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Harringay Arms, Crouch End

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user reviews of the Harringay Arms, Crouch End

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

This pub has now closed and is being taken over by a pub chain (Enterprise inns)
ds99 - 22 Jul 2017 09:55
I visited this pub again last week and it has improved a bit. They have taken a lot of the stuff off the walls, however the music is too loud.
qazwsx123 - 23 Jun 2017 09:13
I agree with the last review. What was once a lovely little pub has been ruined by an awful makeover which doesn't make any sense. There's pop/rock stuff on the walls, beer barrells as seats/stools, tiny tables.

What a sad end to a lovely pub.
qazwsx123 - 2 Jul 2015 16:30
Beers great now, but what in God's name is the 'mild' referb all about.

lots of bench seating removed in favour of high stools and beer the beer garden of an o'neills in 1998. The rest removed, presumably to accommodate more people, but in reality the tiny tables are too close to reach other to do this.

Also, a truly horrendous multicolored wall beer display more fitting to a nightclub in Ilford, my nan's sofa in the corner and a beer fridge which is so bright I feel I'm being interrogated by the stazi.

I fear that as they get more cash to continue their referb, they'll turn it into an Australian's nightmare (to quote spinal tap). The changes are just bizarre, cheap, crap and pointless and I just don't get the rationale.

Nice record player tho.
tuppence - 25 May 2015 11:02
Too expensive but good music selection and I actually like the posters and pictures. I will return but maybe not stay as long as I'd like to on account of the prices. As for the below comments concerning the staff, they must have either got new people or re-trained them because I thought they were absolutely fine. I definitely recommend at least trying this pub if in the area.
Richard_ReadingFC - 15 Apr 2015 14:14
Sad to report a catastrophic loss of charm in what was previously one of my favourite London pubs for 20 years. I've no problem with changes to the decor, jukebox or increase in popularity - it's a business. But poor service by inattentive air-head staff, watery ale and two of the four pumps running dry on a Saturday night? Unforgiveable! RIP & goodbye
Wiccaman777 - 10 Feb 2013 13:09
I went there last night and I didn't get a 'hello', 'please', or 'thank you' from the barman either.
micahel242 - 15 Jan 2013 09:34
I gave his place a very positive review about two years back. I think the new owners started well but have lost their way. Been in a few times recently and their stock management seems a bit off with beers unavailable and/or not well kept. I suspect it may be changing hands again before long...
geraint17 - 12 Dec 2012 20:13
I was in this pub the other week and I didn't like what the new owners have done to this pub either.
micahel242 - 11 Nov 2012 12:57
I'm pretty sure the decor in the uniquely styled Wetherspoons would be just the thing you are looking for. No colour. No vibe. No asthetic whatsoever. A few vintage music and movie posters on the walls is hardly the end of the world. If you can't handle a picture on the wall, perhaps you are better off staying at home altogether. Do you go into Budgeons and complain about the way they've stacked the fruit and veg when it changes season? Taking the time to slander a local pub run by hard working individuals because there are new pictures on the walls is really quite sad.

Give the young bloke a break.
roguehayes - 10 Nov 2012 13:56
Have decided never to return after suffering a number of flat or watered down pints over the past few months. The Guinness is frequently awful and most of the lagers are warm and flat.

Add to this some of the rudest and most uninterested bar staff in London and there's really no good reason to frequent this pub any more. (Genuinely, how hard it is to say "hello," "please" and "thanks?")

I've wanted to pop in for a pint a few times over the last month, only to find myself stood on the doorstep and turning back, refusing to line the pockets of people who so clearly don't care about their customers.

