The Stage Door is an eclectic place, which, as its name suggests, is behind the Orchard Theatre in Dartford town centre. The old building looks impressive from the outside with a fretwork balcony running all the way around the front, tall windows and feature brickwork, and original doors.
Inside, the bar is decorated after a theatre theme with lots of showbiz autographed photos and posters of celebrities, some going back many years. It all adds up to a buzzy atmosphere, particularly before and after performances, when you are quite likely to come across some of the stars of the day’s show!
There is usually a variety of ales on tap while a good range of wines by the glass is offered too, and there are fresh filled rolls available all day for a quick bite to eat. To entertain, the pub has a darts board, or you can borrow the cards or crib board from the bar.
Unusually for the centre of Dartford, the Stage Door has a large prettily-planted garden, with plenty of seating for summer days, and there is a free car park nearby. It is also handy for public transport links, being close to both the railway station and bus terminus.
This pub is a gem, handily directly opposite The Orchard West temporary theatre (and the actual Orchard Theatre is two minutes walk away, if it ever reopens). Popped in on a Sunday night before a show and had two pints, Guiness & Whitstable real ale, both perfect. £9.25 but big sign states card payments are only allowed for minimum £10, which bar staff enforced. Had no cash so had to buy a £1 packet of C&O crisps as well - which turned out to be excellent, hadn't seen the brand before (can't remember what it was). Open bar in front of you as you enter, all quite bright, stage photos and posters on the walls. Lots of tables and chairs and large beer garden out the back. Some furniture well worn but everything very clean including the toilets. Well the gents anyway, didn't visit the ladies. Music was on for a while, then it stopped. Unclear if it was a juke box or at whim of staff. Punters mainly middle-aged blokes, most tables taken. Then they all went in the theatre for the show, so maybe that isn't typical clientèle.... Pro-tip... At theatre half-time we returned to the pub instead of wasting time queuing for inferior and more expensive drinks! No one else did, so result 😁
Absolutely appalling. Friday night and no ales on pump. Had an average (and expensive) bottle of Spitfire. Had a mumbled apology about 'waiting for barrels to settle ' I get one pump off, but all 3 at same time? I certainly expect better at a Shepherd neame pub.
Nice, clean place. Friendly regulars and staff. Nice prices. Minimum £10 on a card though.
Nice quiet local pub. Clean and tidy yet retails its character. Decent tables / seating outside in the back garden. I would highly recommend their cheese and onion bread roll, it went down a treat with my pint.
Lovely little pub with a very welcoming atmosphere. Has a great outdoor space which is fantastic for summer but also has a small heated area. Just remember there is a £10 minimum spend on card. Would recommend.
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