The Highbury Barn Tavern, Holloway

Our rating: FAP Rating 2 - Click for an explanation of our ratings      User rating: Community Rating 4 - Click for an explanation of our ratings   (14 reviews)
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FancyaPint?'s review...
FAP Rating 2 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
The Highbury Barn is under new ownership / management so we stopped by to check it out on a warm bank holiday weekend. The interior has been brightened up a little and there is new black plastic seating outside, replacing the pub trestle tables there previously. The new menu includes a couple of cuts from the award-winning butcher across the road. Mains are priced fairly reasonably from Ł7.50 to Ł10.50. A couple of real ales were on tap, including St George and the Dragon - which we thought was appropriate on St George's Day. The service was very friendly. The pub, which was always a tad bland but with more than its share of interesting local 'characters', hasn't really changed that much under the new ownership. We'll wait and see if there are any further improvements.
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Reviews (1)
21 Aug 2013
Rating 5 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Popped into this pub last week for the first time in many years, and was pleasantly surprised. The place have been renovated and looks really good now. The staff were welcoming. My family found the menu had a goo selection, and the food was really good for a pub. I would definitely recommend a visit.
Reviews (1)
20 Aug 2013
Rating 5 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
A really well run, friendly bar with excellent food and plenty of beer to choose from. I would highly recommend it to anybody looking for a decent welcoming local. The refurbishment is amazing and the management and staff know how to look after the customer. You will not be disappointed here.
Reviews (1)
20 Aug 2013
Rating 5 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
I had a wonderful lunch there on Saturday 17th August which was the opening day of the football season and the atmosphere was vibrant, the food excellent.

I later found out that the head chef has spent time with some of the most renowned three star Michelin chefs this country has seen and that he spent a good 7 or 8 years perfectling his trade in a private members club, no surprise there as to why this match day menu works perfectly!

The timing on the service was faultless and the waiting staff excellent, they are efficient, know to ask the right questions when taking the order and work well as a team. The food exited the kitchen in a timely manner and it felt like the perfect short pause between placing the orders, receiving the drinks and then the starter and then between the starter and main course, this was brilliant coordination between the kitchen and the front of house and credit is due to the manager for getting this right.

The place is brilliant, I can't see a rival to it anywhere in the area. The fit out is excellent and it works perfectly as a restaurant and a pub. It's the perfect local gastro pub.
Reviews (2)
20 Aug 2013
Rating 4 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
watching the footie and drinking blue moon craft beer as Manchester city destroy Newcastle utd. Bring on Wednesday
Reviews (1)
19 Aug 2013
Rating 4 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
I visited the pub on a recommendation from a family member. We booked the restaurant part and had a good meal. I opted for the burger which was full of taste and served on a brioche bun, the only way to serve a burger, the chips were awesome. I had previously had a quick lunch at the bar and again the chicken and bacon sandwich was very tasty and highly recommended.
Reviews (2)
19 Aug 2013
Rating 5 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
great pub we found last night. Great staff, good selection of real ales,craft lagers and fab bottle ciders. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, SEE YOU Wednesday FOR THE MATCH.
Reviews (1)
19 Aug 2013
Rating 4 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Well I must say I have been in to the new refurbished Highbury Barn and the food is great and staff wonderful. The owners have done a fab job with the Theatre Kitchen , Beer Tables and the general décor. Fantastic my new local!!
Reviews (2)
11 Aug 2013
Rating 0 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
The pub is one of a few competing for upmarket trade in Highbury, but it performs very badly indeed. The manager, a guy called Tony managed to get into no less than two fights with two separate parties of customers during the evening I went. An odd looking fellow, the manager interacts awkwardly with his customers and a little disturbingly with his female staff.

The owners bought the pub from Punch a few years ago and have done their best, but their best is not enough and an expensive pint does not a Gastropub make. I have lived in the area for many years and prefer the pubs in Highbury Corner to this poor excuse for a local. Locals are supposed to have locals in it, that's why they're called locals, but the manager of the Highbury Barn has done all he can to rid the place of locals, preferring punters out for a night wanting to eat food. He can also rely on the football match day trade which will come whatever the service. The outcome is a pub without personality.