I can only assume that the old guard who prop up the place continue to frequent it due to some misplaced loyalty to the building itself. If the beer and welcome are both poor, then what's the point?
lookmother - 6 Nov 2012 17:11
Mixed feelings about what the new owners have done to it. Was in there the other night and they seem to have covered the walls in music/pop posters and stuff like that. Looks really out of place. It looks like they are trying to turn a nice little pub into some sort of music "theme" pub. I really hope they see the error of their ways.
ds99 - 5 Nov 2012 12:07
A fairly nice and traditional locals pub tucked away just off the main road through Crouch End. The bar area has seating along the wall with no tables, which I found fairly unique. Beers weren't quite as varied as I'd have liked - Otter Bitter, Sharps Cornish Coaster, Adnams Broadside & Brains SA. But still recommended.
blue_scrumpy - 10 Aug 2012 20:39
Really split over the new owners. VERY good jukebox and they haven't mucked out with the decor TOO much. The only problem I've found is their customer service. While the majority of their staff are kind and approachable, the owners themselves are generally monosyllabic and unfriendly. You very rarely get a please or a thank you, which is simple customer service. It's probably the long hours, plus running the place next door which is doing it (I'd be knackered too), but a smile and some manners wouldn't go amiss.
mattk - 4 May 2012 15:26
Very sorry to see Sheila & Jim go but it seems these new guys have got the feel of the place just right. It's still a great pub and I like the tweaks. Thumbs up!
earlydoors - 8 Mar 2012 16:24
I think I'm just annoyed that others have discovered my best kept Crouch End secret. Obviously I drink in a variety of pubs/bars, but which one I choose depends on my mood or what I have planned that evening. If I am going to get on it before heading into town then I would choose the railway or wetherspoons etc, however when I fancied a quiet one I would come here. It has now become popular and personally that distresses me! Fair play to the management for making a business of it, but this is no longer a place for chilling with a pint.

Oh and Slavinka, when I find a library that serves Broadside I'm there!
joffle - 10 Feb 2012 11:34
Well I actually meant to say THREE Aussie guys not two - and Joffle I don't know what 're-vamp' you refer to? The guys have done their best to keep the Harringay in the same manner we all know and love. They just 'switched the lights on' so to speak. You say you are not an 'old man' as if being an old man automatically gave licence to moan? Surely age is just a number? There are several sprightly pensioners I've met who are just as delightful to converse with as the younger people and the Harringay has a selection of them all. Yes Witherspoons are cheaper but who wants to drink in a place with zero atmosphere?
With respect to the previous owners; The Harringay now has a new lease of life.
Great little pub - knocks the others into a cocked hat.
Slavinka - 9 Feb 2012 19:57
Well said 'rougehayes.' Glad to hear that your plans don't extend to ripping the heart of the pub out. As a regular drinker, I think the additions are perfectly welcome. It's still a wonderfully peculiar little place and long may it stay that way. Just don't put in a wooden floor and Ikea furniture.

Joffle - I agree with some of your points, but you can still get a quiet pint in here - just not necessarily on a Saturday night. To be honest, even WITH the music, it's still a damn sight better than any other pub in Crouch End (the cloest comparison is the Famous Royal Oak, which also has a jukebox.)

lookmother - 7 Feb 2012 16:43
Hi - Crouch Enders...this pub has just become THE best pub in Crouch End- thanks to the two Aussie guys who have bought it.
It is now a great venue - still with the lovely old feel of a 'proper' pub but with a special quality added. I can't be wrong - all of a sudden it's a 'happening' and busy place so they must be doing something right. It's as if the pub has been given a new lease of life and it really needed it too. Hard to pinpoint 'what' has changed exactly; but if you imagine an old treasure covered in dust and then someone comes along with a duster and reveals what's hiding under that dust??? That's what they've done here. They've even opened a fab little pizza place immediately next door. I love this place.
As for sitting down quietly reading a book??? How about going to the library?

Slavinka - 7 Feb 2012 08:51
On relfection, I think my previous review was slightly childish. Thank you to the management for their response. I appreciate you are running a new business and I do not wish to cause you problems early on by being a dick on the internet! I will then, review it slightly differently:

