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Landlords of legendary Haverstock Hill pub open new real ale house

PUBLISHED: 17:48 14 November 2011

Proprietor Paul Davies and general manager Spike Williams, formerly of the Steele's, stand outside their new pub Tapping The Admiral. Picture: Polly Hancock

Proprietor Paul Davies and general manager Spike Williams, formerly of the Steele's, stand outside their new pub Tapping The Admiral. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

A new real ale pub - from the same stable as legendary locals The Pineapple and the Steele’s - has sprung up in Kentish Town.

Tapping the Admiral, on Castle Road, on the borders of Camden and Kentish Town, celebrates its opening on Friday (November 18).

It is in the capable hands of the Paul Davies and Kirk McGrath - who ran Sir Richard Steele’s pub, known as the Steele’s, on Haverstock Hill for 24 years.

They plan to give the new pub the same treatment as the Steele’s, which was renowned as “one of the most rock and roll pubs in north London”.

Joint-owner Mr Davies said: “Hopefully this pub will also become a cult destination.”

The two business partners both live and breathe pubs.

Over the years they fought and won a battle to prevent Jon Snow’s Kentish Town local, The Pineapple, from being re-developed.

Now they have rescued the “rundown and rat-infested” shell of a former pub on a Camden side street, which had been empty for more than four years.

“It’s not a trendy gastro pub, it’s going to have a nice relaxed atmosphere,” said Mr Davies. “We’re aiming at the Kentish Town crowd.”

The new venture is teaming up with the Camden Town Brewery which is right next door.

It will offer 10 to 15 real ales and ciders, good quality food, joviality, and an annual real ale and sausage festival.

The unusual name hails from Kentish Town’s old association with Admiral Nelson.

The naval hero was known to frequent bars and brothels in the area and the names of many pubs and clubs have alluded to this.

After his death at the Battle of Trafalgar, Nelson’s body was transported back to Blighty in a coffin full of brandy.

It was said that the sailors used to sneakily drink the liquor through straws, something which was known as “tapping the admiral” and became slang for a sly tipple.


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