North London's Cultural Guide

All hail our boozers: #8, Rose & Crown

In the latest of our weekly series, we meet Chris Hurd, co-owner of last year's popular re-opening on Torriano

Chris Hurd, pictured centre with co-owners (and brothers) Ben and Theo Caudell: ‘You have to be considerate and cater for all your punters.’ Photos: © Dan Hall

How did you come to run a pub?
I grew up in Derby in the East Midlands, and spent my teenage years in bands and dipping in and out of various college courses. After uni I decided to make the leap to London. I’ve been running bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs here ever since.

Perfectly reworked boozer. Photo: Ben Caudell
Perfectly reworked boozer. Photo: Ben Caudell
What it’s like running a local pub in 2015?
You have to be considerate to and cater to all of your punters, whether they live in the immediate vicinity or come from afar. There are locals who come in for a couple of drinks each night, and those who wind down on a Friday, party on a Saturday, or bring their kids in for an apple juice and cheeky pint on Sunday afternoon.

Who are your regulars?
We have quite a diverse mix, from guys who used to frequent the place when it was the Torriano to people who have recently found the pub.

Craft beer: discuss.
For us, it’s amazing and from talking to a lot of our customers a fair few agree. The rise of small breweries and the incredible flavour diversity that they bring can only be a good thing. As long as more reasonably priced alternatives are offered, punters who are seeking out the small craft brewery or specialist beers are aware of the extra price incurred by both themselves and the retailer.


Lots of craft beer and guest ales on rotation. Photos: All photos: © Dan Hall
Lots of craft beer and guest ales on rotation. Photo: Dan Hall
What’s next after streetfood in pubs?
The trend will continue for the meantime. While we have this vast diversity of ideas and flavours being brought to us by various vendors we should use it and showcase it as much as we can. Possibly the way forward is the evolution of the styles of food.

Who’s the most famous face you’ve served?
At a wake for a film director in my previous pub, the guests included Lily Allen, Keith Allen, Tim Roth and Mick Jones of the Clash. This culminated with a group putting together an impromptu gig which included a rendition of Should I Stay or Should I Go. But I always regretted missing a party at which Kate Moss was invited. Having fallen asleep, I woke up in the morning to missed calls and pictures in the Mail Online of my assistant manager escorting Kate out the pub at silly-o-clock in the morning.

Missed the rest of this series? All previous columns to date are here. Find the Rose & Crown at 71-73 Torriano Avenue NW5

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About Kentishtowner

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.