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Builders Arms, New Barnet

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user reviews of the Builders Arms, New Barnet

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Though still a back street local this has gone right down the grid as far as ale is concerned. Only GK brews on offer and the pint of London I had was undrinkable. No longer a haven for decent ale drinkers anymore.
Snarling_Mallard - 9 Apr 2017 17:29
I'm surprised this pub still survives. It's tucked away just behind a Wetherspoons and is sunk below the ground. Neverthless, it's a fairly good Greene King pub. There are two bars. The one had live football on the TV and a pool table in use at the centre. The other room was much quieter. In addition to Greene King IPA, Abbot & London Glory, they also had 2 guest ales - Woodfordes Wherry & Sadlers One Hop Stop. A fairly good pub.
blue_scrumpy - 25 Oct 2015 19:24
Traditional back street boozer which is a stone's throw from New Barnet station. Five real ales including a tasty tawny ale at 4.5% which I can't remember the name of. Very friendly front bar with characters, and a garden out the back abutting the East Coast main line. The larger bar had a pool table for the youth element. I had a superb Thai main course for £7.45; there were cheaper options. In my opinion the best pub in New Barnet by some distance.
Number11 - 29 Jul 2014 23:26
I tried the food from Thai kitchen recently - very nice and excellent value for £5! Highly recommended food, and always fine ales on tap to wash it down. Nice friendly atmosphere in the small and intimate front bar - an excellent place if you want a quiet beer and a chat. Pool and footy on the telly for the rabble in the back bar if that's your thing. Covered smoking area out the back with heaters - something for everyone. A friendly pub with character - and characters!
DarkLordOfBarnet - 1 Jan 2014 14:52
I only Nipped in here after walking out the spoons which had no Decent Ale on. Glad I did what a surprise to find a nice traditional old style Pub just around the corner looks nice even from outside. Inside its just as good tried several Ales which were on tap all were in excellent condition. I Found staff welcoming and other customers friendly service was good and quick. Will definitely come back when I've more time to enjoy it for a few pints.
Alesonly - 13 Sep 2013 12:15
Now with free Wi-Fi as well as an excellent range of often changing ales - always something new to try! Friendly atmosphere, but unfortunately live music seems to have become something of a rarity this year.... The front bar is small and intimate - a very nice place for a quiet drink with friends.
DarkLordOfBarnet - 16 Jun 2013 13:10
Hidden away down a side street behind Weatherspoons.
OK for a Greene King pub with 9 hand pulls split 6/3 over the two bars.
Tried and got an excelent pint of Abbott for £3.25
A number of guest ales were also on sale. IN GBG 2013
bjbrummiejohn - 19 Nov 2012 08:09
An occasional visitor now, but never disappointed. Landlord James does a great range of beers despite GK tie, and his Abbot is invariably spot on anyway. Had a great night watching an excellent covers band a couple of Saturdays ago. Main gripe (tired upholstery and grim toilets) now removed following a nice revamp of the place. New, minor issue is the strong whiff of kitchens in the front bar since the new Thai menu came in. Definitely not a reason to stay away but a good extractor fan in the kitchen would help. All in all a great local, and well worth the journey I have to make to get there.
ramsrob - 12 Nov 2012 14:59
Still a proper old school pub and in spite of the GK tie had two non GK ales on a Vale Gravitas and Everards Equinox. The Equinox was drinkable but not great but the Vale brew was good.
Snarling_Mallard - 3 Sep 2012 19:40
Bloody marvellous, what every local pub would be like in an ideal world (well at least the front bar is). Went in for the first time in ages a couple of weeks back and was pleased to see that it has maintained everything it did well, good welcoming, cosy atmosphere where decent conversation provides the bulk of the entertainment is allied with good service and it has now added a wider range of ales which can be no bad thing.
Mr.Monkfish - 23 Nov 2011 19:22
as previously said its snack bang behind the wetherspoons,had a choice of six ales although five were sadly gk but i guess it is a gk pub,service from the cute lithuanian was quick although the place was dead,beer patio was a bonus at the rear,7/10
fat_beer_badger - 19 Sep 2011 15:54
A very nice little two halved pub on a street off the main road behind the Railway Bell. Most of thge local dross are too idle to stagger the few yeards down the street to here. A GK house, however, the landlord does as many guests as he dare and there were four on when I visited - of which the Otter was probably the best pint of the night.
Snarling_Mallard - 12 Dec 2010 01:49
This pub can now be as loved as I've always wanted to love it. It was (almost) my perfect urban pub; alas, it is a Greene King tied house. It now has a well-established policy of having two guest beers; these are genuine guest beers, and frequently change.

