The Hilton building was completely changed during '05/'06 and has reopened with more panache, style and glitz than it ever had before. Marble bar is due for a re-review but our sources say it's pretty good. The previous review stays as a monument to how awful the old Marble Bar was in '01, and as a counterpoint to how good it should be since the changes.
review by: Jason
A textbook case of a pub gone wrong, the Marble Bar could be so much better, but fails dismally. If our visit was indicative of the normal state of the place, we're not going back.
The pub itself is one large spectacular room, the walls are all dark marble, covered with large oil paintings and it's dimly lit. It's been described elsewhere as an "architectural wonder" - which I concede, it is. However the lighting is so poor it's impossible to believe, and it's spoiled by tacky touches like PA speakers painted (yes, painted) in a marble effect and hastily typed notices blu-tac'd to the walls.
There are two bars, which we're told are both open at weekends, However tonight only one is open, and it's coated in a sticky beer residue and the sole barman is hardly a perfect example of customer service.
There's a live band ('Slide' McBride) about to play on the unforgivably hacked-in stage area, and the moment they start we decide we've had enough. Popular cover bands are one of our pet hates. Especially when they're this poor. Strange, the punters seem to be lapping it up.
Which brings me to the punters. I apologise in advance for any offence to you if you frequent this place, but the punters on this particular night seem to be the sort of people who've had all the soul sucked out of them and replaced with unquestioning acceptance of their lot. Rather like Microsoft
Marketing Execs. They looked like strangely active zombies - plenty of movement, nothing going on upstairs...
Nope, we're not going back. We can't face it. Myself in particular - I couldn't shut up all night about how awful it was, even in the face of blatant karaoke crime later in the night.
Bad, very bad.
review by: pubguide staff