The 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.