Pub news

Where I give a current description of a pub in this column, it is based on how it used to be, in expectation of it being the same when it came to reopen.

Firstly an apology. In this edition I was intending to cover the story of the Carlton Tavern but I’ve had to hold it over to the next edition because I ran out of time.

Coming and going. . .

Many existing pubs may be struggling but there are plenty of people who are looking to open new ones. A recent check of planning applications, something which our deputy regional director, Roy Tunstall, does regularly, has revealed that there are micropubs coming to E4, E5 and BR4 plus several other interesting proposals which we will keep under observation.

Brendan the Navigator (Upper Holloway): originally the Old Crown and after a spell as a lounge restaurant, this impressive locally listed corner site has reopened as a gastropub with an Irish influence. The new name is a salute to the eponymous medieval Irish saint who undertook an epic journey to the Isle of the Blessed while navigators, usually shortened to navvies, was the term used for those who built Britain’s canals; many navvies were Irish. The new management intend to return the pub to its traditional character. It will feature live, acoustic, traditional Irish music sessions and ‘proper’ Guinness.

Taken during the period the pub was the Tourian Lounge

East Hill (Wandsworth): this pub is operated by Young’s, who acquired the lease when they took over the Geronimo group. The freehold however is owned by the Wellington Pub Company whose associates, Wellesley Capital Investment, applied to Wandsworth Council for planning permission to convert the upper floors into eight separate flats. CAMRA’s South West London branch objected to the application, citing Policy HC7 of the 2021 London Plan. The application was however approved. The Council acknowledged Policy HC7 but preferred to rely on a precedent created by a previous case. The matter has been taken up with City Hall.

Gunners (Highbury): this pub, dating back to 1840, is a regular gathering point for supporters of Arsenal Football Club. Plans have been put forward to build a four storey extension at the rear, providing nine flats and a shop plus an extended basement area for live music. The current management told the local press that the development was necessary to preserve the pub but that it is not going to be ‘gentrified’ and that it will retain its Arsenal credentials. First thoughts are that there may be a problem over noise. This might also be a test of London Plan Policy D13, Agents of Change.

Hack & Hop (Fleet Street): further to the article on Portobello Brewery in the last edition (page 35), the City of London Corporation (CoLC) has confirmed to CAMRA’s London Regional Director, Geoff Strawbridge, that the Salisbury Square development will see the demolition of the Hack & Hop in Whitefriars Street, operated by Portobello Brewery. CoLC has also confirmed that an adjacent building will be ‘adapted to create a new characterful public house’. The curiosity here is that the Hack & Hop is not a listed building but its replacement is. The arrangement respects to the pub protection policy (HC7) included in the recently published London Plan and it is reassuring to know that ColC is applying these provisions. There is currently no word as to what will happen to the nearby Tipperary, as also featured in the last edition.

Harlesden Picture Palace (Harlesden): this site was used as a pub for some time, originally by Wetherspoon’s from 1993 as the Coliseum and then the Misty Moon. It was subsequently leased to Antic but closed in 2017. Wetherspoon’s then sold the freehold to Brent Council who plan to turn it into a community and cultural hub.

Hope and Anchor (Hammersmith): CAMRA’s Pub Heritage Bulletin for April reported that the pub, originally a Truman’s house and which closed in 2012, is now being advertised for rent as a film location. It has featured in at least one BBC drama. Although there is little chance of it being demolished because it forms part of a 1930s housing block, there is no sign of it reopening as a pub. At least, the interior is being preserved.

Montague Arms (Peckham): a local newspaper, the News Shopper (30 April), reported that the application to demolish the pub for redevelopment has been withdrawn. The plan was opposed by local councillors who said, “Telegraph Hill councillors are delighted that the application to demolish a valued pub has been withdrawn. We will fight for the pub. People need places to socialise after a terrible pandemic.”

Yorkshire Grey (Holborn): this prominent Grade II-listed pub once housed a microbrewery. The tenant has been a casualty of the pandemic. The tenant surrendered the keys to the owners, Stonegate, at the turn of the year, but the pub has now reopened as part of Stonegate’s Best City Pubs chain.

I thought that readers might appreciate some news of pubs outside London that they might know.

Anchor Inn (High Offley, Staffordshire): many boaters will know this classic canalside pub, which is on CAMRA’s National Inventory. Sadly, the landlady of fifty years, Olive Cliff, has passed away. Happily, her family, to whom we send our condolences, have confirmed that the pub will be reopening in due course.

Viper (Mill Green, Essex): planning and listed building applications have been submitted by the new owner covering works on the outbuildings and fencing, along with refurbishment of the interior, which was in need of work. The owner has made it clear that he will maintain the pub’s traditional character. There is a lot of work to do and so the pub will not be reopening for some time. With thanks to the Pub Heritage Bulletin as above.