N4 PUB

edited February 2009 in Local discussion
Has opened off Fonthill and Moray road, looks more tasteful than the weird pink fiasco before.

Has a huge N4 logo outside. Hope it stays open and people give it a try!
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Comments

  • DeeDee
    edited 12:55AM
    Yeah!!!!! I am so pleased. I passed through on Sunday just to check they were finally open. We didn't stay long enough to have a drink but did find out they were serving up Sunday Roasts!

    It looks normal in the inside the big sign outside is not so tasteful, there are still two big plasma screens which will be showing the football however i think sports is not going to be their only focus.

    My boyfriend thinks just because the pub has been decorated to look the part it will not become the pub i want it to be (my local gastro) if the people that frequented it before are the only people handing their money over now.

    I urge everyone to give it a go! I hope it is good. We definitely need a nice local to hang out in over on this side of Tollington park.
  • edited 12:55AM
    Is this where Red Rita used to be?
  • DeeDee
    edited 12:55AM
    That's the one. More recently know as The Plaza - awful.
  • edited 12:55AM
    Anyone been yet? Reviews?
  • FinFin
    edited 12:55AM
    Popped my head round the door. Looks nice but real shame about the screens, far too obtrusive in a space that size if it doesn't want to be a sports pub.

    Needs to decide what it wants to be.
  • edited February 2009
    Remember the Dairy was very prissy about not having screens when it first opened and look what happened there. They don't decide what they want to be, the market does.
  • FinFin
    edited 12:55AM
    I know the guys who own the Dairy. They own 8 or 9 pubs throughout London and have a very firm strategy for their development.

    They delibrately find under achieving pubs in "fringe" areas, refurb, put up prices, introduce decent food and remove all screens. Apparently this is very successful in driving away one sort of customer and attracting another. They let the screens back in after a year or two once they've attracted a good, regular stream of the type of clients they want.

    Admittedly the Dairy was a better pub than most of their acquisitions (some of them were real dives), but the principle remains that done right they can decide what they want to be, and what kind of clients they attract.
  • edited February 2009
    I'd say screens are what keep the Larrik afloat too - pretty dead a lot of the time these days but couldn't get in the door on derby day the other week _(ok slight exaggeration but you get what I mean)_. I'd say they're simply a necessary evil for most pubs that don't really want them.
  • edited 12:55AM
    Is it also part of the Dairy's strategy to employ bar staff that seem to feel its beneath them to acknowledge their customers and actually serve them?
  • FinFin
    edited 12:55AM
    Service is a bit scatty, sometimes bordering on rude, in their other pubs too I must admit.
  • edited February 2009
    In early Jan I stood on my own at the empty bar with three of them chatting about whatever right in front of me while ignoring me, I'd even get eye contact but then they'd just turn back to the conversation. I suppose I could have barked my order at one but it was so impossibly rude I decided to stand and see how long it lasted. After what felt like ages but probably 5 minutes - and it was quiet, almost more staff than punters - I simply walked back out and over the road. I now only go into the Diary if I'm meeting someone in there and its become my last choice purely because of the staff. A shame as while I don't love the venue, I liked the beer and food.
  • edited 12:55AM
    I stopped going into the Dairy years ago. I dont think its for anyone on Stroud Green - most of the custom is under age kids who cant get served in Crouch End or Muswell Hill. And the staff are probably the rudest alive. Hasn't been the same since Scottish Jen and crazy Joe ran the pub.
  • edited 12:55AM
    And the food is pretty crap and overpriced.
  • edited 12:55AM
    I don't understand why people dislike the Dairy so. I've never had a problem getting served, the beer is good and whilst the food is pricey (i don't get why you'd bother with Porchetta down the road) its pretty good quality.

    If i want a relaxing pint in decent surroundings then it's pretty spot on.

    BTW, the rudest bar staff alive are in the hoxton bar and kitchen, and thats a 100% factamundo.
  • FinFin
    edited 12:55AM
    I like the Dairy too (and not just because I know the owners). Although the service can be a bit varied, the food, beer and setting more than make up.

