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Gautama Bar


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Poll: Gautama Bar (24 member(s) have cast votes)

How Do You Rate This Pub?

  1. Excellent (3 votes [12.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.50%

  2. Good (7 votes [29.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 29.17%

  3. Average (8 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

  4. Poor (6 votes [25.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

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#1 MattVN

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 01:18 AM

Please Vote in this Poll and Add a Reply if you have any comments about this bar

Gautama Bar
25-27 Westow Hill, SE19 1TQ

Phone: TBC
Web: http://www.gautamabar.com (pending design)

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#2 Summit Lover

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 08:58 AM

Well we finally tried it out early on Saturday evening. It was relatively well attended, but the big space needs an awful lot of people to make it feel full.

Decor wise, it is a tad minimalist for me, but the lighting is good (low and attempting a measure of intimacy). I would be more comfortable with a few cushions scattered around (I found the booth seating a bit rigid), and with some large plants/sculptures/decorative screens here and there to break up the huge space.

Staff were attentive and friendly, music a bit too bland and a tad loud for my liking (but I fully realise I am probably showing my age - the other people there seemed to like it).

We probably won't be back often - I get the feeling the bar is aimed at a different age group - although we might try the patio area in the summer. I do wish them all the very best though, the bar is different enough to fill a niche in CPs nightlife.

#3 Elmo

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Posted 16 February 2009 - 09:43 AM

I popped my head in, and the space just feels wrong. It's so large it'll have to be full of people to create any atmosphere, or they'll fall into the Puzzle trap of turning the music way up high. I think the space needs to be divided up, or it may be better as a retail unit.
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#4 HillSider

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 04:51 PM

I popped my head in, and the space just feels wrong. It's so large it'll have to be full of people to create any atmosphere, or they'll fall into the Puzzle trap of turning the music way up high. I think the space needs to be divided up, or it may be better as a retail unit.


We popped in for a late drink after a meal at the Exhibition Rooms on Saturday night. Not a great deal of atmosphere to be honest and the bar staff were not really up to scratch (no peach in a peach bellini and wrong change), but it may well work better in the summer.

#5 cp101

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 10:02 PM

After a meal near by, myself and a few friends popped in to this bar and were amazed by the sophisticated and extravagant decor, the atmosphere was welcoming and relatively lively for a saturday night considering it hasnt been opened long, myself being so used to going into Beckenham or London to find a nice bar and now i have one on my doorstep. Good luck with the future me and my friends will certainly be back!

Edited by gekko, 18 February 2009 - 10:06 AM.
Modified large font


#6 matt

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 09:47 AM

Always fun to see someone specifically sign up to VN to post a positive review! :unsure:

#7 claudia

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Posted 18 February 2009 - 10:13 AM

Always fun to see someone specifically sign up to VN to post a positive review! :unsure:


I signed up specifically to post a negative one :rolleyes:

#8 Spoon

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 05:38 PM

After a meal near by, myself and a few friends popped in to this bar and were amazed by the sophisticated and extravagant decor, the atmosphere was welcoming and relatively lively for a saturday night considering it hasnt been opened long, myself being so used to going into Beckenham or London to find a nice bar and now i have one on my doorstep. Good luck with the future me and my friends will certainly be back!


Mr Spoon and I will back this review 100%. We loved the inside, it was fairly busy though nowhere near full as we were quite early in the evening (Saturday - last night) yet it still felt warm, friendly and lounge-like. They've made a real effort with the decor. Keeping the booths but giving them soft black seats and losing the tables Shecky's had has worked out well.

I told the barman the sign let it down completely and he said he'd tell the owner, though he wasn't sure how well that would go down as it would cost yet more to replace it. I can understand that. If it goes well, they'd like a chain but so far this is the first one and they're happy with the progress.

Drinks prices are average (not cheap but not the most expensive), the wine was nice and the draught was Asahi. Cocktails are available, starting, I think, at about 6.50. There's no sign of a food menu, which therefore led us into my next review.

