Slap bang in the heart of Notting Hill, this scuzzy chic booze house makes a welcome contrast to the poncy cocktail bars that adorn the area. Despite being popular with locals and boasting a prime location on the Carnival route, The Pelican’s never enjoyed much financial success. Today’s incarnation is its third makeover in almost as many years, and fingers crossed it will be its last.
The new owners seem to have the formula right, opting for a kind of cowboy/Gothic makeover. The bar is all brooding dark woods, burgundies, saloon-style leather seats, gilded candelabras and an inviting marble fireplace. There’s a solid beer selection with down-to-earth ales such as London Pride and a few trendy lagers (Sagres and Estrella Damm). The wine list is impressive (this is Notting Hill after all), and there’s a decent, and affordable, food selection to boot.
Punters stay plenty amused here as well—not only have the new owners kept Tuesday’s popular pub quiz, but they’ve added an open mic night on Wednesdays and Thursday’s coveted chance to win free drinks courtesy of the dice-based game ‘No Bill’. A true local gem, as long as it lasts.