Clissold Arms, East Finchley

Our rating: FAP Rating 2 - Click for an explanation of our ratings      User rating: Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings   (2 reviews)
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FancyaPint?'s review...
FAP Rating 2 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
An increasing number of London's pub close, change owners and reopen again, but more column inches than usual were devoted to the changes in management at the Clissold Arms over the last couple of years. This can mostly be put down to the pub's close connections to The Kinks: the brothers Davies first public performance took place here many moons ago years ago, and a small collection of memorabilia marked the spot. When the pub closed, a campaign was launched to protect the site, which even received Ray Davies's backing. Would the pub remain a traditional local? Would the Kinks records and photographs remain on the wall? Well, the pub has finally reopened and in answer to those questions: 'no' and 'just about'. This one's been taken on by the owners of a successful group of madeover pubs in East London, which is all the more surprising given how formulaic this pub now is: all the clichés of gastropub refits are fully in force, from the hardbacked church chairs to the regulation off-white painted walls - it's as if someone with no background in pub management has taken the place on, and is religiously following the gastropub makeover rule book. The layout of the pub has also been significantly altered, so that the bar is now at the back, leaving almost half the pub as 'diners only'. How about that Kinks shrine? Well, a cursory selection of four framed photographs of Ray, Dave et al, are tucked away beside the toilets. There's a high chance the Clissold will find a regular clientele in this part of town but we're just really disappointed how bland and uninspiring this makeover is. The range of drinks on offer are decent enough and the food may well be of a high standard, but the Clissold, once a pub with a distinct air and a unique history, has now become just another identikit gastropub.
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Reviews (1)
15 Jul 2008
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
I had hoped that with all the history of this place, and the fact that it's not really a "trendy" area per se that the make over would see The Clissold retain a sense of its former self.

Sadly, not so.

Went in on a Sunday a few weeks ago, and it's a bog-standard, overly expensive gastro pub. In a word: soulless.

Contact details
Fortis Green, East Finchley, London, N2 9HR
020 8883 1028

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