Crouch Hill pub The Harringay Arms opens doors after squatters given last orders
PUBLISHED: 18:10 14 December 2017 | UPDATED: 18:10 14 December 2017
A pub where 16 squatters were evicted in a dawn raid has reopened promising to become a 'home from home'.
The intruders were dragged out of the Harringay Arms, in Crouch Hill, after they moved into the disused pub, the second venue to be see squatters ejected from a Crouch End watering hole in a week with enforcement officers having visited One Bourbon Tavern in Middle Lane on October 10.
New pub landlord Ben Martin, who has been involved in the trade since he was 16 years old, said: “We’re creating a local pub everybody is welcome to come into.”
The Harringay, operated by the Bermondsey Pub Company, opened last Friday after a five and a half week long refurbishment, but marks its official launch today (Thurs).
“It will be a cracking evening. We expect a huge number of people,” Mr Martin said.
Mr Martin, who was a regular at the pub five years ago, added: “It always felt very warm and welcoming and for me it’s really important we maintain that.
“We’ve kept the pub as aesthetically pleasing as possible and been as sympathetic as we could with the original Harringay Arms,” he added.
On the squatters, Mr Martin – who has run The Angel in Highgate, Edinboro Castle in Camden and was head chef at The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead – said they had little impact.
“It didn’t really affect us much. As far as I know they went pretty peacefully,” he said.
Speaking about threats to drinking spots, he said: “People still want great pubs. There’s a lot of competition now, but a pub should be a home from home.”
And former landlord and landlady Jim and Sheila have given their blessing according to The Harringay’s new manager.
“They loved that we kept lots of detail,” Mr Martin said.
On his move to Crouch End, Mr Martin, 42, explained how he wanted to get back into the community after running larger pubs elsewhere.
“As you progress in your career you move into bigger pubs. I wanted to bring it back down again to a smaller venue. For me it’s about getting back into the community,” he said.