Read news about pubs and campaigning issues affecting Real Ale and Pubs in London and further afield.

20 February 2018

Fuller's buys Dark Star The London brewery and pub company has bought 100% of the shares in the Sussex Brewery which will continue to operate at Dark Star’s Partridge Green site as a standalone business.

MD James Cuthbertson said: “Since our inception in 1994, we have continuously grown from those early days in The Evening Star Pub in Brighton to the current brewery in Partridge Green. The partnership with Fuller’s, another independent brewery with fantastic heritage and great beer at its very core, will allow us to take the brewery to the next level. The deal means we will continue to do what we do, but gives us huge opportunities to brew more one-off small batch beers hand-in-hand with exploring the export market and expanded bottle and can formats.”

Simon Dodd, Managing Director of The Fuller’s Beer Company, said: “Following on from the success we have had with our acquisition of Cornish Orchards, we have been looking at similar opportunities to invest in and work with young, exciting companies that have a similar ethos and commitment to quality as Fuller’s. Following discussions with James and the team at Dark Star, we could see that we could add real benefit to the Dark Star business and it provides a great new range of delicious cask beers that will enhance the Fuller’s portfolio.

“Both Fuller’s and Dark Star are brewers with quality and taste at their heart. I just can’t wait to see how Dark Star innovates further with the support of Fuller’s and access to our expertise in brewing, retailing and business elements such as finance, purchasing and IT systems.”

28 November 2017

CAMRA North London will be hosting the first ever competition to find the best low alcohol beer brewed in London at the London Drinker Beer & Cider Festival in March.. The competition is open to any beer of 3% ABV or lower with the aim of showing that a beer doesn't have to be strong to be tasty. Alcohol education charity, Drinkaware, are sponsoring the competition.

The Festival’s organiser, Christine Cryne, said “We welcome entries from any brewery, big or small, in any format, draught, can or bottle, the more the merrier! And we have put together a fantastic list of experienced judges to find us the very best beer. Anyone interested in putting in a beer, or even two, to this inaugural competition, which is free to enter, should contact me.

9 October 2017

CAMRA London condemns the introduction of a late-night levy in Tower Hamlets, which will see pubs in the area hit with yet another tax bill, at a time when the business rates revaluation has seen many of the capital’s pubs facing unprecedented rises in their rates.

Tower Hamlets joins the City of London, Islington, Camden and Hackney to be the fifth London council to agree a late-night levy, a tax that forces licensed premises to pay for policing the streets at night.

Local pubs that are licensed past midnight will be expected to pay the tax, regardless of whether they continue serving or trading late into the evening.

John Cryne, Chair of London Region CAMRA says: “We are seeing a worrying trend across London of more and more councils considering late night levies, without thinking of the effect this will have on valued community pubs. We are proud of the variety of pubs that we have across London, but introducing a levy is just penalising local businesses when the majority contribute positively to the night time economy. What is the point in having an all night tube if there is nowhere to go?”

“Late night levies are a blunt instrument, and unfairly penalise pubs - most of which are hubs of responsible drinking. Coupled with the introduction of crippling business rates, pubs in Tower Hamlets face rapidly rising costs - which will either result in more pub closure or higher prices for consumers.”

The levy, which can be up to £85.38 each week, depends on the size and rateable value of the premises and was agreed by Tower Hamlets Council on September 20th.

25 May 2017

The June/July copy of the London Drinker is now available to download from here.

