It's back! Difficult to believe, but after years of barren, shuttered decay, the Archway Tavern got back in business this weekend.
It's five years at least since anyone popped in here for a pint. Great to have you back!
The building dates from 1888. An imposing edifice in what became the blighted island in the middle of the Archway gyratory system. Now, you don't have to cross the road to get from Archway tube to the Tavern. The area is slowly, slowly on the up. There's even an M&S food store nearby!
The Tavern used to be a big Guinness pub. This was a very Irish corner of North London. It still is - you can buy all the Irish county weeklies at the newsagents nearby. And that Guinness legacy is evident both in the tiles at the entrance (the toucan featured for decades in Guinness ads and promotions) and in the rather decrepit clock on the outside ... it would be so nice if they could restore the clock to its original splendour.
The Tavern has a great location, but it needs a touch more character and charm. And perhaps a few pence off the price of a pint.
For a pub of such size and vintage it would be nice to say a little more about its history, But to be honest I'm not quite sure what there is to say.
The Tavern's main claim to fame is featuring on the cover of the Kinks' album "Muswell Hillbillies" - even though the Kinks' stamping ground of Muswell Hill is a mile or two further out.
All the same, it's good to have one of North London's grand old drinking spots back - not many arise Lazarus-like from the dead in the way that the Archway Tavern has done. Now it's a matter of ... Stayin' Alive!
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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