New Barnet isn't so great, but The Builders is. Combine this with a visit to the very-good Ye Olde Mitre Inn JUST up the hill in Chipping Barnet, Hertfordshire, EN5.
suggestion_tryAnewBEER - 7 Oct 2010 14:24
Good local pub, hidden from the main street. The beer is well kept, the food is superb and the staff are great. The new landlord has kept a good pub great.
sutherpup - 13 Apr 2010 19:39
Excellent, IPA & abbot ale, both in top condition. 2 or 3 Guest Beers. Proper chef who cooks homemade dishes and knows his taste combinations, he is flexible and will cook to individual tastes. Tidy enclosed back garden with flower beds, benches and tables, and extensive cover for smokers. The private bar is of peaceful character and conversation is both intellectual and humorous. The public bar is noisy and humorous, with TV, and a 20,000 track duke box on which people play everything from jazz and blues, to techno and heavy rock. The clientele are eclectic, and get on ok with one another; the land lord and staff are all part of the scene. 31/3/2010
thebaronofbarnet - 31 Mar 2010 16:45
Still bloody expensive for the area, although the beer is good. Front bar is nice and intimate but back bar tends to have out of control pissed up footy types - I saw a fight break out in the beer garden earlier this year.
DarkLordOfBarnet - 16 Sep 2009 23:59
This pub would not have been my choice to drink in, however since the new landlord has taken over it has become a pleasant pub to have a wind me down after work. The staff are friendly and the wine is great served in proper glasses, not those midget things. It is certainly a lot cleaner too, which is important for us ladies!!!

Good luck to Snowy, I can see this place becoming the No 1 in Barnet shortly.
mariono - 18 Jun 2009 12:10
'Snowy' the new landlord recently took over this fine pub.
Everything is good once again.The beer is superb and is cheap
for this area. Many of the regulars have returned and once again
this is the best pub in New Barnet.
evenskinnierian - 11 Jun 2009 09:47
I am afraid to say that the last post by strongers was him witnessing all of the regulars leaving! This pub has gone downhill fast since the New Year. Make your own mind up of course.
CliveCockfosters - 12 Mar 2009 01:34
Unfortunately there was a leaving do going on in the back bar when I visited so I ended up in the public bar with a really pissed bloke and a handful of miserable pensioners, one of which closed the door in my face as I walked in Cheers.

Thankfully the barmaids were very friendly and the ale offering was Greene King IPA and Abbot alongside some standard lagers.

