume) and even though there no one at the bar it still takes 5 minutes to get a drink. The one time I've had the food in there was on a weekday during the day. I ordered Lasagne and everyone else had burgers. The burgers were great, large with plenty of sides and chips, the lasagne (the same price!) was about 2 inches square in the middle of a huge bowl with a few sprinklings of herbs on top, very poor for the type of pub menu. Food was served in about 20 minutes, which wasn't bad for a table of five. Prices aren't very cheap, the high end of the High Street prices.
Evening time they generally have bouncers on the door (especially Thurs-Sat or during Students nights), but its still never really that busy. The music they play is pretty mainstream pop music and it still takes an age to get a drink at the bar, as they never seem to have enough staff to serve everyone!
One of my more humorous chats with a bouncer occured at The Square, it was a thursday evening fairly early and we making our way down Above Bar going in a few pubs, we came to The Square and were asked for I.D. so upon showing my Prove It Age Card I was told I could go in tonight but if it was Friday or Saturday he wouldn't let me in, so I had to ask so if he didn't think the ID was genuine and wouldn't let me in at a weekend as I could be underage etc why was he letting me in tonight. Funnily enough that didn't go down well!
In summary, not a place I frequent much these days, and neither do any of my friends. Not the nicest place, bit run down now, takes ages to get a drink, then you need aload of money to afford it means we generally go elsewhere!
The square pub in Southampton used to my favourite place to drink.. but not any more! As you will find out from my review!
* Location *
The pub is located on Above Bar St, Southampton which is in the main city area of Southampton.
About a 2-3 minute walk from the entrance to West Quay shopping centre and a 2-3 minute walk to the popular night spot area of London road and Bedford place.
* Parking *
The pub does not offer its own parking area, but there is plenty of parking located around the city.
There are multi stories within 5 minutes of walking and some on road parking across the road but this is usually hard to come by.
* Facilities *
- Male and female toilets upstairs and downstairs. Disabled access to the downstairs toilets.
- Various large TV screens for music videos and live sports.
- A cash machine but it charges you for use. (There is a free cash machine across the road in the old nationwide building)
- A number of quiz and jackpot machines.
- Indoors seating downstairs and upstairs. No outside seating.
- Dance floor
* The food *
Well if you feel daring and want to call it food then give it a go!
Years ago i used to go in here often because they offered some good deals but now i wouldn't feed the food to my dog.
It is a shame because the menu they offer is really varied and sounds fantastic. But when the food turns up it is cold, rubbery and tastes awful!
A while back i ordered a BBQ chicken with melted cheese, it sounded great. When it turned up the chicken wasn't even cooked and the cheese was burned. My mum who was with me has a lasagne and it was crispy and burned and then lettuce served with it was mouldy!
I have never seen anything like it, i think they need a visit from Gordon Ramsey!
* Drink *
The drink prices are reasonable and they offer a wide range of cocktails and shooters. That's if you can get served!
The drinks are reasonably priced for a pub, but they are not as cheap as say somewhere like wetherspoons.
* Events *
They hold quiz nights, live sport nights and the odd kareoke competition.
* Staff *
Years ago you will be welcomed with a smile and a lovely happy member of staff. Now you don't get a welcome at all!
You are greeted by people who look completely miserable and don't give you the time of day unless you beg and wave money in their faces. But then to be fair.. i wouldn't want to work there either!
* Interior *
The interior hasnt been changed since the pub opened about 10/12 years ago.
The carpet is old, sticky and worn! There are patches covered with tape and the edges are all frayed.
The chairs are all falling apart, wobbly and full of holes.
The tables are covered in writing, gum and carved into.
The wallpaper is falling off of the walls and been covered in writing.
The upstairs area of the pub is much nicer then downstairs but it is never open any more because it never gets busy enough to get the extra staff in to cover the bar upstairs.
The toilets are disgusting!! The toilet seats are all falling off, the locks don't work on the doors, they are covered in graffiti, the sinks are all cracked, there are little flies and they STINK!
The way i describe this place makes it sound like a hell hole! But that's the problem it shouldn't be!!
It is a gorgeous building, it is in the old Southampton theatre/cinema! The ceiling is so high and still has all of the original features! Its a great shape and loads of space! It is just in dire need of a refit, but then i guess they don't want to because its never busy enough to make any money! But its a vicious circle because if they did spend some money on it more people would come in!
If this pub had a refit it would be fantastic, as i said its a great space, they always have great DJS, and the cocktails are great! Lets hope they do something about it soon!