    Always a lot of comments on this site about things being overpriced. I know Finsbury Park isn't exactly Knightsbridge, but is 15 quid really too much for a steak?
  • edited 12:55AM
    If it's a crap steak, yes.
    If it's a good steak, no.
  • edited February 2009
    I think the food is fine in The Dairy but don't want to descend into the old argument of what's acceptable and what's not for this area. Thankfully I have a far less subjective reason this time round - that I'd rather go where I'm not made to wait for a pint because the twat behind the bar is too cool to do their job.
  • edited 12:55AM
    I'm glad, in a way, to hear that it isn't just me who has trouble getting the bar staff to break off from their conversations with each other / their friends and serve me in the Dairy. I've been in its sister pubs in Kentish Town and Kilburn a few times each , and the service there hasn't been anywhere near as bad. (All this talk of steak is making me pine for a return visit to Garufa though)

    Back on topic, I will definitely have a pint at some point in this new pub over the weekend!
  • IanIan
    edited 12:55AM
    Bar staff in Dairy are dreadful. Easy to sort that out, don't know why they don't. First time I went in after the refurb they ignored me to serve a "regular" who was standing behind me. When I complained barmaid swore at me, repeatedly. I'd have sacked her on the spot when I ran bar ...
  • edited 12:55AM
    this is why tipping is a good system. if they were working for tips, the'd be eager to serve you. but because nobody tips bartenders (even if they do serve you promptly), there's no reason to do the job properly. they're getting their minimum wage either way.
  • IanIan
    edited 12:55AM
    It's also why sacking is a good system ...
  • edited 12:55AM
    hehe, yes
  • edited 12:55AM
    £3.60 for a pint and you want me to tip them on top so I can get said pint? It's just silly. Staff at Noble and Larrik are friendly, clock you when you hit the bar and serve you as soon as they can. Come to think of it, Chapter One, Sugar Lounge, White Lion, Worlds End - even the Fullback - manage to serve a drink without the twat factor thrown in. It's needless, rude and has nothing to do with tipping or not.
  • edited 12:55AM
    if any of the staff are rude ask to speak to a manager... the staff aren't perfect but i've never seen them being nasty or rude to customers and they're not particularly slow. nor do any staff expect a tip when serving drinks... i'm the manager btw
  • IanIan
    edited 12:55AM
    damok. Appreciate you putting your head above the parapet. My experience is that they are particularly slow. I like the pub, was in it only last night, but whenever I go I seem to be waiting ages. The time before I went in I was standing and standing as they served people at random, not keeping in their heads who was next. It's difficult with a long bar but these things matter.
  • edited 12:55AM
    Ok, ok, hi damok, and I'm impressed you've joined - clearly you care, which is definitely a good sign! I have no feedback on the bar staff, I think my experiences with them have been "neutral", but the food, weeell, to be fair I haven't been for a while so I guess things may have improved, but the couple of times I did eat I found the food to be pretty average. Not actively bad, just not great, and for the price I didn't think it was worth coming back (using St John in Archway as my local-ish gastro benchmark). But I'm prepared to be convinced otherwise - I like the Dairy, overall, I think it's a great landmark and am really pleased that it's being well looked after. Also, it certainly looks better post refurb.
  • edited 12:55AM
    Hi damok. Cheers for coming on. Slip a handful of your mates a fiver and tell them to go in and report on their experiences across a few different shifts. Maybe you're dealing with a bunch of high maintenance people on the site, but I've heard it a few times now. My experience has been similar to the above. The service is not uniformly bad, but it's patchy enough, often enough to make me walk past to another pub. I just don't need the attitude. Other than that, it's a really nice place. And as an aside, I really like the lunchtime bar menu.
  • edited 12:55AM
    well i better not chat for long... need to keep my eyes on the staff!

    andy - 'patchy' i'd agree actually, some staff are better and more engaging than others, but they're a good bunch on the whole. too many part timers i think but because the weekends are so busy i need to keep lots of staff on, part timers make training that much harder as the people who need it most can't commit as much as you'd want. if anyone fancies working behind the bar then give me a shout!

    colette - we have a brand new chef. formally of the fishworks in islington (he's also worked under marcus waring of gordon ramsey fame), nows a good time to revisit, i obviously eat here all the time and hand on my heart the food is a whole lot better then average, in my opinion.

    fin - malc comes in every now and again, you're more likely to see him at the stag in east finchley.

    we're constantly aiming to improve so comments are always welcome...
  • edited 12:55AM
    Hi damok, they're certainly not nasty & not slow once serving you. I like the food and beer too. I just wanted to be served and they ignored me to the point of absurdity - none of them busy, no one else waiting to be served, I was the only guy at the bar. They could see me waiting and just...ignored... me. It may well just be an unfortunate case of absent mindedness but it came across as crass attitude and is clearly not a one-off.
  • DeeDee
    edited 12:55AM
    My first posting was regarding N4 pub, my feelings regarding the old dairy, business attitude is spot on if a little generic but in many of the bars I've been to owned by these guys the bar staff have been pretty slack excluding strangely enough the metropolitan, westbourne grove, the busiest and in an area fairly well known for pretentiousness. Food so so, décor same as every other one. Good choice in ale though.

    Good friendly service the noble. Good food the swimmer. Done

    Mind you shouldn't forget the fullback. Crap service, crap food and yet craps on the other pubs because there's a good mix of people, good atmosphere. It can be done.
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