Ive been here before and enjoyed my stay more then, but I think I picked a bad time to visit.
Strongers - 6 Mar 2009 08:22
Had an enjoyable New Year's Eve here! Nice friendly 'small village pub' atmophere in the front bar and an excellent live band playing in the back bar. The Abbot Ale is lovely - if expensive!
DarkLordOfBarnet - 11 Jan 2009 22:42
Hi evenskinnierian is it old age that has made you so cranky or could it be that you shrunk that aqua blue sweater you bought from Louis Walshs website? There's no need to take your frustrations out on me. I'm sure Louis would be happy to replace it since you guys seem to be so close!
irishlass - 17 Apr 2008 14:41
Irishlass, can I remind you that this is a forum for rating public houses and NOT for childish idle gossip.If you want that sort of forum I am sure that when you come over someone in the KAREN MATTHEWS LOUNGE ( the back bar) could recommend a suitable vehicle.
evenskinnierian - 16 Apr 2008 11:00
Well did any of you get a star role in Silent Witness? Most of you could play the murder victim? Heheheeheheeeee. Oh I'm very funny!!
irishlass - 15 Apr 2008 16:29
I am planning yet another trip to this delightful back street pub in Barnet. The atmosphere is electric (when sturdy & ray are around) and the landlady a picture of happiness in her little nest. I will be bringing a sibling of mine this time so I hope the locals can control themselves and watch their language/P&Q's around her as she is in training to join the Catholic Nun's Order. It'll be grace before drinks, confessions will be heard in the garden and absolution will be given to the deserving. I would expect a good turn out to Sunday morning mass in the bar at 11am. See you all soon (25 - 27th Apr).
irishlass - 8 Apr 2008 13:12
The Landlady is lovely.I hope to take her on my boat.
sinbadthesm - 15 Feb 2008 15:04
I had to come back for a second visit! Great atmosphere and tried the Abbot this time it was spot on! A real real ale pub! Locals seemed to be happy think it had something to do with Tottenham TRASHING The Arsenal 5-1! yes 5-1!
trident - 24 Jan 2008 22:22
A friend and I stumbled upon this gem of a pub last Saturday night by complete accident!Upon entering there seemed to some confusion, the barmaid was swearing profusely at some of the locals but got very embarassed when she saw us newcomers, she did apologise most sincerely!After that the locals were very friendly and insisted that we return! A great mix of people young and old who had great rapport!This is the sort of pub one dreams about!Most importantly the IPA was superb!! We will definitely be back!
trident - 19 Dec 2007 21:30
I am confused by the previous posters term REAR FIND.
I recently received a signed photo from the Louis Walsh fan club which had DO NOT BEND stamped in large letters on the front.
veryskinnyian - 19 Dec 2007 10:08
More fun and games to report from this excellent back street fun palace.A regular called Parker ( he used to be a chauffeur )decided,last Thursday,to change his usual drink of lager to copious quantities of red wine.Parker,who had previously only been famous for putting his thumb into a badgers mouth,was encouraged by next door Norman ( a well known aficionado of the grape).Norman told him that the red wine would do him far more good than his usual lager and that he would be able to drink much more of it.Parker took him at his word.After an hour or so Parker went to the gents and was missing for some time.On investigation, Parker was found in a terrible state trying to urinate in the hand wash basin.He was unable to locate the urinal which is about 12 feet wide and bright stainless steel.After this embarrassing debacle Parker thought it best to go home.Sadly he was found,about half an hour later,lying akimbo in the road outside,with wounds to his head and hands.Norman was concerned enough to drag him onto the pavement and prop him up against a wall.Parker assured him that he was OK now and would make his way home.Sadly,he did not make it.He was found again,on a bit of wasteland,where he had been lying barely conscious for about half an hour, and said that he thought he had been attacked by a badger.The story has a happy ending.Parker was driven to his door by a couple of the more responsible regulars and enjoyed a disturbed nights sleep.
Last night he was back to drinking Lager.
evenskinnierian - 8 Dec 2007 12:13
The previous poster may be interested to know that Sturdy got himself into a bit of bother last night. He refused to pay out on a small bet that he had made with one of the regulars.Instead of paying up he proceeded to refuse on a ridiculous technicality and tried to make the usually placid and pleasant regular look foolish.The said regular,nicknamed the Mad Mauler (due to his calm and gentle nature)lost his temper and launched himself at Sturdy who ended up almost strangled on the pub floor.Sturdy was last seen running home,very red faced,and very upset.
veryskinnyian - 29 Nov 2007 16:34
The first time I visited the Builders Arms, I was very impressed with the exterior. I walked in, looked around and was greeted with smiles and hello's from the friendly locals. After a while, I was very aware of one very annoying local who seemed to wind everyone else up, I think he's name is Sturdy. My night was filled with laughter at this character as he seems to be his own worst enemy. I've returned many times to this pub in the past couple of years and I've enjoyed myself no end and always made to feel welcome. The staff are friendly, helpful and the landlady is in a class of her own. She protrays a "I'll take no shit" personna which in my opinion has kept the reputation this pub deserves and has earned. Well done Tish!
irishlass - 29 Nov 2007 14:18
Having just moved into the area I decided to try this pub out with my finance, as it looked like a really nice country pub from the outside. However looks flattered to deceive, as soon as we stepped into the bar area (on the left side) about half a dozen old men locals gorped at us. I then ordered a few drinks and we made our way into the beer garden only to then have to listen to a group of chavs (male and female) talking about if they'd shag a pussy full of puss or a rotton knob, while one of them punched his pitbul every now and then. Nice!