The Harringay arms is now under new management. The previous incarnation of this place was my favourite boozer in London. It has now been spruced up and a juke box added, which has changed the atmosphere slightly. No longer can you sit and read a book in complete silence and a saturday night, but I doubt it was much of a money maker like that. In short, this place is no longer my favourite, but I am sure many crouch enders will love it and I will doubtless return anyway!
joffle - 4 Feb 2012 18:34
Joffle. We are sorry to read that you have had a disappointing experience at the pub, and more sorry to read that you you are so upset you felt compelled to write negative reviews on all the websites. I can assure you the gormless ones are not doing low priority jobs, and that if fact these are probably tasks that are just as important to the smooth running of the venue, although they may seems trivial to the untrained eye. The fact you had to wait 15 minutes to be served is truly regrettable, and this is probably due also to the new found popularity we have experienced under new management. The jukebox is programmed so that it only plays songs when and if a customer decides to put a song on, so apart from installing it (With carefully hand picked songs, which you seem to like), the music is only playing as a result of others wanting it. So I guess, where we succeed with a few, we invariably disappoint another like you. Unfortunate as that is, we provide a service and hope people utilise it at their own bequest. The jukebox is next to the male toilets as a result of it being an intimate venue, but you'll probably notice that we simply removed the fruit machine and replaced it in the exact same position with the jukebox. We decided we didn't want to encourage gambling in the establishment, so that change was made. In terms of the decor, the vintage posters were out of our own private collection, and have merely replaced the old plates that hung on the walls. The plans and history of the pub still don the walls as before, but have merely been moved to make the venue more aesthetically pleasing. The vintage toy collection was also our own, and is right at the top on a shelf out of harms way. Other punters seem to like presenting the pub with gifts from their own collection, and so it grows. The venue has grown in terms of trade, there is no doubt about it, and we had hoped it would, considering it was a business. You must concede that there have been zero renovations to the property, we have maintained all the original features and merely added our own personal touches, which is understandably going to happen when you buy a business. We do regret that you have fallen out of love with our beloved Harringay Arms, and can only hope that one day you return and enjoy it as the rest of us do. It's still and original old boozer, which is why we love it. We've just added a few small personal touches to make it more interesting. No one likes change, but we feel we have kept true to the old girl. We hope you come again. And apologies for the experience you had.
roguehayes - 3 Feb 2012 00:29
I'm quite disappointed with the new management here. This was my favourite pub in crouch end because it was unique, but the revamp has ruined it in my opinion.

The three times I have been here since the takeover the bar staff have been completely useless. The girl always seems to be struggling on her own while some gormless bearded trendy walks around behind her doing low priority jobs. I waited around 15 minutes to be served on my last occassion. Many waiting at the bar began to talk about the "gold old days" of Jim and Sheila where you would wait approx 30 seconds for your pint. They also keep running out of pound coins for some reason?!

The jukebox is annoying too. The music is decent, but I liked the Harringay arms because it was quiet. I could go to 100 other pubs if I wanted to have music playing the background. It's right in front of the gents as well.

Finally, the decor has been replaced by loads of signed records and 80s toys, which has killed the village pub vibe.

I am really quite upset with the changes at this place. I guess you can't stop progress, but it feels to me like the new managers have realised that the place is cool for being kitsch and it has almost become a parody of itself. Shame.

Oh and I am 26, not an old man. Although on re reading this I sure sound like one!
joffle - 2 Feb 2012 19:14
I totally agree with Wiccaman777's 'IT'S NOT BROKE SO DON'T TRY AND FIX' comment above.

This is the ONLY pub left in Crouch End. The Queens, King's, Kiss the Sky, Railway, Maynard etc, have all turned into bars. Bars with expensive drinks and no atmosphere.

I hope the new owners realise that they have a unique (for Crouch End at least) watering hole here. It's always rammed - solely because it's remained a proper pub.

As a 33 year old fellow, I love drinking in here and am keeping my fingers crossed it doesn't change. Otherwise they'll lose my business and a LOT of other people's too.

I do worry the tide is turning though - I overheard 4 or 5 old fellas complaining about various beer price increases recently. If the cost of keeping the pub the way it is is an extra 10p on a pint then cool, but it might be worth informing the old guard of any upcoming changes so as not to alienate your core customers.

