The Arsenal Tavern

Mountgrove Road/Blackstock Road N4

An idiosyncratically rambling old men’s playpen or dark and fist-fight-friendly cavern? Depends on your attitude. It is a shambles, though, with a few wine-bar style high tables tacked on at some point in the mid 80s. I like it. Best place to watch Irish sports if you don’t want to walk all the way into Finsbury Park. Regular gigs include mulleted ‘Man from Mullingar’. Name allegedly changed in the 30s by Arsenal boss Herbert Chapman when he did for Gillespie Road tube.
(original review in The Smoke November 1999)

Now had all the detritus – pots, pans, signs, boots, bikes, pictures, brasses, landlady with arms like hams – cleared out, along with any kind of structural connection to a Victorian pub. Unfortunately they also chucked the spirit of the pub into the skip as well. Now it’s a huge antiseptic lager swill barn kitted out for match days . It’s possibly been renamed The @ Bar (though that’s so terrible I’m thinking it’s probably a young person hipster injoke designed to annoy the over 40s).