Chris1976 - 12 May 2007 04:08
The only decent pub in New Barnet.
Vinblanc - 25 Mar 2007 21:39
Very nice traditional atmosphere and the Abbott Ale is superb - in a different class altogether from the watery 'Abbot' they serve next door in the Railway Bell. Easily the most expensive pint I've ever had in Barnet though...
DarkLordOfBarnet - 17 Aug 2006 17:08
Pretty much the dictionary definition of a hidden treasure, nestling as it does in an out-of-sight location on a side street behind a Wetherspoon's on the main road.
Lovely looking pub both inside and out. Hanging baskets are attractive outside and the old fashioned look inside is equally easy on the eye.
Vey good range of beers that are of a high standard and not overpriced. Bar service was quick and painless and friendly.
The back room has an excellent pool table, a pretty darn good jukebox and TVs to pass your time, but the smaller front bar is best if you just fancy a nice chat over a couple of pints.
Splendid. A reminder of what a good local pub can and indeed should be able to achieve in the right hands.
Mr.Monkfish - 17 Jul 2006 14:14
Chris Parry alert! The miserable old git let slip that he will be popping in over the next couple of days!
5thearlofwimbourne - 10 May 2006 15:53
What a pub! Relaxed atmosphere; top barstaff; unbelievable drink! The first thing which struck me when I entered (thankfully not a glass - unlike the nearby King's Head in the village) was the smallness of it. However, after a brisk peep around I noticed an adjoining bar and room with SKY SPORTS, a dartboard, well kept pool table and a lovely garden. The thing which makes this pub the best in Barnet is the fact it feels so secluded despite it only being a 30 second walk from the high road! The monstrosity they call the Railway Bell shields this masterpiece from the hustle and bustle of the local nutters. Oh, and by the way the drinks are amazing - Green King IPA; Guinness; Abbots Ale; and a few lagers to mention a few are all avaible in mint condition.

Highly Reccomend!
foster_unused_drink - 21 Apr 2006 16:13
I enjoyed a few beers last night like.Very good pub like.The barmaid,Alice, was going to a Hen night but called it off due to bird flu.
sunderlandray - 7 Apr 2006 12:44
Fantastic old school boozer, full of characters, locals, dogs resting, young and old alike. Deceptive when you step into the small front bar but round the side is an excellent side bar with Sky Sports and a back patio that is great on sunny days.
Pubs like this need preserving before they all disappear.
barnetblackdog - 26 Jan 2006 10:50
I visited this pub about 18 months ago, together with one of its ex-local, to whit, one Chris Parry ( Archbishop of Canterbury impersonations a speciality ).

A smashing pub with character and characters! Certainly the best of those visited in Barnet that weekend.

