Pinboard: Eating & drinking special (with another closure, alas)


3. Get down to the Mango Shack Over by Camden Road overground, a new laidback bar-restaurant-thing has finally opened on …




3. Get down to the Mango Shack

mango shack

Over by Camden Road overground, a new laidback bar-restaurant-thing has finally opened on the site of the doomed Meribel Brasserie, the upmarket dining venture that we think was way too quickly abandoned last year by Billy Reilly, owner of Pacha and The Driver.

Reilly and co spent a small fortune on the interior and so it’s an easy shoe-in, to be honest. And we’re pleased to see the space being used as a more typically relaxed Camden joint, with bar to mooch in at the front as well as more formal Caribbean restaurant behind. And we believe it’s all run by Derek, of Mango Rooms fame.

We’ll report back as soon as we’ve roadtested it properly.


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  • Kate

    I couldn’t see where to complain, just the application details. Am I being thick ?

    • Stuart

      Click on the blue underlined comment link, underneath the description of the proposal.

  • Miles

    not sure I’ll be going there again.

    • Luisa

      Whether you like the Victoria as it stands or not (and I think your comment is interesting because perhaps this is why it is not as popular as it should be!), if the owners get permission for the building to be converted to flats it will be gone forever as any kind of pub / meeting place, run by anyone else in the future.

  • Albert Trinker (@AlbertTrinker)

    The Parrs Head : “no loss in terms of a pub” – sad you think that way but typical of Kentish Towner attitude! I personally preferred drinking in there than the rude, pretentiousness of the Victoria. Still, i shall be objecting. Camden are keen and more able to reject against change of use – like the Golden Lion and Bull & Gate (it seems) than a simple rebuild job like the Crown and Goose.

    • Luisa

      Hi Albert, I am very sorry that part of my email to The Kentishtowner was reprinted in the article – it wasn’t meant for publication, I was just trying to alert people that we were likely to lose another local unless enough people objected and I wrote it in a flippant manner in the hope that it would attract the attention of the KT editors.

      In fact, with young children, I don’t really use pubs at all! But I do think it is really bad for our community that we are losing so many – particularly the ones that local residents go to, and not the ones on the High Street that are more likely to be filled with people coming to Camden Town for its so-called “night-time economy”.

      What worries me is that, whether you like the current Victoria or not, if permission is given for a residential conversion then it will never be a pub again, of any description. If permission is refused then I would hope that the place will be sold on as a going concern with the opportunity for a replacement Crown & Goose perhaps. I am sad that the Goose is going – not because I frequented it – but because it seemed like a popular and decent small pub and the building itself is good. Also the last thing we need in Camden Town is yet another large venue / restaurant!

      I’ve been in Camden Town for over 15 years now raising my family (having myself grown up at the other end of KT) and am committed to trying to help our local communities thrive in what is also Camden’s flagship “Town Centre”.

      • Jakob

        I completely agree with Luisa. Those public houses (Old Parr, The Victoria) have been there for more than hundred years. Constantly changing, worse, better , worse, better. The market should regulate the approach every pub takes, but Camden Council should not permit a change of use. Changing the class of use to residential is irreversible. There will be always more profitable uses for pubs and if we don´t take care we get a party mile along the High Street and vast swathes of pure residential.
        The interesting thing in this case is that Camden has a policy of protecting pubs when they have a community use, eg. when they have a function room (Development Policy 15). In the planning application for the Victoria the applicant states that the first floor never ever saw any public use (see page 17 of http://planningonline.camden.gov.uk/MULTIWAM/doc/Supporting%20Documents-3134959.pdf?extension=.pdf&id=3134959&location=VOLUME3&contentType=application/pdf&pageCount=1). On the internet however, you´ll find many people writing enthusiastically about the concerts, meetings, etc they visited upstairs at the Victoria.
        So this whole planning app seems to be based on a lie (to make a very quick million for the current owners).

    • Kentishtowner

      Albert, take another look as we’ve supported numerous threatened pubs recently (a good starting point is the final story in last week’s Pinboard). All the best!

  • Jason R

    Garden with the mirrors that went on for infinity?????? (and I occasionally walked into….)

    BAAAAAD idea. Shame.

    • Kentishtowner

      Jason – the garden is still there, all level and smart now, but yes, the mirrors have disappeared…

  • Joe C

    Reports from one person I know that responded to the consultation on the plans, and added to by a suggestion from a local Camden councillor, that planning permission has been withdrawn for the time-being.
    https://twitter.com/CllrMattSanders/status/328940682905518080