Archway Tavern finally set to reopen as ‘chilled bar’

Archway Tavern and the old public toilets outside have been brought back into the public spotlight.

Archway Tavern and the old public toilets outside have been brought back into the public spotlight. - Credit: Archant

The iconic Archway Tavern pub is finally set to reopen in three weeks – bringing an end to a long-running campaign to bring it back into use.

Sokol Toska, who managed the pub during the early 2000s and more recently was in charge of Nightclub Kolis at the back of the building, was last month asked by bosses to reopen both venues.

The boozer, which famously featured on The Kinks’ Muswell Hillbillies album sleeve in 1971, has been closed since a failed stint as rock venue The Intrepid Fox in 2014.

Since the £13million regeneration of Navigator Square outside the pub the community, the Gazette, Islington Council and freeholder Enterprise Inns have all called for it to be reopened.

Leaseholder Dr Imtiaz Sardar, who has left it shut, has not publicly responded to the campaign, but did fail in a bizarre attempt to turn it into a bar with a nursery attached last summer.

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That came after a meeting with councillors, including leader Cllr Richard Watts, in April, during which the management said it would reopen in “months”.

“We will have beer but it will more like a chilled bar serving spirits, wine and cocktails,” said Sokol, who is moving to live above the pub. “There won’t be live music but we might open a kitchen at some point.

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“Work on the pub is already done, and we’re going to put 10 or 15 benches outside.”

Sokol, who confirmed the venue would using its original name, said the old public toilets outside, which are part of the pub’s lease, had been restored, but said he wasn’t sure what the plan was for them.

“That’s not my role,” he said. “If I can make sure the pub is busy I have done my job!”

Sokol said Kolis would reopen for private functions and the odd club night initially, with a view to returning to a more regular programme once both venues are up-and-running.

Islington mayor and representative for the area Cllr Dave Poyser, who also met Dr Sardar at the meeting last year, welcomed the news.

He told the Gazette: “After all the work local councillors, Archway businesses and TfL put into transforming the area over so many years, it’s a blight on the area not to have the historic bar buzzing in the middle of the new square.”

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