Application for new licence provides hope for beloved Highgate pub

Local residents campaigning in 2019 to reopen old the Winchester Tavern, in Archway Road, as a pub.

Local residents campaigning in 2019 to reopen the old Winchester Tavern, in Archway Road, as a pub - Credit: Polly Hancock

Highgate’s Winchester Tavern may soon be welcoming customers once again, with an application for a new premises licence to be reviewed by Haringey Council's licensing sub-committee on Monday (January 10). 

The application was submitted by the Northern Union Pub Company, which has had recent successes in saving north London pubs The Albert in Primrose Hill, the Haverstock Tavern in Haverstock Hill, and Hampstead’s Old White Bear. 

In its application, it says: “We intend to carry out a full refurbishment of the ground and basement floors to bring the pub back to life and re-establish it at the heart of its community.” 

It adds: “We will offer an outstanding range of both alcoholic and soft drinks alongside a menu of locally sourced and freshly prepared food. As with our other sites we will work alongside the local council and police to ensure that we operate within and promote all four licensing objectives.” 

The Winchester Tavern, in Archway Road, was last year listed as an asset of community value (ASV) following local objections to plans to turn the site into flats. 

Sam Moss, director of the Northern Union Pub Company, said: “We feel very, very passionately about pubs and about their continued use and protection so we think the Winchester could be an absolutely brilliant site. 

“It’s a beautiful pub in a good location.” 

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The successes the company has had with other pubs in the area makes Sam confident the application will be accepted. 

Having well-run local pubs add to the character of an area, he says, and are key to bringing communities together. 

“If you’re not someone who uses a pub it’s very difficult to quantify quite how important a really good pub is to its community. It has such a positive impact in so many different ways. 

“The Old White Bear has been trading for two and a half weeks and we’ve seen familiar faces coming in, sitting at the bar, talking to their neighbours. So, I think it really does provide a focal point and a heart for a lot of communities.” 

The application can be read in full at