I'm giving a nervous '9.' Seriously - please don't rip the heart out of this one. Look at the comments and ratings on here - you've got a winner on your hands already.
lookmother - 11 Jan 2012 10:09
Now under young new management with the recent retirement of Jim & Sheila (sobs!). A few minor tweaks have been made to make the place look less like a maiden aunt's Sunday best living room. Background music was unobtrusive and actually quite cool. Doombar, Adnams 'Broadside' & London Pride available. Clientele remain the same mix of crusty post-grads, Celtic ex-pats and folk who just want good beer & good company in a traditional pub away from local pretensions. Tweak away, but remember - ITS NOT BROKE SO DON'T TRY & FIX!
Wiccaman777 - 30 Oct 2011 11:58
a pub i have not been in for 24 years. this pub was always the pub i used in crouch end when visting relatives who lived in crouch end.was a youngs pub then. now had 3 cask beers i tried the adnams broadside was an excellent was great pub in 1987 and still is.
forestwood - 30 Aug 2011 17:06
A proper old school pub 'on the High St', small longitudinal bar, An old pub for older people. Courage Best, Doom Bar and Adnams Broadside were on - the Doom Bar was okay. This would have been classed as an avergae boozer not long ago but now it's more of a rarity.
anonymous - 3 Apr 2011 04:22
Cracking good boozer, uinspoilt by the yummy mummies and 30 something [email protected] who populate the trendier pubs such as the Kings Head. How nice to be able to roder a pint of black and tan and the bar man knows what you want. Probably the only genuine opub in Crouch End.
geraint17 - 19 Oct 2010 22:58
This is a tiny, decent old boozer with a great landlord, landlady and bar staff who are very loyal and kind to their very mixed (age, class etc) regular punters; the sort of place an old man can still sit and have a pint without being made to feel passe; but please don't go there, it's already too crowded. Agree sandwiches would be nice, but not important.
brendano - 22 Jul 2010 19:07
Traditional Old Pub, reminds me of an old style Country Inn in decoration and atmosphere. Not entirely my cup of tea but I can see why it is well liked.
Harry_Callaghan - 8 Oct 2009 02:20
I love this pub! I don't live local so don't come often but it reminds me of when I started drinking. I'm not a die-hard spit-and-sawdust-gastropubs-are-killing-the-working-man's-boozer person, my local's the Ranelagh in Bounds Green and it's a lot better since the pool tables got replaced by sofas, but there are, thank goodness, many ways for a pub to be good and this is one of them. Unpretentious, unrepentant, and well-kept beer. If it had some cheap bar food - and I mean like ham rolls in cling film for a quid would be perfect - this would be perfection.
oneeyedbloke - 14 Sep 2009 14:32
I was glad to find this place after visiting some of the gastro dross at the other end of the high street. Itís a small pub with a couple of plasma screens that show Sky Sports and there is also a dartboard at the rear of the pub by the exit to the small courtyard.

The barman that served me seemed nice enough and I saw no problems with the other punters who all seemed to be enjoying their night. The pub closes at midnight on Friday and Saturday and 23:30 all other nights, which is very handy to know.

Broadside, Adnams Bitter and Courage Best were all available alongside a standard draught selection and my pint of Broadside was well kept.

Next time I am in Crouch End I will make a point of visiting here again.
Strongers - 23 Jun 2009 16:42
Great, traditional pub. Older folks and younger ones, (kind of) mixing together. worth a visit as, if nothing else, it is the only old style pub left in Crouch End, as all the rest have tarted themselves up, one by one.

Shame that the Bombardier I had in here last week was in head thumpingly poor condition.
Planner_21 - 3 Jun 2009 01:12
My spiritual drinking home since 1993. Classic old school boozer that has remained unchanged when all else in the area has changed pretentiously for the worse. I love it!
Wiccaman777 - 23 Mar 2009 20:24
A small pub occupied mainly by locals, a traditional pub atmosphere which is a real rarity in this area.

Wood panelling, decent ales as well (3 on draft including Deuchars, maybe not exciting but in good shape). The opposite of trendy and as such, a great place to drink.
dpv - 16 Jun 2008 15:30
One of my favourite London pubs just up the road from girlfriends place....if I move up here it would have to be within walking (staggering)distance !
W980501 - 2 May 2008 11:49
Very friendly place with a reasonable selection of ales and a big screen for sport. Get there early if you want a seat though!

DuchyBoy - 25 Feb 2008 09:32
Nice traditional long narrow single bar pub in the centre of Crouch End.

I wouldn't describe it as "rough and ready" - it's just a proper old school boozer that does what it says on the tin.

It seems to be where the locals drink - and that's usually a pretty good sign.

Worth popping in if passing through
JohnBonser - 19 Feb 2008 13:41
One of the best boozers in London. A classic old-school pub which I just hope never changes.
Greshon - 20 Feb 2007 18:53
Bit too rough and ready, although its different from most of the other pubs in the centre of Crouch End.
Lazmac - 27 Nov 2006 23:49
If you dont like new people coming to your pub there will be a day in years to come when there wont be anyone left. As a 'newcomer' ive felt a little intimidated by certain regulars obvious distain for 'newcomers' and people not in Eastenders, but my problem is, all the other pubs in crouch end are rubbish. The bar staff are nice though. Good porky scratchings. Minimal hair.
anonymous - 30 May 2006 18:41
Great pub, most favoured in Crouch End.

Comments about new people going elsewhere though are unhelpful to the pub, its regulars and the new faces that become tomorrow's steadfast loyal drinkers.

justice4punters - 2 May 2006 15:41
My favourite pub in London and, indeed, the world. Scruffy, smoky, a little bit grubby, but altogether fab.
katep - 26 Apr 2006 15:45
I like this pub. Lots. Don't go in as often as I should as it's the other end of Crouch End and I'm a lazy bugger, but a good time is always had when the effort's made.

