Brian Luff writes…
I first wandered into Crouch End’s famous Harringay Arms when I was a tech student at Mountview Theatre School. In those days the drama school was located just across the road, so it was a bit of a student hang-out. That was over thirty years ago, and I’ve been popping in there for a pint ever since. So I’m probably one of its oldest punters.
A couple of years ago the Harringay Arms was taken over by new Aussie owners Ben and Anthony who say they fell in love with the place the first time they saw it. The lads have definitely injected new life and energy into the place – adding regular live music, a cool retro jukebox, and they’ve lined the walls with iconic old record sleeves and vintage collectable figurines.
The old barrel storage room has been used for everything from a pizza parlour to a pop up shop, art gallery to craft fair and it’s currently a craft beer bar. It would be great to see this inventive use of the space continue during this year’s Crouch End Festival, maybe even using it to include small scale performance events such as acoustic music nights, poetry or even open mike nights.
I’ve seen smaller comedy venues than this on the Edinburgh Free Fringe, and Crouch End is so strongly associated with the comedy business that an intimate “feeder venue” like this would fit right in with the local scene. It’s always better to pack out a tiny venue than struggle to fill a large one.
Having had such a long history with the place, I’m thrilled to see that the Harringay Arms is now embracing the local arts and media scene with such enthusiasm.