What are the good points? It’s generally clean and tidy and a new makeover gives a fresh feel to what was a stale décor. The outside seating is perfect in summer, but obviously not good in winter and the owners are too tight to turn the heating on when it’s cold. In winter you’ll see everyone sitting round wearing coats. Hardly the cosy atmosphere of a home from home. The ales are badly stored and the lagers too warm to want, but a drink is what you’ll need if you end up here.

In many respects the Highbury barn lives up to its intention, to serve food and avoid being a pub in the true sense. In a location like Highbury, with a huge selection of quality restaurants on Upper Street the food needs to be fantastic, but it’s just average. Where does the Barn go from here, it’s not a pub and not a restaurant. A change of manager with an ability to get on with people would be a welcome start.
Reviews (2)
11 Aug 2013
Rating 0 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
The pub is one of a few competing for upmarket trade in Highbury, but it performs very badly indeed. The manager, a guy called Tony managed to get into no less than two fights with two separate parties of customers during the evening I went. An odd looking fellow, the manager interacts awkwardly with his customers and a little disturbingly with his female staff.

The owners bought the pub from Punch a few years ago and have done their best, but their best is not enough and an expensive pint does not a Gastropub make. I have lived in the area for many years and prefer the pubs in Highbury Corner to this poor excuse for a local. Locals are supposed to have locals in it, that's why they're called locals, but the manager of the Highbury Barn has done all he can to rid the place of locals, preferring punters out for a night wanting to eat food. He can also rely on the football match day trade which will come whatever the service. The outcome is a pub without personality.

What are the good points? It’s generally clean and tidy and a new makeover gives a fresh feel to what was a stale décor. The outside seating is perfect in summer, but obviously not good in winter and the owners are too tight to turn the heating on when it’s cold. In winter you’ll see everyone sitting round wearing coats. Hardly the cosy atmosphere of a home from home. The ales are badly stored and the lagers too warm to want, but a drink is what you’ll need if you end up here.

In many respects the Highbury barn lives up to its intention, to serve food and avoid being a pub in the true sense. In a location like Highbury, with a huge selection of quality restaurants on Upper Street the food needs to be fantastic, but it’s just average. Where does the Barn go from here, it’s not a pub and not a restaurant. A change of manager with an ability to get on with people would be a welcome start.
Reviews (7)
04 Feb 2012
Rating 3 - Click for an explanation of our ratings
Improved local, with a good pint of London Pride. Friendly staff, good food, good for sports coverage. Benefits from lack of noisy jukebox music.
Reviews (1)
02 Dec 2010
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
i agree with nolam - fingers xd this time it will last. Hadnt been in for a couple of years but decided to take the plunge a week or so back and was pleasantly surprised to see camden brewery bitter on tap and godfreys meat on the menu. here's hoping after so many disappointments for this historic boozer
Reviews (1)
17 Nov 2010
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
In the recent months, new management has gone into The Highbury Barn and they have made a fantastic difference. The pub is a friendly enviornment to be in and holds a great atmosphere. There is a superb choice of wines to go along with the lovely food. Definatly reccomend this to all.
Reviews (1)
09 May 2010
Not rated yet! - Click for an explanation of our ratings
As the Barn is only 3 minutes walk from my house I regularly drop into the Highbury Barn Pub for a quick beer. But I won't go again. Not a single member of their staff knows how to smile and if that were not enough they are actually rude. I was there 10 minutes ago, asked for the pub lunch and a Lemon, Lime and Bitters. I was told 'we don't do bitters' in the most dismissive voice you can imagine. I said 'really ? no bitters?' and he replied 'na' as if he was now quite proud of himself. No alternative offered. No regret. No smile. I cancelled my order and left. No issue that that pub chooses not to stock bitters, but that they choose to employ only rude staff is hard to understand. I suspect they think their job description is - pour drink, take money. And that I guess they are able to do. But they won't take my money.

Contact details
26 Highbury Park, Highbury, London, N5 2AB
020 7226 2383
Events:

Quiz night - quiz night Monday

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