20 April 2017

The Mayor of London has issued a press release - Shocking data reveals number of pubs in London fell by 25% since 2001

9 February 2017

Plan revealed to turn Pakenham Arms into office space
Mystery Black Cap pub admirer applies for building to be listed
Lambeth vetoes plan to cut size of Camel & Artichoke pub
Residents unite to save historic London Irish pub The Corrib Rest from development into luxury flats
Stonegate acquires trio of London pubs
My Pub: The Guinea Grill, Mayfair

27 January 2017

End of an era for Camden Town's pub scene as Quinn's landlord dies aged 94
Victoria pub in Highgate closes
Greenwood pub, restaurant and sports lounge opens in Victoria.
Plan to re-open Old White Bear in Hampstead given green light as owner pledges ‘community hub’
Ealing pub hit by fire reopens
Historic Thomas a Becket pub to become Rock Island restaurant
Sekforde Arms to reopen in June
Madness honour legendary Camden venue The Dublin Castle

12 October

Grace Land has acquiring two new sites having bought bar restaurant Verden in Hackney and Jan’s Bar in Stoke Newington. As a partner of Barworks they currently operates the Black Heart in Camden Town, the Earl of Essex in Islington, and the Kings Arms in Bethnal Green. Verden will reopen as the Mermaid. Jan’s Bar is owned by the Wellington Pub Co but was leased to a private vendor.

Tom and Ed Martin, owners of ETM Group, have launched Burdock, a bar at the new Royal London House hotel in the City. The Finsbury Square bar features four overhanging tank beers from their Long Arm Brewery as well as guest craft ales.

A private UK investor has purchased the the freehold of the Ship in Mortlake from Henderson Global Investors for £4,525,000. It is let to Greene King until March 2044 as part of their Taylor Walker brand.

Dirty Martini is taking over the former Mary Jane’s site on Minories in the City with the opening date set for tomorrow, 13 October. Don't expect any draught beer, never mind real ale, if any of there other venues are anything to go by.

Redcomb Pubs has purchased The Old Shades in Whitehall from Faucet Inn.

Greene King's Metropolitan Pub Company reopened the Victoria Inn in Peckham on Monday. The 1878 pub has been subject to a major refurbishment but retains the horseshoe bar. The 100-cover restaurant will offer a variety of dishes.

The remaining 9 years on the lease on the huge Star & Garter pub and restaurant on the Thames in Putney is for sale. The pub has two bars, a ballroom and 13-bedroom for staff accommodation as well as the manager’s flat.

Andy Bird, saviour of the Chesham Arms, has taken on his fourth site - the Dartmouth Arms. The Kentish Town pub closed on 31 January 2015 when Faucet Inns sold the building for conversion into flats. Following a much publicised campaign, the lease of the ground floor and basement was put on the market as a a 'lockup'. The free of tie rent is said to be £70,000 per annum. Bird has started a three-month refurbishment of the site and is talking to the locals about what they would like to see from the reopened pub.

Kornicis Group has launched its We Are Bar concept at the former Jamies wine bar on Bishopsgate and plans to convert two more venues in the near future.

Enterprise joint venture, Hippo Inns, has opened The Islington Townhouse on the corner of Chapel Market and Liverpool Road. Spread over three floors, the pub boasts a large bar area and a dining area upstairs. The handpumps have spade style handles.

Antic opened the Shelverdine Goathouse on 29 September in South Norwood having taken over the lease of the William Stanley from Wetherspoon in March. Antic has more than 40 pubs in London and continues to expand.

The Columbo Group has reopened the Barfly as The Camden Assembly following £1m investment. The venue provides live music seven nights a week. Founded in 2006, The Colombo Group operates the Jazz Café, the Old Queens Head in Islington; Paradise by Way of Kensal Green; XOYO in Shoreditch; Blues Kitchen venues in Camden, Shoreditch and Brixton; The Nest in Dalston; and Phonox in Brixton.

Punch has reopened the Shoes Laces in Leyton (previously the Prince of Wales) as Pepper’s Ghost having spent £300,000 remodelling and redecorating the pub. Named after local illusionist John Henry Pepper. The new governors are Jeff Ginsburgh and Victoria Saunders. Four real ales are now on offer.

3 October

The third of edition of Bob Steel's CAMRA's London Pub Walks has been published and is available from the CAMRA Shop.

30 August

The Bexley Cider Trail takes place between 12 and 16 October.

25 July

On the pub/brewery front, a major surprise was the news that the lease on the Bull at Highgate had been sold to a new operator. This was the original home of the London Brewing Co whose operations will now be solely at The Bohemia, North Finchley. It is believed that brewing will continue at The Bull under the new owners.

