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The Gunmakers, Clerkenwell, EC1

13 Eyre Street Hill
Phone: 02072781022

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Gunmakers

Refurbished side-street pub that unfortunately doesn't look as interesting inside as the exterior might suggest. The ground floor comprises two small rooms - the compact bar (with very limited furniture) at the front and a similarly sized seating / dining area up a couple of steps at the back, and signage indicates an upstairs room (not visited). Walls painted in duck-egg blue, and decor largely limited to a selection of prints. Also has a little patio garden at the back. Two real ales on handpump: Harvey's (£3.90) and Purity Mad Goose. NB - Not open at the weekend.

On 10th December 2017 - rating: 6
[User has posted 6000 recommendations about 6000 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

hondo . left this review about The Gunmakers

Interior as described by Tris C below. 3 real ales and "craft keg" served. Did the job as part of a crawl but I seem to have missed the golden years.

On 20th October 2016 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2692 recommendations about 2636 pubs]

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Tris C left this review about The Gunmakers

Prior to our first visit the other night, I'd neglected to read Mr. Duck's revised review and rather wish I had as I'd had high expectations for this place, but oh dear.

I can't add a great deal by way of description to that below, other than to say that the earlier reviews simply no longer apply. A small pub with perhaps a hidden large area to the rear, unexplored, the paint scheme is now powder blue. The floor is bare boarded and lacquered. Light is provided by spot lamps and downlighters as well the ever-fashionable low wattage carbon filament bulbs. The new - and tiny - bar (breakfast counter would be a better description) appears to be topped with pine and features chrome lager dispensers. Hanging from the ceiling above the bar is a glass-bottomed gantry made from welded square section tubular steel. Modern and semi-industrial bar stools with metal legs constitute the mainstay of the frontal area's seating and there's a pine window sill to the casement windows; loud rap music was blaring from the stereo.

The mouthy barman served me with a decent pint of Purity's Mad Goose. Also on offer were Harvey's Sussex Best and another, not clocked, as I was rapidly losing the will to live in this soulless vacuum - there was only one other customer aside from us on our midweek, mid-evening visit.

I would be hard pressed to describe this place as a pub any longer - wine bar would be a better description and not a good one. I won't be returning.

On 13th August 2015 - rating: 2
[User has posted 953 recommendations about 939 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about The Gunmakers

A return visit and the first since former Landlord Jeff Bell left, to find the place a shadow of the great pub it was,stripped out inside with a new featureless pale blue paint job,thankfully the etched Gunmakers Mirrors have been retained,the pubs atmosphere seemingly having left with Jeff. Three handpumps remain, however two had clips turned round leaving a Purity beer,so upon ordering this was promptly told "oh thats gone"and that clip was then turned round leaving a choice Guinness ,perroni or Revisionist Craft Lager,I had the latter at £2.50 a half. The place was empty at 1:00 lunchtime ,surely unheard of a year ago. A very good pub seemingly ruined, marked down from 9/10 to 4/10. The barman had a nice beard.

September 2013
I have now made several visits since the original review below and I have never been disappointed, the beer quality has always been outstanding as has the the welcome and service from behind the bar,on my latest visit in September 2013 I tried Portobello-Market Porter in excellent shape followed by East London Brewing's-Quantum Oatmeal Stout and this was just stunningly good , in all honesty one of the nicest beers I have ever tasted. For me this pub is a must visit when in London if at all possible,but be warned, is closed Saturdays and Sundays and last year as I found out to my horror between Christmas and New Year, so worth checking out in advance.

August 2012.
My maiden visit to this pub and I have to say I was very impressed.A small but vibrant pub reasonably busy on a Tuesday lunchtime,well attended by the inmates of the nearby offices of Agent Provocateur and Ben Sherman amongst a sprinkling of locals and beer tourists,A good landlord up for a chat and pleased to give out info on some of the other nearby pubs.My beer of choice was Windsor and Eton Ferryman,a good choice,three others on unfortunately my notes were incomplete and the other options are lost to my memory.A really good addition to my pub list and will have no problem making several return visits.

On 31st March 2015 - rating: 4
[User has posted 1321 recommendations about 1308 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about The Gunmakers

