Penny Bar

Old Vic, 103 The Cut, Waterloo, London, SE1 8NB
Penny Bar image
Review Summary from 1 review

Old Vic, 103 The Cut, Waterloo, London, SE1 8NB

020 7928 2651


Nearest Station
Southwark (0.21 miles)



Opening Summary

Food served from 08:00 - 19:30
Bar open until late

Beneath the Old Vic theatre, this cafe and coffee shop becomes a wine and craft-beer spot by night.

Penny Bar Picture Gallery

Penny Bar Picture

All In London Review

The Penny Bar has swapped the low lit lounge style for craft beer, toasties and Macbooks

Review Image
The Old Vic theatre remains a constant as it continues to deliver some of the best and most innovative productions in London but all around it, things are changing. The stylish Hix bar on the first floor joins a swanky foyer bar and now the basement theatre bar has undergone transformation – well, a year ago, but still. Once a carpeted retreat for the pre and post performance crowd, the lower level Penny Bar has evolved into a welcome-all space that attracts a daytime crowd almost as strong as the evening arrivals.

White washed walls, a plywood bar front and some well-appointed down lighting strips the space back to the verge of dull but does just enough to keep on the right side of minimalist style. Some mourn the loss of the old place but times change and the new canteen café/bar does a good job of opening itself up to a wider demographic. Coffee, cake and pastries are served in the daytime and for something heavier to snack on we can recommend the mushroom and melted cheese toastie for a pre-show evening meal.

Naturally, the place appeals to a laptop wielding, horn-rimmed glasses wearing crowd who feel at home in a theatre bar even when not in the process of watching theatre, which seems like the Penny Bar’s whole raison d’etre. We drink Sierra Nevada from the bottle – because it’s that kind of place – and sample the Freedom Organic Helles. The higher quality beverage is a reminder that change is good, offering a slight softening of the blow that Penny has undoubtedly lost a bit of its soul. Move with the times and you’ll find something to like in the Old Vic’s basement bar, yearn for the past and be glad you still have the option of some of Soho’s chintzy subterranean artist’s bars.

Reviewed by T.A.O anonymously
Published on Nov 15, 2016

User Reviews

There are no user reviews
Have your say

Add a review or useful tip for this bar

Add a review Add a useful tip

The Nearest Alternatives

Mark's Bar

103 The Cut, Southwark, London, SE1 8NB

0.00 miles from here

Waterloo Brasserie

119 Waterloo Road, Southwark, London, SE1 8UL

0.07 miles from here

Tonight Josephine

111 Waterloo Road, Waterloo, London, SE1 8UL

0.07 miles from here

Sign up for the latest
Sign up to our newsletter for the latest and greatest from London!
By entering your email address you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receive email updates and newsletters from All In London. You can unsubscribe at any time.