To those regulars who are mentioned in preceding reviews, I have sent this whole page to Chris & Michele - you may well see a posting from them.
5thearlofwimbourne - 20 Jan 2006 13:01
Nice little pub,I have been a regular for years as I work next door.Very good wine selection.I can always find someone to have a good chat but a few of the regulars seem a bit sleepy when you talk to them.I blame the excellent beer.
nextdoornorman - 16 Jan 2006 15:10
This has been my local for about 6 years.Very good well kept ale and friendly bar staff, some will bend over backwards to help.Most of the regulars are good company but a few southern softies.Great pub, would recommend anytime other than when Sunderland are playing on the telly.
sunderlandray - 16 Jan 2006 10:55
I must endorse the previous post.I always go to a great deal of trouble decorating my caravan at Xmas but have never managed to match this effort.
captcurly - 22 Dec 2005 13:13
You can see how good the outside of this fine pub looks like in the summer from the above photo.You should see the inside now that Christmas is with us.My understanding is that the staff were given an open cheque and decorated the pub in their own time.What a fine display,the whole pub is covered with flashing Christmas lights and baubles,beautiful decorations hanging from the ceiling,a large nicely decorated Christmas tree by the open fire and a tasteful nativity scene in the corner.The look of wonder on visitors faces is really heartening when they walk in for the first time. Other pubs in this area seem to think that a sprig or two of dead Holly is more than enough to convey the Christmas spirit.I congratulate all concerned for this inspired effort.
sturdy - 22 Dec 2005 10:10
Held a Christmas family reunion drink here last night.Members of my family had travelled from all over the country. We all enjoyed ourselves very much.The Guiness was flowing all night and the quality was first class.My thanks to the excellent bar maids for managing to serve us all with a big smile.
captcurly - 17 Dec 2005 12:22
I returned to this pub last week after a considerable spell away.It had not changed much,beer top class as usual.It was very quiet though.I enjoyed a few free pints and would you believe some fresh pineapple chunks that someone had brought up for me.
Had a great time and will return often.
veryskinnyian - 12 Dec 2005 11:39
I have been going to this pub for a number of years now, the first couple of years were very lonely, and it took that long for the so called regulars to even acknowledge my presence. Still well worth the wait for them to finally start talking to me after some five years!
A very eclectic mix of clientele attend this pub, there is an ever changing cast of so called regulars who all have a unique characteristic, most of those gathered at the bar in the saloon (known by the bar staff as the 'twiglet zone)appear to be self employed devotees of Margaret Thatcher. A bar fly of note is an odd character called Barritt (AKA Mr Alapecia) he can be seen most days glugging lager and just waiting to pick a fight with the wonderfull Sturdy. How I laugh.
The beer in this pub is particularly well kept and is served up by mainly wonderful eastern European bar staff, a smile is never far from their faces, of particular note is the gorgeous Aris, softly spoken and polite to everyone, she epitomises everything you could wish from a bar maid.
Take care when leaving this pub, do not turn left, all those that do seem to disappear in the area of the old gasworks into a kind of twilight zone, remember 'good night sweetheart'.

CliveCockfosters - 6 Dec 2005 02:51
Last orders are now 11-30pm at this pub in the week.As usual, the IPA was superb last night,making for a very pleasant evening.A couple of strangers came in last night after reading about the pub on this site and enjoyed the company.Sadly we had to inform them that The Builders Arms does not have a GAY night.However we hope to see them again.
timsanders - 1 Dec 2005 11:30
Strangely,I called into this pub last week early evening time.
What a great pub.The beer was very good,obviously well kept.The bar staff very pleasant.
The only thing that slightly spoiled my evening was the arrival of a dingle like character,wearing a captains hat, with two huge dogs that jumped up me repeatedly with their dirty paws.
Even so,I look forward to returning.
keithfromfinchley - 29 Nov 2005 16:30
The Abbot ale is usually top notch,and I know what I am talking about.
Very friendly pub,never any trouble.
I am always treated with great respect when I walk in with my two big,muddy,playful dogs.The regulars always move out of the way so that I can get to the bar.
Its a great place for a drink.
captcurly - 28 Nov 2005 13:32
Late afternoon and fancied a pint of the finest ipa in north london. I am an infrequent visitor, but a place that if the efort is made you will be well rewarded. the afternoon started with a tinker who was trying to sell remote controlled flying saucers, a very impressive demonstration followed in which I thought that I must have had one pint too many. When the batteries had finally run down it then proceeded to the main music hall act of the evening An inoffensive comment by one of the locals about being proud to be English and how tolerant a country we are, led to one of my strangest ever experiances in a pub. When it was suggested to one of the regulars known as Keith the Hun that he was born in England outrage ensued. It led to ballroom dancing german style in which the male lead gets his partner round the neck and attempts to spin them around to get them as giddy as possible and attempt to dislocate an arm at the same time. Needless to say nul points out of 10 were given for this exibition of German dancing known as the ballroom-blitzkreige. Further pandemonium ensued when a lovely little girl with blond hair of about 3years & 6 months(very germanic looking) who had come to see her grandad Colin voiced in a tellytubby voice her disproval of the dancing. The Hun who I was told went to teachers traing college in Germany sometime between 1935 & 1945 responded in a manner that had the little girl cowering in fear behind her grandad. Colin the grandad then proceeded with the finest impersonation of corporal Jones one could ever wish to see and a stalemate ensued. The testosterne standoff only calmed down when a couple of middle aged women appeared and pacified the Hun. I found out later that the outrage of the Hun was initially caused by his daughter being refused service when sent to buy the sunday papers at the local supermarket because she was under the age of 16. A very strange pub indeed but first class cabaret.

