If you’ve walked past The Unicorn recently, on the corner of Camden Road and Brecknock, you may have noticed it’s open once again. Pub group Icon took over from Greene King last November – and so the other day we checked-in with manager Ricardo Cervera (pictured below) to see what the deal is.
Hailing from Venezuela, Ricardo’s been in London since 1999, working on and off in pubs and bars, and for Greene King since 2014. “When the new owners approached me they understood that I knew the place, I was an asset,” he explains.
The pub was built in 1840: originally known as the Brecknock Arms, a spacious watering hole with popular pleasure garden, it was a far cry from the punk rock hangout it has become. “Now I want to change it more to live music in general,” says Ricardo. “There’s a lack of venues such as this in the entire country. This is a good-sized place and the fact that we don’t charge to come in is a real draw to people.”Music-wise, as well as metal and punk acts, Ricardo’s excited to mix things up and bring in a different crowd: “I’m talking to Swing Patrol, who do swing music classics, and Bourne and Hollingsworth, who do the Blitz and Prohibition parties. We’ve also got the BBC filming here.”
If you’re feeling famished, head out front. “The area outside is ours, it’s huge. If I want to go crazy I think I could fit three trucks. Obviously we need something that isn’t the same as what’s already in the area, so probably a burger place, or Jamaican food, or wings.”
How about the booze? “I’m actually dealing with Camden Town Brewery and Brewdog,” Ricardo says, “Punk IPA and Hells, those two are great for gigs.”
Time will tell whether he can make the place as legendary as its namesake.
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