london marketing pubs

North Nineteen

n19.jpgThe London Drinker really is invaluable for keeping tabs on the comings and goings of London pubs. The editorial is, of course, interesting, but in the current issue, it was an advertisement that caught our eye.

The landlord of North Nineteen, a recently refurbished pub off the Upper Holloway Road in North London, included this refreshingly friendly line in his advertisement for a “mini beer festival”:

We are looking for ale lovers not just for the event but also to become regulars as we always have good well kept real ales on draught. Real ale and the British pub are national treasures, so we are doing our bit to keep this fantastic British tradition going.

On top of that, a warm review in Time Out gave us the nudge we needed to brave a barely functioning public transport network and give it a go.

First impressions: they are trying very hard, and partially succeeding. The beer was, as promised, on good form, and there was interesting selection including two from Wooden Hand. Black Pearl was a very tasty porter/stout — one to look out for.

In terms of atmosphere, there’s a little work to do. Wooden floors and white walls, contrived to send out come hither signals to North London middle classes, actually make the place a bit cold and echoing, but that will change as the place gets busier. That’s certainly what happened at the Pembury. One of the two bars was already crammed with people enjoying live music from three bands, which bodes well for the pub’s survival.

The biggest asset, though, is likely to be the energy and commitment of the owners. The landlord was very much the host, readily dishing out the hellos, goodbyes and welcomes. He also got out from behind the bar to, as they say in the modern vernacular, “work the room”, which really helped to make us and others feel at home.

In short, we like this place, and we want it to do well, even if it’s not quite there yet. If you’re in the area, do pop in for a pint.

Picture from the pub’s rather swanky website.

7 replies on “North Nineteen”

Was the Black Pearl stout of Irish origin, do you know? I think it might well be a stout which is produced here in Dublin but is sadly shipped straight out of the country.

This place looks interesting – doubtless an absolute godsend if you live up in N19. Another decent pub near Holloway Road is the Swimmer at the Grafton Arms. Once did rather well in the pub quiz there. My mate Kieron used to live up there.

Wooden Hand beer in bottles is also available in Smith’s of Smithfield, of all places. I believe the owner of the bar/restaurant has a stake in the brewery, or vice versa. Smith’s is OK for beer actually – the house lager (a rebadged Zatec) is pretty good and they have the (now much improved) Meantime London Stout on tap too. No cask however.

Must say, Holloway is an area of London I don’t know very well at all, and you certainly wouldn’t find North nineteen unless you were looking for it, as it’s up a side road in the middle of a housing estate.

I think it’s good news for real ale if a new place sees selling ale as a part of the marketing mix. And here, the chaps behind the bar seemed to know what they were talking about and were happy to recommend what they’d been drinking.

Oh, and incidentally I’m beginning to wish some barmen were a little less knowledgeable. There’s a fine line between giving the punters useful info and patronising them, and someone in a well-known ale pub in London crossed that line the other day. Perhaps there’ll be a post in that…

Comments are closed.