North London Food & Culture

All hail our boozers: #3, The Pineapple

In the third of our new weekly series on popular local pubs, we meet assistant manager Danny Graves

Danny Graves, The Pineapple: ''
Danny Graves: ‘It’s where the inhabitants of Kentish Town come to let loose and chill out.’ Photo: Dan Hall

How did you come to work at such an iconic pub?
I grew up in Peckham. South of the river: very controversial. I used to run a night called Liar Liar Club in the New Cross Inn when I was 18. One thing led to another and I found myself being sucked into the bar trade and thoroughly enjoying myself. I moved north of the river when I was 21 and have been here ever since. Discussing real ale with the staff and management at Tapping the Admiral one day, I heard about this role and happened to be the man for the job, in the right place at the right time.

What’s so special about the place?
The Pineapple is unlike any other pub or bar I have worked in. The sense of community and humour is beyond compare. It’s where the inhabitants of Kentish Town come to let loose and chill out. A beautiful pub with amazing beer, food, tunes and friendly staff. Truly, in my opinion, the social hub of the local community.

Atmospheric by nightfall: Pineapple. Photo: Dan Hall
Atmospheric by nightfall. Photo: Dan Hall
What do you do that’s unique?
It’s got to be the added personal touch. I often compare it to Cheers (“Everybody knows your naaaammmee”).

Who are your customers then?
You have the bar regulars, a gaggle of the everlasting Kentishtowners. Long before it was hip and cool to be here, these guys and gals have been propping up the bar. Keeping the local community alive through saving the pub, they are a brilliantly eccentric force of humanity. The second are the young hunters. Sick of the bars on the strip, they just want an old fashioned boozer with a decent playlist. You have to find us or be introduced to us, as we’re a backstreet boozer after all. If all else fails, the Thai Kitchen reels ’em in.


Is the rise of craft beer a good thing?
I love experimenting with whatever I can get my hands on. The prices can get out of hand but I tend to treat it like wine or champagne. On a special occasion? Try a bottle of Cantillon Gueze or an American IPA like Flying Dog or Raging Bitch.

What’s been your worst experience?
Probably funerals or wakes. It is, after all, the reality of a local pub.

Danny Graves: '
Danny Graves: ‘I often compare it to Cheers.’ Photo: Dan Hall
And the best? Christmas Day. There’s something special about going to the local and spreading the cheer amongst friends you wouldn’t normally see, if it wasn’t for our strange traditions around here.

How do you see the industry in five years’ time?
I can see nothing but success. Especially in London. They bring people together through the good times and bad.

Who’s the most famous face you’ve served?
Gotta be Suggs. Lovely man. Local hero. Also, Madness was the soundtrack to my youth. My dad is a massive fan.

And finally, who would you most like to serve a pint to?
Morrissey – as he got me kicking and screaming through my angsty teenage years.

Find the Pineapple at 51 Leverton Street, NW5

Missed the last two All Hail Our Boozers columns? Read all about the Junction here and Lord Southampton here.

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The award-winning print and online title Kentishtowner was founded in 2010 and is part of London Belongs To Me, a citywide network of travel guides for locals. For more info on what we write about and why, see our About section.