With a distinctive curved entrance on Kennington Road, The Hercules is Fuller’s newest pub.
A few years ago this was a perfectly serviceable Chinese restaurant, but I was pleased to see it transformed into a pub.
It didn’t feel like a Fuller’s at all.
Instead, it was more like a craft beer pub, with a strange tiny bar, with a few Fuller’s offerings on cask almost as an afterthought (the ESB was off).
There was an extraordinary number of sour beers on the taps.
It was busy, quite busy, almost like a party, but it felt congested with people standing between tables.
This makes me sound like an old man, but the music really was too loud.
It is light and airy, but the furniture, although clearly thought through, is a bit of a hotpotch, sofas competing with benches and what looked like a few theatre director’s chairs.
Perhaps I was not the target audience, and I was the oldest in the bar, apart from a Harry Redknapp lookalike who looked out of place, sinking into one of the sofas.
The staff had a slightly distracted air, and when I ordered a drink two turned up. I wouldn’t have minded, but I was now lumbered with two weird lemon cheesecake sours.
I found a seat and looked at the menu – the usual decent Fuller’s fayre.
£11.50 for a plate of nachos was a bridge too far for me.
At one point, a member of staff came over and asked if I wanted to order. It felt like they were trying to crush a pub and a restaurant together.
The upstairs area is delightful however, with a “I am Herculean” lighted mirror the prominent feature of a spacious yet cosy area.
The Hercules refers not to the man of myth but to the circus Hercules “strongman” and there are circus pictures adorned on the exposed brick walls.
So it was a mixed experience for me – good beer and food but a bit pricey and quirky. But it is obviously doing something right.
The Hercules 2 Kennington Road, SE1 7BL The Hercules - Fuller's Bar and Restaurant in Lambeth North