Your view on this pub may well be influenced by the time of day that you pay a visit.I am sure a midweek lunchtime trip could be very mellow and a good opportunity to sample the high quality wares.However I pitched up afterwork on a Friday and it was rammed.Not helped by it being cold outside detering drinkers from using the external drinking shelf at the front.Service was strained ,slowed by plastic being used to pay for rounds and a barmaid on her second day of duty.In many pubs the afterwork crowd disperse after 7pm,but it was pushing 9pm before any thining out occurred here.
The small interior has been well described and I liked the matching mirrors with the pub name ,the large L shaped bench on the middle section and the lack of any muzak,gaming machines and flat screens.The vibe is gastro,and with no more jewellers,watchmakers or gunsmiths in the area the clientele is now comprised mainly of young professionals,many from the Ben Sherman HQ opposite.
A bit like a poundshop,this place could be described as the £3.90 pub,all cask ales seemed to be £3.90,various 330cl bottles of craft beer (BrewDog and the like)were £3.90,even a gin was £3.90 so an extended stay here will tax your wallet.
There are five handpumps serving Purity Mad Goose,East London Brewing Nightwatchman,Westerham Grass Hopper(replaced later by Windsor and Eton Guardsman),Harvey's Best and Redemption Fellowship Porter .All ales sampled by our large group were spot on fully justifying the GBG listing.Good to see some Locales as well.
Although we didn't eat,the food looked and smelt great.Mains varied between £8 -£14 and a fresh scotch egg and curry dip could be had for £4 It was probably on due to it being Burns Night,although no sign of haggis.The menu is quite short and appears to change regularly.However most punters were in to drink and food doesn't dominate proceedings.
I liked the lively atmosphere created by a younger clientele, the hubub of conversation and the upbeat feel but this wouldn't suit everyone,especially if you place a premium on getting a seat .The ale range is good without being exceptional but as an overall package I can see a repeat visit being on the cards.


An upgrade from me on the basis of a very good ale line up.My Crouch Vale Amerillo was outstanding,other options were interesting with two from Windsor and Eton.If you arrive when it's not busy,the cosy ambiance of this tucked away pub makes it a real winner.

On 1st February 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2054 recommendations about 2054 pubs]

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Real Ale Ray left this review about The Gunmakers

We visited here on the 2nd of Jan, so the pub wasn't that busy, still there was a good trickle of people visiting. The few people seated around the front bar were friendly and chatty. They had six ales on the go, in spite of it being early New Year. The Harveys Sussex Best was in top condition. A proper ale pub this one and well worth the visit.

On 9th January 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2975 recommendations about 2975 pubs]

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Malden man left this review about The Gunmakers

This compact side street pub feels miles away from the busy Clerkenwell Rd, a small front room contains the bar on a side wall, there is only room for a couple of tables, beyond, up a couple of steps, a more intimate room also with a paucity of tables seemed more suited to people dining. Floors are boarded, the cellar drop is actually inside in the front bar, décor includes mounted muskets and pistols, a few prints, some fine looking etched mirrors containing the pub name plus a montage of bank notes behind the bar. Regular seating inside, to the rear is a walled courtyard and there is a drinking shelf fixed to the front outside wall. Food is served and looked to be good honest fare, sausage, mash and gravy was £9, ham, eggs, chips and tomato £8. Fridays sees fish and chips brought in from a local supplier and pizze in the evenings. Generally closed at weekends so take note.
Friendly service, beers on were Harvey's Sussex Best, Crouch Vale Yakima Gold (£3.90), Portobello Market Porter, Westerham Finchcocks Original, Colchester Number 1 Bitter, Weston's Old Rosie cider with one pump unclipped. A sign indicated that Monday from 5pm all cask ales are £3 until closing time.
I enjoyed my visit here, my first after a misguided attempt on a closed weekend, homework required!
I'm sure I'll be back.

Footnote: The pub is apparently named after a nearby machine gun factory!

On 21st October 2013 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1685 recommendations about 1662 pubs]

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john gray left this review about The Gunmakers

Another good Clerkenwell pub.5 real ales always including a London beer. Has a couple of beer fests a year which are always good.Slightly expensive but worth it as the beer is in top condition.Good to see these little pubs thriving so well worth visiting.

On 17th February 2013 - rating: 8
[User has posted 933 recommendations about 920 pubs]

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paulof horsham left this review about The Gunmakers

Now this is good: very good indeed. Instantly made to feel welcome, landlord, bar and table staff were all friendly and seemingly couldn't do enough for us: yes, you can have that table; we can bring drinks to the table; there's the menu; tab - no problem. And all that towards the end of a busy Friday shift. Frankly I felt like a regular, despite this being my first visit.

Beer is sourced from interesting breweries and changes regularly. Food tends towards the expensive end, but also towards the quality end as well.

I'm keen to return, hopefully for more of a session as a friendly welcome seems assured.

On 27th August 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 286 recommendations about 276 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about The Gunmakers

I quite like the Gunmakers and usually pop in to see what’s on alongside the Mad goose Purity and Woodforde’s Wherry, and on my last visit these were Windsor & Eton Conqueror and Redemption Brewery Fellowship Porter, both of which were on top form.
It’s hidden location means it relies on trade from the surrounding offices and as these include arts and fashion companies, such as the HQ for Ben Sherman almost opposite, the food menu and ambience caters for this audience.
But the decent beer choice usually drags in a few after work ‘suits’ and early evening visitors like myself more interested in the beer, and the front bar area has always been a comfortable place for a pint.

On 17th March 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1699 recommendations about 1648 pubs]

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