This does now mean the collaboration beer at the Ye Olde Mitre advertised in the Aug/Sept London Drinker will not be available Also the tap takeover will now be with Sambrook’s brewery and they will be doing a meet the brewer session

21 July

The August/September copy of the London Drinker is now available to download from here.

29 March 2016

Fuller's have purchased the Lord Northbrook in Burnt Ash Road, Lee. Meanwhile the Rose and Crown, Green Street Green, has reopened following the sale by Young's to Whiting & Hammond.

15 February 2015

The Magdala pub in Hampstead has closed following a dispute over the lease between Perritt & Perritt and owners Bow Capital who bought the pub from Punch for £2.1m in 2014. The pub is registered as an Asset of Community Value.

It is reported the Man in the Moon, Stanmore, is to become a Nandos leaving no pubs in the village.

11 February 2015

The Laine Pub Company is to be the partner with Phoenix Community Housing to restore the Fellowship Inn, Bellingham. The pub is likely to reopen next year following a £3.8m injection from the lottery. The new pub will also have a cinema, theatre, music hub with rehearsal room, coffee shop and micro-brewery. The pub was built after WW1 and has been used by Henry Cooper as well as bands including Fleetwood Mac and The Yardbirds. Laine’s chief executive, Gavin George said: “In Phoenix we were pleased to find a landlord whose cultural and community objectives mirrored those that have been fundamental to our success since our first pub in 1996. We bring 20 years of commercial expertise in pub management to the project and are excited and grateful to be involved with Phoenix and to take custodianship of this gem of a pub.” The company announced last week that they were looking at 25 future sites in London.

5 February 2016

The Solvay Society have announced they are moving into the old Ha'penny brewery which closed 18 months ago.

The Cuckoo, a pub in N1 which converted to Roots, an Indian Restaurant, reopens today as a pub. Beers from Ripple Steam Brewery are promised.

The Leman Street Tavern opens today - another Geromino (Young's) pub.

The Greyhound in Kirkdale has been put up for sale. The pub in Sydenham was unlawfully demolished in 2012 and had to be rebuilt. It can either be let at £47,500 or the freehold is £720,0000.

The Distinct Group who operate the Prince Albert in Camden, the Adam & Eve in Mill Hill Village and the Three Compasses in Hornsey have purchased the freehold of the Quays on the Holloway Road. The company intends to refurbish the pub and will offer "a fresh food menu including breakfast at weekends and our award-winning traditional Sunday roast. All backed up with an extensive wine list, selection of ales, cider, lagers, cocktails and craft beers, and an exciting line up of events, offers, and entertainment that all Distinct pubs have become well known for in their communities.”

2 February 2016

The Draught House chain hope to open another site in April. They are taking over the former Grappolo restaurant and bar on the corner of Fetter Lane and Plough Place close to Chancery Lane station. A full refurbishment will start soon.

1 February 2016

The Laine Pub Company have opened the Watson’s General Telegraph converting the Rose in Honor Oak Park, East Dulwich. There are said to be six beers on hand pump.

The Compass in Bromley, one of the pubs acquired from TCG by Stonegate, will become a branch of the Franco Manca pizza chain.

20 November 2015

Young’s offshoot Geronimo Inns has opened the The Grocer in Crispin Place, part of Spitalfields Market. The pub contains a large bar, a function room and a covered terrace. Also in the City, the Craft Beer Co has opened its seventh site on Mitre Lane close to the Gherkin having replaced the former Trident Bar and Restaurant. Fuller’s has reopened The Admiral Nelson in Whitton after an extensive refurbishment. Urban Leisure Group is opening the Heist Bank in Paddington in January, offering wood-fired pizzas and local beers.

The Cricketers in Woodford Green has been given ACV status by Redbridge council More here.

19 November 2015

The December/January edition of the London Drinker can be downloaded from here.

