The Albert: Primrose Hill pub to reopen this summer as new licence is approved

Sam Moss outside the Albert pub. Picture: Sam Moss

Sam Moss outside the Albert pub. Picture: Sam Moss - Credit: Archant

Primrose Hill pub the The Albert has taken a giant leap towards re-opening as it has been granted a licence.

The watering hole in Princess Road was told it can open from 10am to 11pm from Monday to Saturday, with shorter potential opening hours on Sundays.

New landlord Sam Moss, who co-owns a brewery and pubs in Yorkshire, is hoping it will be open at the start of July.

It’s welcome news for drinkers who lamented the loss of one of Primrose Hill’s historic pubs. Phil Cowan, who lives in Albert Terrace, said it was emotional when he stepped back into the pub.

He said: “I’ve been campaigning for four years. I did get a lump in my throat from walking in there, because it’s so different from the beautiful space that it was before, but you could still see the resemblance.”

The pub, which opened in 1846, has lain dormant for five years since it last served customers. Phil believes Camden’s new local plan, and a downturn in the housing market, have made the pub’s offshore owners re-open it.

“The council beefed up their local plan in 2017 to put a more robust system in place,” he said. “That sent a message out to owners that we are going to sit it out as long as you are, and you won’t be able to turn it into flats.

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“I think the owners thought: we’ve got this asset, why don’t we try and make some money?”

In 2016, two years after it closed, it was stripped of many of its Victoriana decorations by thieves. However, many original features are still there.

Phil said: “The original bar and architecture is there and will be kept. There are some original pictures here and there that belonged to the original pub. It won’t be exactly the same, but neither should it be either.”

Sam has signed a 25-year lease. The new licence was granted last week, after a flurry of support from neighbours backing the application. With work set to take place, the pub will get a replacement conservatory and a disabled toilet. Its focus will be on drink, rather than becoming another gastropub.

He said: “It’s a bit like house hunting. You walk through the door and you get a feeling straight away, and it’s as simple as that. Even though it’s been closed for a few years, it’s still got a fantastic atmosphere.

“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. It was a very nice normal pub, and we want to continue that. There’s a lot of gastropubs in Primrose Hill and a lot of restaurants and we want to do something different.

“It will be somewhere to come and get a really good pint, and be served by really nice people.”