Holloway music pub to reopen two years after devastating fire

PUBLISHED: 16:20 17 November 2010 | UPDATED: 16:52 17 November 2010

Firefighters varrle the blaze at Nambucca two years ago

Firefighters varrle the blaze at Nambucca two years ago


A PUB is set to rise from the ashes after it was destroyed in a fire two years ago.

Graham Clarke (left), with son Jack Clarke, daughter Gemma Clarke, Hogan the Great Dane, and the Gazette's frontpage on the 2008 fire. Picture: Dieter Perry

Nambucca will reopen its doors on December 18 – almost two years to the day after it was gutted in the blaze.

The pub, in Holloway Road, Holloway, had been taken on by new family owners just weeks before the incident.

Gemma Clarke, 28, whose family has now spent two years rebuilding the venue, said: “When it burned down it knocked the whole family for six.

“We had just taken it over. We’d only had it for a couple of weeks and had just started buying furniture.

“But we believe everything happens for a reason.”

Nambucca had built a reputation as a top indie venue before its demise. The Clarkes are keen to win back its place at the heart of Islington’s live gig scene – but with a more diverse musical policy.

As the owners of Rooz Studios, a band rehearsal space in Corsham Street, Hoxton, and recording studio Great Eastern Studios, in nearby Great Eastern Street, they are well placed to do so.

Graham Clarke, Gemma’s father, said: “The pub was pretty much just four walls by the time they cleared it out after the fire. But now we want to be the home of live music.

“We’ve been in the game 25 years so we’ll be bringing over some good names. I don’t just want it to be known as an indie pub, I want it to be a live music pub.”

Ms Clarke, who is herself a drummer, added: “There will be music seven days a week of all types – from heavy metal to a classical pianist who will come in on Sunday afternoons.”

A wall has been erected separating the main room – which will have a kitchen serving traditional pub fare – from a dedicated gig space at the back.

She added: “It’s been two years of frustration. We’ve waited this long so we have to get it right. Now we’re just awaiting the council giving us the final go ahead.

“I can’t wait for people to see it. It’s just beautiful. Everything is brand new. We tried to do it to the original plans bit it has that pristine look. It just needs some people and a bit of that beer smell in it!”

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