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CHARLIE SAYS

Paddington Launch

We are launching Draft House Paddington next week. Right there on the canal basin, at the eastern end near Praed Street and Edgware Road Tube Station.

The pub is in a modern building, but we have been inspired by the Victorian age of travel and wonder – of canals, railways and ocean liners.

The canal at Paddington, now a place of urban beauty for alternative types to live on long-boats while tourists and workers wander past, was the cutting edge of logistics when it was built at mind-boggling expense in the 1810s, providing a way of shipping goods from the north and west to London.

Just twenty years later it was rendered more or less obsolete with the launch of the Great Western Railway, when Paddington became the starting point for the journey to Bristol, and then on to New York.

Suddenly the common man could travel anywhere, the possibilities must have seemed limitless!

We have sought to capture this excitement via the creation of Draft House World – a string of fantasy beer islands. Each island is a semi-private area in the pub: Malt Landing, the Saison Isles, Hopville and Port Pilsner.

These are linked together by imaginary maps on the walls of the pub, surveyed and plotted by the geniuses at Studio Frith.

Click here to see some images of these wonderful fantasy maps. I for one am trying not to think about booking a seedy weekend at the Salty Kiss Motel at Port Pilsner!

Draft House Paddington will be run under the weather eye of Adam Relihan. Regulars at Draft House Hammersmith will be familiar with his (occasionally) off-key humour and general warmth. The man runs a great pub and we are lucky to have him there. It should be a grand place for a pint – but also uniquely brilliant for a party.

Finally, we have given our Neapolitan Head Chef – Paolo – the opportunity to show us what great pizza is all about at Paddington. With 12” pizzas starting at just £6 this is going to be a good spot for regular luncheons and high teas. But fear not, Draft Housers, THERE IS A HAMBURGER. And a mighty fine one at that.

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10 Oct 2017, New SitePaddington

Raising a Glass to Jasper

I couldn’t let the moment pass without bigging up my old buddy Jasper. I was super-proud to be invited to the launch dinner at the spectacularly large new Camden Town Brewery in Enfield this week. In true, warm, Camden style the attendees were the original customers of the brewery from way back when in 2009. It’s been an amazing journey with the Camden crew. Love you guys. To a million more awesome Camden Shouts!

PS – I sat opposite Sir Kenneth Grange, designer of numerous trains, planes and automobiles (well, the London cab for one) who has just designed a new beer glass. For Camden. How awesome is that? And it’s only taken him two years. Can’t wait to see it…watch this space.

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21 Jul 2017,

The Tankard Launches

Our new pub, The Tankard (its original 1825 name), was designed especially with a large roof terrace so customers could look over the high wall surrounding the grounds of the notorious Bethlem Insane Asylum (known colloquially as Bedlam) and gawk at the goings on there.

In 1936 the grounds became a park and the asylum moved elsewhere to be replaced by The Imperial War Museum.

The pub, however, abides, and is a place of layered London history.

A young Charlie Chaplin was often dispatched there by his Mother to haul his Pa out of the lounge bar for his supper. Charlie cites the characters he met in Kennington pubs as the great influence which formed his unique brand of maudlin physical comedy. Chaplin Senior was a well-known Actor and Singer who performed often in the music halls of Kennington Road – all sadly now pulled down.

And now the Draft House has arrived.

Lovely Rachel Thomas is in charge and we have made efforts to restore the pub to something close to its original Victorian state. Hopefully with better beer. And a tasteful nod to its music hall / Chaplin past. And there are still some not entirely sane people in the park opposite you can observe from our magnificent roof terrace.

We will have good British cheese, matched with an amazing range of rare bottled beers from the four corners of the globe, and a very, very good Sunday Roast.

I hope to see you at the Bar…

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10 Jul 2017,

We Just Bought Six Pubs

Thrilled to announce that we have bought six magnificent London pubs as part of our acquisition of Grand Union Group.

That means we now have 16 pubs. Scary stuff, I say. But also exciting.

I met with the whole Grand Union team yesterday morning and I can confirm that they are a terrific bunch – our job is to immerse them in the wonderful world of beer and Draft House service as we convert the pubs into Draft Houses. That will happen gradually over the next 4-5 months and in the meantime the Grand Union sites carry on rocking that crazy disco-pub vibe! To book there or check out the new pubs hit up www.grandunionbars.com.

The first two pubs to be Draft-House-ified are Kennington and Camden.

Kennington, bang next to the Imperial War Museum and with a sensational roof terrace, closed on Monday and reopens on 31st July.

Camden will close in a couple of weeks and reopens end-August.

The other sites will follow in due course, watch this space.

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06 Jul 2017,

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