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Black Friar

(also known as Blackfriar)

174 Queen Victoria Street

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Opening Times


Monday11.30 am - 11.00 pm
Tuesday11.30 am - 11.00 pm
Wednesday11.30 am - 11.00 pm
Thursday11.30 am - 11.00 pm
Friday11.30 am - 11.00 pm
Saturday11.30 am - 11.00 pm
Sunday11.30 am - 6.00 pm

Meal Times

Mon - Sat noon - 8pm
Sun noon - 4pm


Nicholson's (Mitchells & Butlers)

About the Pub

Built in the 1875 but substantially altered in 1905 with the creation of the exquisite facade and specular interior in now a very rare Art Nouveau style. Friars in marble and brass carouse their way around the pubs interior and exterior and the grotto (dining area) is clad in matched Italian marble topped with Romanesque ceiling gold leaf. A sight to behold! A lively city pub welcoming office workers and tourists.

Historic Interest

Grade II* listing:- Public house. c1875, remodelled c1905 & 1917 by H Fuller Clark, architect, & Frederick Callcott & Henry Poole, sculptors. Yellow stock brick with granite & Portland stone dressings; mosaic, sculpture & copper panel enrichment. Flat roof with 2 tall chimneys. Roughly triangular plan on a corner site. 4 storeys & cellars. 1 window to Queen Victoria Street, 1 to chamfered angle & 3 to New Bridge Street return. Ground floor public house frontage extends around the building with segmental arched entrances to both streets & the angle. Transom & mullion windows with small panes above segmental arched cellar lights. Above, a deep mosaic fascia carrying the words "Saloon / 174 / The Black Friar / 174 / Brandies". Fascia interrupted by carved panels, depicting drinking & devilry, which surmount entrance flanking piers with bronze directional & advertising panels depicting friars. Queen Victoria Street entrance with mosaic tympanum of a friar. Above each entrance an elaborate wrought-iron sign with lamp. Upper floor windows architraved; those to Queen Victoria Street tripartite with enriched pediments to 1st & 2nd floor; angle with clock to 1st floor &enriched segmental pediments to 2nd; New Bridge street with enriched pediments to 1st & 2nd floor apart from that above entrance with segmental pediment extending from doorcase. Patterned cast-iron window guards. Projecting cornice & blocking course. Fine Arts & Crafts interior clad in variegated marble with brass, mosaic, wood & copper reliefs. Small, windowless extra rear vaulted room, known as the Grotto, excavated from a railway vault, designed by Clark in 1913 but not executed until 1917-21 owing to the war. In the main bar features include the enriched fireplace recess, framed by a broad tripartite arch, which encloses corner seats; grate with firedogs surmounted by imps; overmantle has bronze bas-relief of singing friars entitled "Carols", flanked by 2 friars' heads with swags above seats. Stained glass window depicting a friar in a sunlit garden. Above the bar, a bronze bas-relief entitled "Tomorrow will be Friday" depicting monks catching trout and eels; above the entrance to the Grotto, a further relief entitled "Saturday afternoon" depicting gardening monks whose produce is coloured in enamels. Barrel-vaulted Grotto entered from 3 arcaded arches with bas-relief monks on the pillars. Mosaic vaults with marble-clad ribs. Features of interest include end walls each with a bronze relief, one entitled "Don't advertise, tell a gossip" with a group of monks doing the weekly wash, the other entitled "A good thing is soon snatched up" depicting monks pushing a trussed pig in a wheelbarrow. On the cornice below, devils representing music, drama, painting & literature. Side walls have 6 alabaster capitals illustrating nursery rhymes, 16 smaller capitals illustrating Aesop's Fables & mottoes such as "Haste is slow" in good electro-gilt letters by the Birmingham Guild. 4 lamp brackets with alabaster figures of Morning, Evening, Noon and Night holding up a bronze monk with water buckets. Extra at one end with a relief entitled "Contentment surpasses riches" depicting a sleeping monk surrounded by fairies, executed with mother of pearl and semi-precious stone inlay. The "window" below with red marble colonettes is an arrangement of mirrors. Further mirrors in the Grotto enhance the small space.

Regular ales

This pub serves 2 regular beers.

  • Fuller's London Pride
  • St Austell Nicholson's Pale Ale

Changing ales

This pub serves 3 changing beers.

Changing beers typically include:

  • Adnams Ghost Ship
  • St Austell Tribute
  • Timothy Taylor Landlord

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  • RealAle Real Ale Available
  • LocAle LocAle Accredited
  • CaskMarque Cask Marque Accredited
  • RealHeritagePub Historic Pub Interior

    Nationally Historic Pub Interior


  • LunchtimeMeals Lunchtime Meals
  • EveningMeals Evening Meals
  • Garden Garden

    Outside seating area.

  • DogFriendly Dog Friendly

    Not Restaurant.

  • FamilyFriendly Family Friendly
  • Restaurant Restaurant Area
  • Smoking Smoking Area


  • WiFi Wifi

View on Larger Map

Black Friar

174 Queen Victoria Street

Sat Nav Reference

51.512129, -0.103746


  • <Bus Close to Bus Routes
  • <Station Close to Railway Station
  • <Underground Close to London Underground / Overground / DLR

Nearby Bus Routes (60m)

45, 63, 100, 388

Nearby Station (100m)

London Blackfriars

Nearby London Underground/Overground/DLR (100m)

London Blackfriars

Submit Pub Updates to CAMRA

We welcome the help of all users to contribute to this important campaigning project. Please use the form below to submit feedback or updates directly to the CAMRA branch for consideration.

Please note that any changes mentioned WILL NOT have an immediate effect on but will instead be emailed directly to the CAMRA branch Pubs Officer for consideration. If you provide your name and/or email address this information will also be visible to the Pubs Officer, who may use this information to follow up your feedback. IF YOU WISH TO CONTACT THE PUB DIRECT, PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS FORM.

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Black Friar London EC4 taken Feb 2012

Black Friar

174 Queen Victoria Street

Pub Features

  • Real Ale Available
  • LocAle Accredited
  • Cask Marque Accredited
  • Historic Pub Interior
  • Lunchtime Meals
  • Evening Meals
  • Garden
  • Dog Friendly
  • Family Friendly
  • Restaurant Area
  • Smoking Area
  • Wifi
  • Close to Bus Routes
  • Close to Railway Station
  • Close to London Underground / Overground / DLR

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