Pete from Finchley
palberton - 21 Nov 2005 14:47
the Kronenbug is cunsistaney consistonly allways very gud
tonybarritt - 17 Nov 2005 09:43
Last night, regulars were treated to a superb,impromptu,display of indoor bar stool diving by Tony Barritt.This is a feat which he has perfected over the years to near Olympic standards.
One second he was sitting on his stool mouthing vile obscenities at Sturdy and the next second he executed a perfect backwards somersault landing head first on the floor.This generous act was much appreciated by the assembled audience and met with much applause.
We all hoped that Tony would give another diving display before leaving us to live in Thailand in early January, and, we were not disappointed.
On leaving the pub Tony treated us again to a fantastic headfirst dive UP the pubs steep steps.
Another great performance from a fine athlete.

timsanders - 12 Nov 2005 10:14
Nice old local, tucked away behind the Railway Bell. Always an excellent pint of IPA. Consistently good.
owenowen - 29 Aug 2005 09:27
I can only concur with the other comments - a friendly pub which incidentally welcomes dogs with open arms, two separate bars - which keeps us old fogeys apart from the younger generation. Drinks fairly priced and great friendly staff.
glodwock - 27 Aug 2005 18:17
The long awaited Charity race,between Tony Barritt and Sturdy,finally took place yesterday (19th June 2005) which happened to be the hottest day of the year. The race consisted of ten laps round the block.
Both athletes were in superb condition, Barrett especially after about ten pints of Krony.
Barritt took an early lead but got caught by Sturdy when he had to remove his shoes.
Barritt caught up on the third lap when Sturdy had to remove his Flip Flops.
Both athletes then alternated between walking and jogging due to the extreme heat and their physical condition.
By lap nine the assembled audience were considering calling the emergency services as both athletes seemed on the verge of collapse.
Barritt led on the last lap but in spite of a great effort was caught near the finishing line.
A great performance from two top athletes, which was far more entertaining than the American Grand Prix.
After race discussion confirmed that on lap seven Sturdy offered to call it a draw and end the race.
Barritt officially replied along the lines of F--- Off You C---.
A great spectacle which raised around 130 for charity.
Congratulations to two fine athletes.
timsanders - 20 Jun 2005 13:19
Great little local.
likeadrink - 12 Jun 2005 20:52
Just about as good as it can get, a truly proper local. Cheerful and friendly tenant and staff. The real ales are well kept, the IPA has been consistently "brilliant". The live music consists of local musicians and can be excellent. If you want to know about the music ask for Aran or Coxy. If you want to know about double glazing ask for Tim. To know about anything else at all, ask for Sturdy.
splodge - 6 Jan 2005 09:44
A proper Local. One of the few left.Many characters, some of them quite normal, a few special needs but have not been registered yet.Always good for a laugh and good proper ale - Abbot and IPA.
On your first visit ask for Tony Barritt and introduce yourself, he likes to buy new visitors a pint and tell them about his Thailand adventures.
Ask for Sturdy if you have a problem with your washing machine or dishwasher. Ask for Keith if you fancy a friendly argument - race relations are his specialised subject.
timsanders - 14 Dec 2004 10:49
The Builders Arms is a charming, friendly two-bar Victorian pub offering the Greene King range of lagers and ales with excellent Abbot and IPA. Food is served during the week from 12 til 3.

There are acoustic music sessions on some Mondays and unique quizzes on some Tuesdays - you need to check with the pub to find out when the next events are going to be staged.

The pub was joint winner of the Barnet in Bloom competition in 2004 thanks to an amazing display of hanging baskets at the front of the pub and in the courtyard garden at the back.

Pool, darts and juke box in the back bar. Music-free debate (complete with small reference library) in the front.

The pub scores a perfect 10.
aran wood - 11 Oct 2004 10:30

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