18 November 2015

Last night saw the launch of London Local Pubs: Past & Present by Adrian Tierney-Jones. It contains never-seen-before archival images from Charrington’s surveyors department, which were saved from a skip over 20 years ago and have now been made available for the first time. The book concentrates on 52 pubs, of which 60% are still open. The full collection can be viewed on the Historypin website.

26 September 2015

The October/November edition of the London Drinker can be downloaded from here. Please fill in our survey for a chance to win two nights’ bed and breakfast plus a dinner for two people at the George Inn at Norton St Philip. More details on page 10.

18 September 2015

CAMRA Greater London Pub Protection Strategy v3.1 has been published.

10 September 2015

Congratulations to the One Inn the Wood and the Orpington Liberal Club for winning the Regional Pub & Club of the Year 2015.

28 August 2015

The Spectator has published an article The pub that shows what London’s losing

3 August 2015

A campaign had started to save the Ship at Norwood Junction. The public house has been at the centre of a controversial planning fight​ between a developer and residents. The developer has made The Ship into flats without planning permission after two failed applications. The​ developer is now liaising with Croydon Council to have a retrospective planning application approved, which will include re-instating the pub on​ the ground floor and basement. The "Save the Ship" campaign are raising money to either lease or buy the pub and are having their first meeting on 18th August at 8pm at the Portmanor​ Pub, Portland Road, London, SE25. For more information visit or follow them on twitter - there is also a facebook page.

23 July 2015

In a bizarre judgement, the planning inspectorate has overturned the decision of Haringey Council to refuse permission to convert the Alexandra in Fortis Green to flats. So despite the wishes of locals, the local authority and the pub having ACV status, the company who demolished the Carlton Tavern now have permission to convert the closed pub into flats. Another victory for localism?

In other news from the planning inspectorate, the appeal against the upper floors of the Sir Richard Steele being turned into flats as been upheld. The pub has recently gained ACV status.

22 July 2015

The August / September edition of the London Drinker magazine can be downloaded here.

15 July 2015

Young’s have reopened The Brewers Inn in Wandsworth following a £400,000 refurbishment. The pub dining hotel in East Hill now features Jones’ wine cellar bar serving a range of craft beers, fine wines and spirits as well as British cheese and charcuterie platters. The Pubco claims to have updated the bar area "to reflect the history and heritage of the pub."

14 July 2015

The freehold of the pub previously known as the Grange in Hayes is now on the market. The pub lost its license following a review in the wake of several outbreaks of violence. It was trading as the Blue Lagoon at the time of closure.

A campaign has been setup to save the Bailey pub on the Holloway Road. You can sign a petition here.

11 July 2015

The Ealing Beer Festival run by West Middlesex CAMRA sold out of real ale and foreign beers an hour or so before the official close of 6pm Saturday. More than 11,000 visitors attended the festival in Walpole Park despite a tube strike on two of the four days.

30 June 2015

Wetherspoon are selling the leases on eight of their Greater London Pubs. Devonshire House (Crouch End), The Foxley Hatch (Purley), The Gatehouse (Highgate), The Glass Works (Islington); The Moon Under the Water (Balham), The Oyster Rooms (Fulham), The White Lion of Mortimer (Stroud Green Rd) and The William Jolle (Northwood Hills) are to join the growing band of ex-Wetherspoon pubs in London. The Skylark closed along with the rest of Terminal 1 at Heathrow Airport yesterday.

26 June 2015

The Walworth Society has managed to get the Elephant pub (see below) listed as an asset of community value (ACV). They said in a statement “The Elephant, Walworth and the Old Kent Road used to host around 200 public houses serving the local community and hosting their social events as well as welcoming people passing through our area. There are now less than 20 pubs left so we need to safeguard these to allow them to become pubs and entertainment places for the future.” The pub was ordered to close in March following an incident earlier in the year.

