Pubs come and go, and change names and character with remarkable regularity... And drinking haunts of Crouch Enders are no exception... Here's what you'll see now, so how many of these previous incarnations can you remember?


1. The Railway Hotel (now Funky Brownz)

Funky Brownz Hornsey

Photo: A Windley

Crouch End pubs come and go, but no change is as surprising as what’s happenened to the venue newcomers know as Funky Brownz. Slightly more established C’Enders know it as The Wishing Well or The Fiddler’s Elbow, but us old-time N8ers still occasionally still call it The Railway Hotel – it’s where Lotus cars was founded, don’t you know?!


2. The Lion (now Sumak Restaurant)

Sumak Restaurant Crouch End

Photo: A Windley

Currently extensive Mediterranean restaurant Sumak, we remember when the site was a car showrooms on the corner of Ferme Park Road and Tottenham Lane and the excitement when it was turned into the huge, mega-popular pub The Lion.


3. The Maynard Arms (previously The Hungry Horse)

The Maynard Arms Crouch End

Photo: A Windley

Back in the day before its refurbs, the Maynard Arms was divided into different sections with wooden dividers just like The Queens, and with the bar running along the middle… Darts down the side, pool at the front, and a seated area in the back. There was even a bowling alley out in the hut in the garden, plus an aviary of budgies too. And who could forget landlady Chris and her laid back hubby Evan? And then there was that brief time, when it was actually The Hungry Horse, and featured a huge fry-up that they dared anyone to eat… It had everything – bacon, eggs, beans, chips, steak, chops, mushrooms, fried bread – you name it, it was included.


4. The Top House or GNRT?

The Great Northern Railway Tavern

Photo: A Windley

A true test of a real CrouchEnder is what they call the big pub on Hornsey High Street. To some of us it’s not The Great Northern Railway, is it? It’s The Top House!


5. The Princess Alexandra (now The Alex)

The Alex Crouch End

Photo: A Windley

Now having taken it’s original nickname The Alex as the pub’s moniker, this was the classic ‘local’. Originally bedecked with horse brasses and copper pans it had a lovely landlady and landlord, who’d often stand at the door to welcome customers. And then Frank took over who was a real character! THE place to go of a Saturday afternoon to watch the sport in a darkened bar. And the lock-ins were legendary.


6. Dicks Bar (now Ayrton Windows & Doors)

Ayrton Windows & Doors Hornsey

Photo: A Windley

Once a buzzing hotspot of a pub, so popular that it expanded into the building next door and became a huge drinking place, Dick’s went through many changes of name – Pig & Whistle, Mollie Malone’s, Granuaile – with its final incarnation as sports bar 6 Nations, before becoming a windows and doors showroom.


7. The Queens Hotel (now The Queens)

The Queens Crouch End

Photo: A Windley

Now a gastropub and simply The Queens, we remember when the place was full of far less salubrious clientele… With darts in the side bar, and often live music in the back bar (or a game of pool), and a little snug by the door where the old men played chess…


8. Bird In The Hand (now block of flats)

Flats where Bird In The Hand was

Photo: A Windley

And finally one that has now turned into the inevitable block of flats… Originally popular pub Bird In The Hand with a piano in the bar, it was eventually knocked down and replaced by O’s Bar, the half-bar-half-canteen style eatery we loved, which subsequently became Bar Apogee before succumbing to its current residential status.


Finally, who can remember what these turned into: The Elbow Room or The Palace, The Hogshead, Star Bar or Ice Bar, All Bar One, and The Orange Kipper? Yes, The Henry Reader, Evans Cycles shop, Kiss The Sky, Devonshire House and Hope And Anchor!