North London Food & Culture

4 Things We Learnt This Week: Dartmouth Arms, St John’s, Lemongrass & The Constitution

Here's the latest on what's happening at four destination venues

CAMDEN: The Constitution’s reopening

Back in the day: The Constitution. Photo: AW

Three years after it shut, the legendary canalside pub – with that enviable beer garden (main pic above), not to mention towpath-level jazz venue – is being brought back to life by Young’s, owners of Kentish Town’s Bull & Gate. The scaffolding’s up, and the massive refurb will rebuild the extension at the back, as well as new toilets and kitchen. There’ll be a live music license too. Young’s told us yesterday that “it’s going to be such a beautiful pub and very much a part of the local community. Unfortunately the works are huge so it won’t reopen until early 2024.” Watch this space.

DARTMOUTH PARK: Dartmouth Arms open

Dartmouth Arms
Lovely cobbled yard outside Dartmouth Arms. Photo: SE

Much-loved York Rise watering hole the Dartmouth Arms’ owner Stuart Langley is still working to resolve issues with his landlords, who threatened to evict the Disappearing Dining Club-operated pub over non-payment of disputed building works earlier this year. “We’re open and continue to trade, and hopefully that will continue,” says Langley. “We’re in dialogue with our landlords and hoping to find a solution very soon.” Fingers crossed they do as it would be a loss to that corner of NW5 if the pub closed again (as it did for many years in the mid-teens). To show your support, why not go for dinner if you can this month? And, for inspo, read our latest review here. 35 York Rise, follow @dartmoutharms

CAMDEN: Lemongrass “temporarily closed”

Thomas Tan photographed in 2015. Photo: SE

Thomas Tan – originally from Phnom Penh in Cambodia – ran Royal College Street’s Lemongrass for 35 years until he sadly passed away earlier this year, leading to what the restaurant is calling its ‘temporary closure’. In the window the team have framed their well-deserved Kentishtowner front cover from back in 2015  (you can read Tan’s fascinating story in the original piece here). Once the only Cambodian restaurant in the UK, it always looked fairly inconspicuous at first glance – but the food was why people kept returning: fantastically tasty noodles, curries, stir-fries, soups and salads. Let’s hope they will reopen soon, although when we walked past yesterday there were no dining tables and it was being used as an impromptu office.

ARCHWAY: St John’s Tavern refurb

St John's Tavern
St John’s Tavern this week. Photo: SE

An attempt to pop by the Junction Road corner pub for a restorative beer on a rainy afternoon was thwarted this week when we discovered the venue fully closed up. On closer inspection, a printed note in the window revealed that the pub is closed for the summer for a refurbishment. “We anticipate opening at the beginning of September,” it reads. “And will keep you all informed on reopening dates.” It will be interesting to see how the owners reboot what is a classic North London gastropub.


And finally, if you missed last week’s story of the Lady Hamilton closure (and its history as a Kentish Town boozer), read that 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.