“Respecting and maintaining the tradition of this great pub” is the key focus of the new owners of The Wenlock Arms, one of London’s most celebrated real ale pubs as they prepare to re-open the pub for business.
Many had thought they’d lose the iconic pub to developers, but after vociferous campaigning by locals, the ‘Save The Wenlock’ campaign convinced planners that the pub was a ‘heritage asset’ and shouldn’t fall foul of the bulldozers.
Commenting, new owner Heath Ball said: “We want to restore the pub to its status as a real ale Mecca. We will have 10 real ales on pump, a great choice of lagers, a permanent stout (Camden ink) and we will also have a good selection of perry and cider. We’ll be stocking beer from many of London’s microbreweries as well as seeking out other great beers from across the UK – I believe that there’s never been a better time to drink real ale and I hope people will return here to do it. I’ve seen too many pubs turn ‘gastro’ as they think they have to, what we’re doing here is to breathe new life into a traditional pub.
“In terms of food, we’ll have a simple but delicious bar menu, food that is perfect to drink by, including pig sandwiches, salt beef sandwiches, oysters and hot dogs. We have plans to offer Sunday Lunch, but we’ll let the pub settle back in first.
“The council gave us some conditions with the refurbishment. We have to install new toilets and reinstate the original main corner door – which was fantastic, because in doing so we unearthed the original 150 year old mosaic sign reading ‘Wenlock Arms’. We’ve put a new floor in and are painting the pub the original colours inside and out – so there’s more than a nod to the way the pub used to be. We don’t want to take the soul out of the pub the way it was, but it needed work and a bit of TLC. There are a few original Wenlock Brewery touches we’ve sourced and hopefully a few surprises for the customers when we open the doors”.
Stage two of the refurbishment will take place in September when the team knock through the old toilets and extend the floor space of the pub.
“The pub will be a work in progress for the first 6 months while the team complete the building work. When they’re done we will be fully operational, but at the moment we just want to get open” said Heath.
Heath also runs The Red Lion and Sun in London’s Highgate, a Greene King lease site. The Wenlock Arms is operated on a free of tie lease.
The Wenlock Arms will re-open on Monday 3rd June.
Note: An image of a 150 year old mosaic that was discovered in the pub during the refurb accompanies this release.
Monday – Thursday noon till midnight
Friday & Saturday noon till 2am
Sunday noon till midnight.
26 Wenlock Road, City Road, london, N1 7TA
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