Mike_D - 7 Apr 2006 13:44
I now live in Florida but when I lived in Crouch End in 1986-7 this was the best pub then & glad to hear it is now.
briant3 - 1 Mar 2006 07:40
This is possibly the best pub in London. It has the right criteria to be called a pub and not full of designer perfumed clientele like the All Bar Pitcher and Piano opposite.

Don't come in here for your Rjoca or Chablis or toasted paninis with sea cress.

The ales are great and not your usual waterey London offerings.

A real boozer for real unpretentious people

Ale_Bloke - 20 Dec 2005 12:01
Best pub in Crouch End and very possibly the world. Incredibly friendly and welcoming.

Having said that, I have to agree with Grumpy Crouch Ender even though I am a relative new comer (couple of years) - loads of new people through the door would be a shame. If its a good 'scene' you're after, get you to the King's. If its a good pint and a good chat, come in.
AnnaBanya - 9 Dec 2005 16:05
Great place to drink, great quiz, great Guinness. It would be a little like drinking in your own front room, if there weren't so many people.

There are no pretensions, no attempts to artifically create an ambience, it just does the (very!) basics and does them well: a small, badly-lit, classic boozer.

A pub I miss if I've not been there for a while!
Magwitch - 13 Oct 2005 09:26
A proper locals' pub serving a great pint of Guinness. My wife hates it. I go here as often as possible.
CheersPiers - 3 Aug 2005 14:45
It's what a pub should be, it smells of beer tobacco and old men. The TV always has horse racing on, even at closing time, and they do rolls wrapped in clingfilm behind the bar...I almost wept when I first saw that.

This is a proper boozer, run by and frequented by real people who go to the pub for a drink, a chat and maybe a little snooze in the corner.

BrianCheese - 1 Aug 2005 17:08
A great pub with a really difficult quiz. The staff are friendly and efficient and it's easy to relax there. I also like the variety of age groups who drink side by side.

This is also a good place for spotting the stars: I've seen Eastenders' Minty, Sean Hughes and Sgt Boyden from The Bill (although not all together) there! Primetimetastic!
dawnage - 3 May 2005 22:35
A fine and decent traditional pub. No pretensions, good beer and friendly staff. Definitely and after-work-with-the-Evening-Standard pub. Relaxed and sound clientelle.
keep_it_green - 18 Apr 2005 16:27
The last real pub in this area.

It's well hidden by its plain frontage and plain inside.

Not frequented by the fashionable - its main attraction!

Worth a visit.
fatherpierre - 27 Jan 2005 02:02
Small community pub with a friendly welcome, opened in 1877. The wood panelled interior shows old pictures of the area and drawings showing the history of the pub. Regular entry in the Good beer Guide. A TV plays quietly but here conversation rules. There is a small sheltered courtyard with seatingat the rear. The pub sign depicts a hare and suggests a possible origin of the name. Filled rolls are available lunchtime. Quiz night is tuesday.
Chris - 1 Jan 2005 08:41
Great proper boozer hidden round the corner from natwest, highly recommended if you prefer conversation to shouting in dull chain pubs.
DKavanagh - 10 Dec 2004 11:41
Great little traditional local. Relaxing unpretentious atmosphere. Good selection of beers and friendly staff. Good mix of clientele. Very small television not very good for watching sport.
William Clark - 2 Dec 2004 12:16
Small tradiational pub which can get really busy.Good selection of beers and good guiness as the land lord is Irish.No music so you can have a conversation, nice polite bar staff with a nice chiled out atomosphere. A selection of people drink in here from old regular to trendy media types. Well worth a visit
Delyth Jones - 18 Nov 2004 16:44
leave this pub alone! too many newcommers ruin the atmosphere and unsettle the locals!! go to the queens, maynard or Alex instead and leave the Harringay alone!
Grumpy Crouch Ender - 29 Jul 2004 14:44
A great friendly local, ideal for a swift pint or five of Guinness. Not the most spacious of pubs (I wouldn't want it any other way) so be warned that you can be hard pushed to find a seat on quiz nights.

A top, off the beaten track drinking hole.
Markmark - 17 Jun 2003 16:17
An old-fashioned friendly typical pub pub. Small but perfectkly formed with a small beer yard out the back on warm evenings.

Only one ladies toilet though.
BlueDuck - 7 May 2003 17:27

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