I went for a pint at the GNRT last night - mainly cos it was the nearest pub to Hornsey rail station - and it was the most wonderful pub!!!
I've been intrigued for a while due to lovely building and long, rail-related name but wasn't expecting much as it has had a reputation for being an 'old man pub' (no direct offence to old men intended).
It was just stunning and the most wicked pub. There was a fire burning (who'd have thought that would be a welcome sight in MAY, but hey-ho), games, they've got a garden on the go which will be furnished for use when we get a summertime, good choice of lager and none of the nasty crap Fosters/carslberg etc, and a simple menu that looks worth a go though I'll have to eat there another time. They do free gigs, there's wi-fi and the staff were friendly.
When I aske dthe barman explained that the building was refurbed a year ago but that they've only bee running it for the last 2 months. So maybe this is common knowledge but I wanted to make sure becuase the good people of Harringay should be supporting this venture.
Needless to say the building has been beautifually restored, has a glass ceiling to rival the Salisbury, lickable wooden floors and just the right amount of furniture in there to seat lots of people but not overcrowd.
As this weekend is set to be a wash-out, why not go check it out it deserves your custom!
They're on Twitter.
I have been a few times over the last eighteen months, a vast improvement. The ale selection was pretty disappointing considering what the Three Compasses have on offer opposite, no micros or locale just Greene King. The food we had was pretty good mind. I am not fond of Gastro-pubs and this is trying to be one which I think lets it down slightly. I haven't been for a while so I may just pop up there for something to eat now.
EDIT: It must have sorted the ale bit out according to BITE: http://www.beerintheevening.com/pubs/s/62/6293/Great_Northern_Railw...
This pub was amazing before it was refurbished. Really full of character and old fittings (and increasingly rare). Now it looks like a million other generic 'tasteful' and 'nice' pubs in the area. A really sad loss of something special in my opinion.
To be fair it offered little in the way of ale previously and that's why I seldom visited although I understand your comments about it being just another Gastro wannabe. Just been up again and wasn't overly impressed although very friendly bar man. Only one ale on (although it was a nice brew from Norfolk) and the menu has shrunk dramatically. Didn't stop for anything to eat as there was little choice. Won't be rushing back. Three Compasses is much better opposite.
Good to see ale choice as such a strong driver for change; customers demanding it for GNRT. Lager finally taking more of a back seat.
The guy who is now managing the GNRT was the manager of the Euston Tap until he took this place on - so he knows what he is doing, and has vowed to make this place great again. Give it your support!
Great news - if he can bring some of the Euston Tap beer selection to Hornsey, he'd have a regular in me. At the moment, you have to go to Gospel Oak or SN to get a decent range.
Personally I am not big on ale but I agree with the 'less is more' philosophy around less choice but a higher quality offering (food menu + beers)
From first impressions I also wouldn't write them off as 'trying to be another gastropub' I think there is plenty that is bespoke and sympathetic to their surroundings and who they are catering for.
The new manager, Tony (?), actually states on their facebook page that he wants the pub to 'achieve its potential and be the great pub it is meant to be' (not exact quote but that's the gist) so to me it adds to my impression that they are trying. And that's what's nice about new pubs - they try!
Yes the fittings are really stunning... and a rarity
Anyway I am not an expert.... I was hoping to watch FA Cup final there but unfortunately can't find a number that works to ask them!? Oh well...
Three Compasses have a screen so will probably be showing the FA cup final
Here are some pictures from about a year ago.
Just signed up. Will reply soon.....
Hi all, just wanted to say hi and add a few things to your comments.
Firstly, thank you for the original post, it's was a nice read.
Ok, as far as the ale selection goes there are a few things to consider. Firstly we are part of punch taverns, which means my choice IS limited. However, as an incentive they offer access to their 'finest' range which includes lots of local and independent brewers beer if we become Cask Marque attributed. This has been applied for and I'm hoping to be offering a much better range once the award is in place (my cellar is now spotless, I condition the ales correctly and temperatures are correct so I'm not expecting to fail). For the time being I am steering clear of the old standard Green King and Doombar which the old managers stuck to week in week out. I'll be rotating what I consider a slightly better range (includes things like Landlord, Mad Goose, Wherry, Tribute and Sussex Best). I have also arranged for two more pumps to be fitted in the next week, so instead of two, i'll have four ales.
As for only having one on last week, well this is difficult too. Until this pub has straightened itself out and we have more customers I can't keep two beers on during quiet periods (mid week) as i'll create a lot of waste, not something we can afford right now. So I have one on mid-week and two on over the weekend.
Keg range has been altered. I have removed Fosters, Heineken, San Miguel and Strongbow and replaced them with Budvar, Hoegaarden, Kirin Itchiban and Aspalls. They sit alongside Amstel and Guiness.
Beer garden has been re-built and will be open to the public in the next week or so once we've furnished it and addressed a couple of other bits. Tree tops have also been trimmed back so you get a beautiful view of Alexandra Palace.
Social media is proving to be a nightmare for me at the moment but we are on top of it. There are several websites for the place as it's changed hands so much. And the facebook page isn't actually mine, and I have no access to it. Once all of these have been removed we'll start fresh ones and I'll put a link up on here for you all to see.
We do have a screen in the back room, but sky isn't on the agenda just yet due to cost. I'll show terrestrial games, rugby, olympics and the Euros no problem.
This is a beautiful pub, with bags of character and I'm shocked by the 'generic' comment. It's had a roller-coaster reputation over the last few years but I'm looking to stabilise it and be here for the long haul. I like to do things properly. I fired the old team and the old chef as the place was far too hit and miss. We now have a great team, and a proper chef, who refuses to work with frozen foods and sources everything locally. I'm over the moon with the progress considering I've only had the place for two months. However, Rome wasn't built in a day, we have inherited lots of problems, including a £25,000 bill that has seen us closed for the last three weeks. I almost walked out on the place several times out of pure frustration but I told myself at the beginning it would get worse before it got better so I have vowed to stay and make this place everything the local area wants it to be.
I'm a local guy, I was born three miles away so I'm keen to see the area do well. I care about what I do and I'm sure long term it'll be fine, but we need your support, not a lot of people know that the place was almost sold to developers to be turned into flats just before I came. So fingers crossed we can make it work and keep the place as a pub.... I did after all take it for the challenge!!!
You can follow us on Twitter @TheGNRTavern and the pub number is 02081276632 if anyone wants to book a table, the back room for a party or just have a chat.
Hope to meet some of you soon