A former school for girls is now offering an education in beer. The chapel-shaped, Victorian building is a bit of an anomaly on Tottenham’s High Road, in among the corner shops and with a glimmer of Spurs’ shiny new HQ in the distance. Up until recently, it was The Pride of Tottenham, a rowdy match-day pub that shut up shop following noise complaints. Transforming the empty and unloved building into what they’re hoping will be an all-round more neighbour-friendly hangout is the Night Tales team, as well as Tom Gibson, the man behind Dalston cocktail bar Ruby’s.
Although the sight of a bouncer on the door midweek felt intimidating, inside, it was welcoming. The pub should suit the seasons – one side is light-filled and modern, while a partition separates off a dark, distressed room with a mahogany bar and vintage signs bearing old-fashioned crests. But the most important season of all is the footie kind – blinds had come down for better TV viewing when we visited.
If football is this pub’s first love, beer would have to be its second. A long blackboard advertises 20 ‘house’, ‘craft’ and ‘cask’ beers. Local breweries Redemption, Pressure Drop and Beavertown are represented, but you’ll also spy Walthamstow and Bermondsey beers, plus Guinness and Heineken – there’s a refreshing absence of craft beer snobbery that seems to have struck a chord with locals already. Burgers from top patty peddlers Lucky Chip also hit the mark, enjoyed in a picnic-bench-filled beer garden overlooking the High Street. A secluded attic bar is even set to open (perhaps as a retreat for sport-phobes).
It’s difficult to gauge if the vibe will shift when the league re-starts. But for now, The Bluecoats is the pride of Tottenham in a whole new sense.