19 June 2015

Antic are to open a new bar in Brixton on Thursday. Ekcovision will be an “all day and all night venue” on the site of the Atlantis and Brixton Bar & Grill. A spokesman said: “The 11am – 6am licence means it will assume a multitude of different guises. It will be a place where one can enjoy a coffee and bite to eat during the day, beer and cocktail of an evening, a late night solace when the rest of Brixton has closed its doors where one can dance and drink into the wee small hours, and then do it all again the next day.” The company have also put in a planning application to convert the haberdashers C & V Trading, in Penge High Street and reopen the Royal Bell Hotel in Bromley.

The freehold of the Sydney Arms in Chelsea is for sale for £1.9m. The four-storey public house iis currently privately owned and let to The Thoroughbred Pub Company until 2024. The pub is close to the Natural History and Victoria and Albert Museums.

A bar themed on the stock exchange opened in the City of London yesterday with drink prices changing in line with their popularity. Owner Alan Grant told the London Evening Standard: “We’ve worked with companies in Berlin and Mumbai to develop a pricing algorithm that is the closest thing you’ll find to real-time markets. Effectively, if someone buys three beers then the price of that beer will rise and the price of others will decrease. The more popular a drink is, the more expensive it will be – it’s market economics.” Reserve Bar Stock Exchange opens on Gresham Street, spread across three floors, and will run from 5pm-2am every Monday to Thursday and until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays. It will operate a “beer market”, a “spirits market” and an “alternative market”, with big screens and a ticker showing the current prices of drinks. There will also be an app that allows at-table ordering, ensuring the price hasn’t changed by the time customers get served.

Monday sees the first beer to be produced by the Wimbledon Brewery Company. It will be on the site of the original Wimbledon brewery which burnt down in 1889. Common Pale Ale will be the first beer out of the fermenters at 3.7% ABV. The brewery is founded by Wimbledon local Mark Gordon in partnership with Derek Prentice, the former brewer with Fuller's, Young's and Truman's. The new 30-barrel plant is opposite the Dog and Fox pub at College Fields in Prince Georges Road. A few bricks from the original brewery have been retained.

Greene King have put three pubs in the North London Branch area on the market via agents AG&G. They are the Stapleton Tavern in Crouch Hill, the Craft Beer Company close to Angel Station and the Cock Tavern in Kilburn. All have been offered with vacant possession on completion.

12 June 2015

Faucet Inns have lost a review of the decision to give the Dartmouth Arms ACV status. The pub is currently closed whilst the upstairs is converted to flats.

10 June 2015

The Prince Edward Pub on Wick Road in Hackney has been added to the Council's register of Assets of Community Value. Following a nomination by the Friends of the Prince Edward, a community body supported by Hackney Irish Social Club, local residents, pub regulars and the East London & City branch of CAMRA, Hackney Council has recognised the historic ex-Truman's pub, popular with members of Hackney's West Indian community. This is the second pub in Hackney to be listed.

9 June 2015

Young’s are reopening The Brewers Inn in Wandsworth next Wednesday following a refurbishment concentrating on a new kitchen and dining area.

4 June 2015

The Three Cheers Pub Company (formally Renaissance Pubs) has bought the freeholds of the Stonhouse in Clapham and the Rosendale in West Dulwich from Punch Taverns. The garden of the Stonhouse is now going to be refurbished to make it available all year round.

3 June 2015

Foxtons plan to convert the Elephant and Castle pub at the famous roundabout into an estate agent. The pub lost its premises license in March following an incident earlier in the year. More details from the Standard

29 May 2015

Antic have confirmed they plan to reopen the former Granada cinema in Walthamstow as a pub and community facility. More details here.

26 May 2015

Fuller's have admitted that now only own half of the 135 pubs they owned in 1985. 67 pubs have been demolished, converted to flats, used as supermarkets or are now operated by other companies.

21 May 2015

The June/July edition of the London Drinker can be downloaded from London Drinker Magazine 2018 - despite what is says on page 32, the Sir Richard Steele is open for business and has a very lively and funny twitter feed here.

