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Cocktail bar plans for Hampstead pub bought by owner of Beach Blanket Babylon

PUBLISHED: 20:15 03 August 2012

The Rose & Crown in Highgate will be turned into a coffee shop. Picture: Nigel Sutton

The Rose & Crown in Highgate will be turned into a coffee shop. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

The demise of the traditional pub in Hampstead and Highgate may be one step closer as two old time boozers have met different fates.

The future of Hampstead watering hole The Rosslyn Arms looks bright as it is set to become an upscale cocktail bar, but the 10-year-old Rose and Crown pub in Highgate has closed and been taken over by a cafe chain.

Restaurateur Robert Newmark, dubbed the “King of Clubs”, who owns celebrity hotspots Beach Blanket Babylon in Notting Hill and Dollar Grill & Martinis in Farringdon, has bought The Rosslyn Arms pub in Rosslyn Hill, previously known as Bar Room Bar.

He has plans to transform the pub, which served pints and pizzas, into a glamorous restaurant and bar by next Christmas and is yet to finalise its new name.

Included in the ambitious scheme are plans to knock through the ceiling and install a spiral staircase.

Casey Phillips, of Shelley Sandzer, who advised on the deal, said: “The concept that Robert Newmark intends to move into the Rosslyn Arms is a closely kept secret at this stage.

“A prominent and undoubtedly affluent location, one would expect that a higher end offer with more emphasis on food may be a safe bet. All we can say at this stage is quite literally, watch this space. “

But Steve Coxshall, who owns the 300-year-old Duke of Hamilton pub in New End, Hampstead, said he has watched the village transform into a “big brand town” over the last decade.

“We have regulars at the Duke of Hamilton - everything from actors to the most understated of people,” he said.

“It’s like a family, somewhere where the bloke whose wife has left or died can come and he’ll have people to talk to. You don’t get that in gastro-pubs. The end of the traditional British pub is a real shame.”

Highgate High Street will also say goodbye to the Rose and Crown after a decade, as the Grade-II listed pub which has served up pints under various names over the last 30 years is set to become a branch of Le Pain Quotidian French bakery.

The pub was recommended by the prestigious Michelin Guide in 2010 as the highest rated restaurant in Highgate but even that was not enough to secure its future.

Raj Kara-Rajani, who owns The Corner Shop next door, said: “Highgate doesn’t have a high footfall of good customers, so sooner or later it was going to collapse.

“People come to visit the cemetery but there aren’t many other attractions. People who own the pub come and go but it’s never been a success.”

Le Pain Quotidian will open in September.

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