Drink Here Now: The Lion & Crown
Throw back a few pints at this 'authentic' English pub in Addison Circle.
The maze-like layout of the Lion & Crown makes it difficult for some people to find the pool table in the back — and that's part of the charm.photography by Jerry McClure
The Concept: Co-owner Bob, who insists on keeping his last name a closely guarded secret, prides himself on the fact that the Lion & Crown is traditional English, not traditional “American” English. Born in Ireland, Bob’s been in the pub business in England for years and recently decided to dabble in the Dallas bar scene. The former Avanti restaurant space in Addison Circle called his name. (First name only, we’re sure.)
Who’s There: Men. Lots and lots of men. It’s all but missing a cocktail waitress walking around with a tray of testosterone shots. But don’t let that deter you, girls. If you’re on the man hunt, make this your stalking ground. I’m not really the betting kind, but trust me – the odds are in your favor.
Fun Fact: When Bob does authentic, he does it right. You’ll notice one thing when you walk in: wood. Everywhere. And it’s all been flown in from England. A former church pew serves as makeshift spectator seating for the pool table. The paneling on one wall is from an actual nunnery. The stools and the bar are made out of old English church furniture. The chairs are transplants from English pubs. Even the wooden beams on the ceiling – which let’s be honest, no one really notices – are English born and bred.
What They’re Drinking: English drafts filled the hands of most – Fuller's, Samuel Smith’s, Stella, Boddington’s – served by bartenders in matching shirts donned with none other than lions, crowns, and soccer crests. (Where was this place during the World Cup? We wondered the same thing.)
The Grub: The kitchen was closed during our evening visit, but we’re told they’re just starting to develop the menu. Dishes like the ham and cheese toastie, bangers and mash, chili chips and cheese, or the chili and rice are some of their current specials for $6 each. Bob says happy hours will start soon. They’re still settling in, as evidenced by the restrooms, which are designated by a handwritten piece of paper. Or maybe that’s an English custom?
Wood, mostly imported from England, can be seen everywhere you turn in this traditional English pub.
What They’re Wearing: Guys in jeans and casual tops; girls in flowy summer dresses or shorts, tanks, and sandals.
When You Enter, Make a Beeline For: Whatever your pub-frequenting heart fancies. The pub was designed to mimic those in England that have separate rooms to accommodate everyone’s interests. There’s the bar in the main room, a sitting area next to a fireplace, a back room with a pool table, another sitting area that’s slightly elevated and blocked off with a wooden banister, and an outdoor patio. Each section is separated by white and green walls adorned with giant clocks and framed pictures of the English countryside. It’s a bit maze-like — four people lost their way just trying to find the pool table. But, apparently, that’s the point. One giant room with loud music and too much standing room is too … American.
When the Crowd Arrives: Around 10:30 pm. By 11:30, nearly every table boasted a beer or two.
The Smoking Scene: Even though it’s in Addison, smoking is only allowed on the patio.
Bottom Line: Worth checking out. It could use more televisions, especially now that football season is here. But if you’re looking for a relaxed vibe to shoot some pool and toss back a few beers, then it could be your new post-work detour. And if you see a barely over 5-foor-tall ball of energy with sprinkled grey hair, say hello. That’s Bob. He sends that British "stiff upper lip” stereotype right out those wooden front doors.
Check out our nightlife photo gallery of the scene at the Lion & Crown.