LHT Urban Bar, Whitechapel.: "Bad paintjob, good venue." London Nightlife Tip by planxty

London Nightlife: 1,240 reviews and 1,302 photos

  LHT Urban Bar, Whitechapel, London, UK.
by planxty

I have been drinking in this place for over 20 years now and it has certainly changed a lot. If you are wondering about the name LHT Urban Bar, the LHT stands for London Hospital Tavern, it's former name and a long-time watering hole for doctors, nurses and hospital staff from the eponymous adjoining premises. It used to be a fairly typical East End pub with the exception that the roof was completely covered with framed prints all over the ceiling. I could tell you a funny a story about that, but I don't want to embarrass my mate.

Fast forward to know and the place has much changed. Firstly, the paintjob as mentioned in the title of this tip. It is painted in the most garish orange and black tigerstripes over the entire three storey exterior. You certainly won't miss it is a hurry. Inside, it is a comfy and friendly pub with a superb jukebox and reasonable pub grub during the day and evening but it is the upstairs function room that this tip refers to. Whilst previously it was only hired out for private functions but, like the exterior paintjob, it is all changed now.

You can choose from bands of various genres at the weekend (some gigs are free and some have a cover charge, usually not more than 3), there are occasional poker nights and a regular salsa class on Tuesdays and Wednesdays beginning at 1930. Here is a link specific to the class.


An added advantage of "the Urban" as it is locally referred to is that it stays open (legally) longer than most other bars on this stretch of the Whitechapel Road, typically 0100 weekday and 0200 Friday and Saturday. Sunday closing can vary dependent on how busy it is, it can be a little quiet. In an area where live music and indeed pubs themselves seem to be dying out, the Urban seems to be flying the flag. You may even meet me propping up the end of the bar. If you are wearing any VT promo gear, I'll buy you a drink!

Update June 2013.

Well, they really have gone and done it now, haven't they? I should really re-write this whole tip as it is largely about the appalling paintjob but as of a few weeks ago they have decided to re-paint the outside. It is now a much more sober looking place if that is not an oxymoron. A sober pub? Perhaps they read my tip and took the hint. Otherwise, things continue much as normal. I'll try to get an up to date image soon and add it asap. In fact, it is a while since I was in there so going to take photos is as good an excuse as any!

Dress Code: Casual.

Address: 176 Whitechapel Road, E1 1BJ.
Directions: On the Whitechapel Road, adjacent to the Royal London Hospital and directly opposite Whitechapel Tube station.
Phone: +00 44 (0)20 7247 8978
Theme: Live Music
Website: http://www.lhturbanbar.co.uk/index.html

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 20, 2013
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