Bull & Gate
Time Out says
Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.
This legendary pub music venue reopened as a gastropub in April with a cocktail bar, the Boulogne Bar, upstairs.
Young’s clearly doesn’t worry about competition. They’ve turned Kentish Town’s venerated Bull & Gate – formerly a music venue that hosted some of the biggest acts in British music – into a ground-floor gastropub with a cocktail bar upstairs. The competition? Two outstanding subterranean cocktail bars (Ladies & Gentlemen and Knowhere Special) mere seconds away.
The Boulogne is different in one crucial respect: it has windows and a great view. It’s also a more obviously ‘done-up’ place, one large room and one small one kitted out to look like a gentlemen’s club, and a baby grand piano where a singer performs Wednesday through Saturday.
Various things didn’t work right. Waitresses cruised the room but didn’t seem to know quite what to do: we had to place our own order at the bar. The proprietors are trying to sell the place as a sophisticated cocktail bar, but booming noise from downstairs (and full-volume hip-hop when the pianist wasn’t on) kind of spoiled the effect. And the cocktail list tried too hard to be inventive.
But we had a good time sipping a well-made Negroni and Martini. The piano player creditably covered ‘Billie Jean’. A heaving Friday crowd of wage slaves morphed into weekenders before our eyes, and the staff was dead-friendly. The Bull & Gate is a pleasant place to spend an hour or two and a welcome addition to the Kentish Town boozing scene.
And the name? For a few centuries, the pub was a coaching inn called the Boulogne Gate. Boulogne became Bull and. Now we’re back to Boulogne. Europhobes will wince.
389 Kentish Town Rd
|Transport:||Tube: Kentish Town|
|Do you own this business?|