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The Londoner: Panama City Brittish Pub

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Written by Matt   
Tuesday, 21 August 2007 12:45
When asked "what regularly comforts you when travel?" most drinkers can confidently answer that, healing regardless of the town or language, a British pub is a thing of familiarity that, whether you're from England or not, makes everyone feel a little more at home.
The thriving tourism mecca that is Panama City did not, up until very recently, have anything that mildly resembled a British pub. The few that claimed to exist were about as British pub as I am black. But now, hooligans, sloppy drunks, and fish and chips extremists have a place they can finally call home. It's called The Londoner and it's brilliant mate.

The uneven stools, the broad beer coasters, the deep fried foods. To me, a Brittish pub is not unlike a bank or a hospital in that it is a requirement of any city that wanting to attract tourists. All tourists, no matter how cultured or adventurous they say they are, love to drink cold beer in the presence of others.

The names behind the project are the same masterminds who've made next-door Ozone Café one of the city's most consistent dining establishments. However The Londoner has a totally different vibe. The doors open into a theatric and smoky pool table area-the kind of thing that wouldn't be out of place in a WWII romance flick. Wood paneling, swinging doors, laid-back college vibe, the whole get out.

At other so-called pubs in the city, you usually have two beer options, Atlas or Balboa. The service is dull, the décor is dim, and the food nauseatingly resembles Brittish kibble.

The Londoner though, is characterized by the same core service and stellar cuisine we've become accustomed to at Ozone. Waiters and bar backs are always there when you need them, never hovering around when you don't. The menu is simple and really well done: the actual bar, extremely well stocked and an insane number of imported cold beers on draft. The ambiance is intensely British pub, but the underlying casual feel is enough to let your guard down and slug down another round.

Sit in one of their booths or around the bar and you're bound to be transported back to that semester abroad when you amazingly pulled off a 3.21 GPA and drank one too many Irish Car Bombs. It conjures up late nights with friends and intense sports rivalries, those of which The Londoner shows on giant plasma TV's scattered throughout the floor. What so special about this place is that it's not innovative or trendy, but rather this comfortable and recognizable environment where locals and travelers alike will feel at ease.

Sure, the thrill of travel is in finding new places and experiencing new things. But to people like me, small bits of comfort in the form of tall pint glasses, are not only welcomed, but quickly consumed.

Directions: It's located just around the corner from Habibis, and directly across from Starlight in the Banking District, on Calle Uruguay. They're open almost every night and parking is available in front valet style.
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Last Updated on Monday, 15 September 2008 14:08
 
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