North London's Cultural Guide

Never For Ever is opening in former Pizza East

Brewery-style bar with wood-fired pizza and live music takes over the derelict Highgate Road venue

Are you still missing Pizza East (we’re sure Giles Coren wasn’t the only one)?

After all, along with subterranean Chicken Shop and secret car-park offshoot Dirty Burger, it was a part of Kentish Town’s infrastructure for nearly a decade.

The good news is that – should you have missed the subtle signage on the awning – the entire site is about to reopen this month.

Hello, Never For Ever. Yes, apparently that’s three words rather than the more usual two.


The 6,500 square ft space has been taken over by Urban Leisure, who own moderately hip venues such as The Elgin in Maida Vale, Alice House in West Hampstead, Coin Laundry in Exmouth Market and Ask for Janice in Smithfield.

Split across two floors, they promise a “community-focused space”, featuring live music, with home-brewed beers, wine, and cocktails on tap.

Imposing: 79 Highgate Road. Photo: Steohen Emms

It seems the famous Pizza East wood-fired ovens will stay – why wouldn’t they, right? – and the food offer is all about “sustainability, seasonality, and quality. ”

As well as pizzas, there’ll be proper mains, classic bar snacks and “locally-sourced” charcuterie. And we’re presuming a strong plant-based menu as well. Meanwhile the walls will be adorned with contemporary art from both established and up-and-coming illustrators.

So, the big question is: will it be, um, forever? Never say never and all that. But while you contemplate life’s transience – what with virus raging all around us – we advise a stroll a bit further south, in the meantime, for a restorative coffee at lovely new indie cafe Kentish Town Stores. Why, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Never For Ever Kentish Town opens late March at 79 Highgate Road NW5. Follow @neverforeverkt. More 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.