Young's profiits have soured by 35% to £36.1m on sales of £227m. In the past year the pub company has purchased the Fox & Anchor pub close to Smithfield Market, the White Bear in Kennington, the Trafalgar Arms in Tooting, the Canonbury, and the 580 Group (the John Salt, the Fellow, the Owl and Pussycat, and the Defectors Weld). The company is looking to acquire more pubs and develop its "premium offering".

The Cock Inn, previously the Cock & Dragon, in Cockfosters, has sold for £4m at auction. M&B have a 35 year lease on the pub from April 2015.

20 May 2015

The Kings Arms in Acton has been demolished. Fuller's sold the pub to a developer in 2013 and has partially been trading as a furniture shop for the last 18 months. Flats are to be built on the site.

Marylebone Leisure Group is to open the Clerkenwell & Social on 1 June on the site of the Bear in St John’s Square. The group already has Barsmith close by. There will be two bars in the new site across two floors with outdoor seating in St John’s Square. The company was set up in 2011 by Ben Avigdori & Lawrence Santi to manage three sites. They now have six including the recently open Bar Italia in Uxbridge and the Nona Rosa restaurant next door.

Also opening in June is the Winchmore. The former Willow pub in Winchmore Hill Road is owned by Star Pub and Bars (Heineken) and are giving £330,000 towards the redevelopment. New Tenants, brother and sister Mark and Eimear Walsh, are spending £109,000 towards the refit. The pub closed in 2012.

Wimbledon Brewery is currently test brewing at the Bull in Highgate. The new 30 barrel brewery in Wimbledon will start brewing mid-June.

19 May 2015

Hackney Council have issued a press release over the Chesham Arms reopening. The latest news on the pub can be found on twitter.

The second edition of Des de Moor's London's Best Beer, Pubs & Bar will be available from 2nd July. The book is packed with detailed maps and easy-to-use listings to help find the best places to enjoy perfect pints in the capital. Laid out by area, the book makes it simple to find the best London pubs and bars - serving the best British and world beers – and to explore the growing number of London breweries offering tours, taprooms and direct sales. Features tell more about London's rich history of brewing and the city's vibrant modern brewing scene, where well-known brands rub shoulders with tiny micro-breweries and brewery numbers have quintupled in the last four years.

The Draft House chain are to open a new bar as part of the The Bower, a new development at the Old Street roundabout.

The Finchley Tavern is to be renamed Tommy Flynn's following a refurbishment. It joins a number of pubs run by Sean Flynn as part of the Tommy Flynn Pub Group.

Harlesden Picture Palace opens this Thursday. Originally the Coliseum and previously the Misty Moon, beers from Redemption along with several other breweries are promised for opening night.

Brewhouse & Kitchen Highbury will open in June. This is the second Brewhouse & Kitchen brew-pub in London (following the opening of the one close to Angel station last year), and it will feature a large craft microbrewery in open view. The original urban tram shed building is being completely transformed with am interior that can comfortably fit 350 people and a front garden for 80. Its location close to Highbury & Islington Tube & Overground station will make it a handy new beer destination. A Midsummer Beer Night party on Monday 22 June in the new beer garden is open to the public to welcome in the summer with new beers.

The Questors Theatre Grapevine Bar is holding its Spring Beer Festival between 21-23 May. The Club is current West Middlesex Branch Club of the Year. The beer list is here. All welcome.

15 May 2015

London Brewer Meantime has been bought by global giant SABMiller. Read about it at the Morning Advertiser

19 March 2015

The London Drinker Magazine 2015 April/May has been published. The printed edition will be available from Wednesday 25th March.

27 January 2015

Following yesterdays debate on the Infrastructure Bill. You kind find out at Pub Protection - How MPs voted which London MPs supported pub protection measures and those who voted against.

23 January 2015

We have updated the list of London Breweries to include the Essex Street Brewing Company, the Still & Star, and the second brewery for the London Brewing Company at the Bohemia. To follow are the Ealing Park Tavern (currently brewing but beer not yet available), the Inkspot and Mondo

22 January 2015

The London Drinker Magazine 2015 Feb/March has been published. The printed edition will be available from Wednesday 28th January.

For News prior to 2015 go to News Archive