We are really happy with this place. If only the front would project what's within. I'd definitely go back; we both agreed. I went past late on Friday night, about 11:30, and it looked busy so that's good.

It would be ideal for a VN social, by the way. There is a lovely rounded corner area at the front that would suit a medium-sized group. In fact, it was reserved last night for just such a thing. Go!

#9 Strewth

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 07:02 PM

Popped in early Friday eve - pretty quiet and again Saturday (merely coincidence) - busy enough considering it's only been open a couple of weeks. They've spent a lot of money decking it out - so wish them luck. A late license will help and believe they are trying to attract a certain type of customer - a nod at a dress code, though think it's only enforced as they see fit, 80s and 90s music and drinks a touch on the pricey side. Should prevent it going down the same path as the Puzzle. The BEST garden though - will be great in the summer. And a decent terrace doubling as a smoking area with not everso effective heaters.

#10 Nick

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 08:10 PM

The door rules seem to be:

No sports shoes
No sports shirts
Generally smart
Over 23 for gents
Over 21 for ladies

Does look like a nice space but it was empty at 4 o'clock today.
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#11 guineagirl

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 09:29 PM

I went past at about 2.30 this afternoon and it looked completely empty - and very dark inside, although I agree the interior looks very nicely fitted out, and the garden beyond very attractive.

To be a cool night-time hangout and still be an appealing place to drop in during the day for lunch or coffee (if indeed they are going after a lunch or coffee crowd, I've no idea) the place almost needs to change personality - whether through lighting, music or whatever - from day to night to make it equally attractive at both times. Otherwise, I'm not sure it will draw in much daytime traffic.

#12 Spoon

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 10:59 PM

I think this is not going so much for daytime. For that, we have Bruschetta, Domali and Nero in the coffee sense. I think it is just 'open' during the day, no expectations. A bit like Westow House. It's neither pub nor club but it can do you a lunch time if you need one. Daytime is a loss-leader in that world (which usually works: see 'the snow days' for details).

#13 ChewderOde

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 02:12 PM

theyve done a good job of tarting up the back with a veranda type thingy and attractive garden so they might do alright in the warmer months during the day - as long as they can tempt people through the dark 80s disco feel of the carcass of the place

#14 Norwood lad

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 10:47 AM

Popped in for a couple last night.

Good points
Outside terrace looks good & along with garden will be very nice place to be when the nights get longer & warmer (fingers crossed this year :) )

Bad points
Not a good use of space & looks very spartan- lots of black seating scattered every where with two bizzare U shaped seating blocks in the middle of the place but with no table in the middle to put drinks & legroom that makes the seating on a Ryanair seem like first class.

Considering the quite cool signage on there printed menus etc the actual sign on the street is incredibly cheap & tacky.

The name will cause confusion to people. As its a reference to Buddha & theres plenty of bars called the buddha bar scattered around the world that often have an oriental theme I can see what they are trying to do . But to the average person who haven't a clue what the name means there's no reference in the actual bar to this. Until somebody on this forum told us the meaning of the word when I first saw the sign I had an idea that this was going to be something latin themed.

Dodgy 80's music (although some will see this as a plus ).



The owners have it looking smart, i.e a few chandeliers, usual trendy wallpaper & mirrors but it looks like the budget was very small & they are lucky that the previous owners (prezzo) spent a great deal on the site.

Its still a massive site with a lot of dead space. If money was no object an island bar would suit this site better as it would animate the space & enable the site to be split adding a bit of life to the front facing the street . At the moment it looks inviting so people going into the place will want to sit elsewhere. When people walk past the place will look empty so may give it a miss.

Fair play to them , they are bringing a nice new bar to the area but it really needs a bit of a re think. I would probably pop back when the weathers warmer or it fills out a bit but at the moment I think I will stick to other bars & pubs in CP.

#15 JMS

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 05:04 PM

Went last Friday - and I liked it it - its horses for courses but I thought it was nicely done out and my mohjito was vey nice. It is a large space though and so needs a few people in there to create some atmosphere but I will go back defintely.