What’s the Rose & Crown actually like?

It opened earlier this week. And the former Torriano bar looks set to be a real east K-Town hub

Packed: the launch night on Wednesday. Photo: Rose & Crown
Packed: doors opened 730pm on Wednesday. Photo: Rose & Crown
Were you at the launch of the Rose & Crown on Torriano Avenue the other night?

Idling away a post-work hour or so in the nearby Lord Stanley, expecting the opening to be a low-key affair, we couldn’t quite believe quite how many eager punters had thronged the pavement by the time we arrived at 8pm.

Industrial lighting and bar packed with pumps.
Classy: industrial lighting and bar pumps.
Pic: Stephen Emms

Still, great that the owners have hundreds of friends and supporters. And even better, as we said last month, they seem the right fit to carry on the former Torriano’s tradition as a shabby-chic watering hole. (Heading up the new team, incidentally, are Chris Hurd (ex Old Queen’s Head on Essex Road and Paradise by Way of Kensal Green) and two brothers, Theo and Ben Caudell.)

So what’s the skinny, interior-wise? Why, “rough luxe” of course, with stylish industrial pendant lighting, cosy nooks and artfully distressed walls. The outside benches remain (given a lick of paint), and the micro sunken rear garden is bright with new plantings. But other than that, it’s recognisably similar, just quite a bit fresher.


Packed with revellers: inside the R & C
Rammed: revellers inside. Pic: R&C

Most exciting is a slew of good quality beers, lagers, ciders and ales on tap including Anchorstream, Beavertown, Weird Beard Kentish Town, Titanic Stout, Orchard Pig and Brew By Numbers. For the less adventurous, old faves Brooklyn Lager and our very own Camden Town (Hell’s and Pale Ale) are also on draft.

We missed the food offer on Wednesday, a streetfood outfit called Fatty Chans; for the foreseeable it’s all about pop-ups in the garden, while the boys await planning permission for a kitchen. So expect something different most days while they trial vendors.

Finally, they need you. “We currently have three weekly comedy nights,” says Ben, “Tuesdays are TNT, Thursdays Freedom Fridge and Friday is Panda Riot, and hope also to include live music events soon. But we’re interested in speaking to any music promoters interested in hiring the downstairs space, so get in touch.”

If that sounds like you, holla at them via Twitter @rosecrownktown.

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Find the Rose & Crown at 71 Torriano Avenue NW5.

  • Show Comments

  • Jenny

    Posey hipster joint. Not an ounce of the soul of the soul of the torriano is left. Gutted.

    • Poseyhackneyedhipster

      If soul is mid 40’s ex music industry wrecks and Pete Doherty then no it hasn’t got any soul left or you clearly never went there? You should stay clear!

  • Hulahoop

    Agree with Jenny, no familiar faces left and hundreds of screeching hackney girls. Bar staff knew nothing about their selection of beers either. Bring back the Torriano!

  • alistair

    I must say I rather liked it – good makeover – lovely staff – we all have different views on the right beers/lagers – for me it’s Tennents Lager all the way and I haven’t made a girl screech in years regardless of provenance

  • Stuart

    As someone who goes there pretty regularly, although probably not quite full ‘regular’ status, I’d say the makeover / reboot was definitely required, as much as I loved the old place.

    There’s no Guinness which is a bit weird, and it was always a lager pub so the fact they’ve only got Hells is a bit restrictive, but maybe they’re going for a new crowd.

    There were maybe a bit too many hipsters / beards last Wednesday (and Friday too) but I did spot some local residents who I’d never seen there when it was the Torriano, so maybe it’s attracting locals who were put off by the older, wilder Torriano.

    I’m just glad it’s still a pub and not gone the way of the Goose / Gloucester.

  • Matt

    Looks a good start, but only one regular lager (Hells) and when i went on Sunday that was off, so it was a pub without lager. Hopefully they will fix that and offer a choice of lager. P.S. Hopefully they will keep the basement free to hire too…

  • Alan

    Give it a couple of weeks for the novelty to wear off and it’ll be fine, Hackney’s a hole but no-one will commute from there to the T on a regular basis. And who cares what drinks they sell, anyone who does can not have been a regular in the last few years. Or ever if they like a good house wine.