Oly Pub

What started in 1947 as Olympia Bar and Restaurant has evolved as a refute to innumerable Calcuttans and tourists alike. The Oly Pub we know changed its avatar from Olympia in 1981, shrinking its name into a cooler and international version. For my parents’ generation, it was still Olympia in their college years, for most of them, it was the ultimate inexpensive hangout. Besides the cheap liquor and food, Oly Pub’s USP was the Beef Steak at an affordable price and lip-smacking taste. Times have changed, Olympia has changed to Oly Pub, which has been renovated again post the fire last year. I haven’t been then pre-fire, hence I can’t vouch for what it used to be, but I can give you a sneak peek of what it is in circa 2015.

Image Courtesy: Kolkataonwheels dot com

Image Courtesy: Kolkataonwheels dot com

The Decor – From friends who were regulars at Oly Pub since college, I’ve heard it was never acclaimed for its decor. The ground floor was shabby and a smoking zone, which in my opinion is very suffocating, though it is ideal for smokers and dopers. Post-fire renovation, the ground floor has been turned into a non-smoking zone with centralised air conditioning. The decor is still shabby, but quite comfortable now with optimally spaced tables and waiters dribbling in the narrow slits between them. The lights are ordinary fluorescent ones, and if you’re looking for a fancy or romantic date, it’s certainly not the place. The floor above has poshier tables and dim lights, oh, and the coveted ‘Ladies Toilet’ that is absent downstairs.

The Decor, not impressive. Image Courtesy: Times Oh dot com

The Decor, not impressive. Image Courtesy: Times Oh dot com

The Ambiance – Oly Pub is warm, with its people and tourists alike. You’ll always find animated students and a lot of young people, though it’s not as inexpensive now as it used to be. It’s a regular for people working in the Park Street area, and a lot of tourists who visit the most bustling part of Calcutta. It may not be the most happening pub, but you’ll find a lot of interesting people at one go.

Fish Finger at Oly Pub.

Fish Finger at Oly Pub.

The Food – From three to four visits for me now, the food curve has been all crests and troughs. While the Fish Finger was superb one time, it was the worst next time. If the quality of fish varies each day, Oly Pub certainly loses its brownie points here. We found stale Bombay Duck within the crumb coating once, which doesn’t qualify as Fish Finger for sure. It has to be Bekti (Bhekti) , Bhola or its oceanic versions of Bombay Bekti (Rawas) at least. Cheap and stale Bombay Duck doesn’t work for us. French Fries were at least face savers, though their {quantity : price} ratio is questionable. Cocktail Sausage platter wasn’t bad but too less in quantity for the price they come in.

Beef Steak at Oly Pub. Unfortunately all my photos have disappeared and this image is from Tripoto dot com.

Beef Steak at Oly Pub. Unfortunately all my photos have disappeared and this image is from Tripoto dot com.

The biggest disappointment though, was the Beef Steak. We were hopeful of it since having heard so much from friends. However, it failed us each time we visited. The steak, priced low, is hardly 8oz (though people in Calcutta don’t bother about the size of steak), chewy, kind of rare done, and burnt at portions. It is served with a side of boiled peas and mashed potatoes. While the latter is still edible, the former is a complete dud. Who likes to chew on hard boiled peas with a chewy elastic steak? The last time we tried steak was hilarious, with four of us asking for sharper knives to cut on the real hard meat. I didn’t get what I heard since long and I won’t try it again.

The Service – One of the worst in Calcutta, I can vouch for that. We had a huge tiff with one waiter who was abominably rude in his service. I don’t know if the staff has undergone any change post-fire, but if it has, this is the worst lot. They don’t seem to respond ever, and are very slow. The manager, Mr Haque, was apologetic, but things are beyond his control, it seemed. I’d rather go somewhere else than the celebrated Oly Pub, a hangout for commies once, preaching equality.

My Rating – 2.5/5

Zomato – 3.4/5

Burrp – 3.7/5

Address – 21 Mother Teresa Sarani, A.J.C. Bose Road, Park Street, Kolkata – 700016. Phone –  033-64520472

Have you ever been here? Let me know how you liked it. 

Shoot a mail to invite for restaurant/diner reviews, menu tasting and pre-launch events at chernozems.prb@gmail.com

Olypub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

6 thoughts on “Oly Pub

  1. Feeling nostalgic to see a post on Oly Pub. This was one of the regular places during my masters. But to be frank enough, the ground floor was not good enough for ladies at least at that time. I have practically not seen any ladies even in the floor above as well. It was a preferred choice for us as it was cheap and quite delicious compared to the others in the Park Street area. Good to know that is is renovated.


  2. Maybe. Maybe a not so kind review. Beef steak is not available now. *Hush hush* Chicken Ala-Keev rules though. Service was never best (10 yrs exp only). But still sticks to the “cheapest” label. Ok. At least around where it stands. Love.


  3. Pingback: The Great Beef Treasure Hunt: Try out the fare at some of the Best Places for beef in Kolkata | Tripigator Travel Blog

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