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Duke of York, N1

33 Downham Road
N1 5AA
Phone: 02030060795

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

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Tris C left this review about Duke's Brew & Que

Once The Duke of York, this pub came close to closing but a compromise was reached with additional storeys added with the pub retained.
This was formerly home to the Beavertown brewery but judging by the name, you'd think it was a Spanish-themed bar.
It's clear upon entering that this is aimed at the young and trendy set as not one molecule of the original pub remains. The floor is modern bare boarded, there's a bar to the right, bricks are bare as are the low wattage filament bulbs hanging from the ceiling. There are simple chunky wooden tables, mixed wooden chairs, stools fashioned from shiny sheet copper, some exposed RSJs, presumably the result of the vertical extension, an open kitchen and quite loud music; the route down to the loos is illuminated by wire caged bulkhead lamps. I certainly wasn't asked if I was eating or where I'd like to sit, food being the likes of ribs, steaks and burgers with sauce bottles on the tables. In all it's a bit like a slightly industrial American diner, definitely not a gastropub.
Ales: six on keg thereafter four from Beavertown including a sour (why?) and Neck Oil Session IPA at a punishing £4.80 a pint.
The décor, loud music, prices and location (this is a bugger to get to) mean that I doubt I'll return. Que Sera, Sera.

On 2nd October 2017 - rating: 4
[User has posted 1303 recommendations about 1282 pubs]

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Alan Winfield left this review about Duke's Brew & Que

Dukes Brew & Que is a corner pub that is on a side street off Kingsland road.
Once inside there is a single L shaped room which is bare boarded,the bar is to the front and faces inwards,the seating is normal tables and chairs,there is an open kitchen to the rear left,so food is a big seller here.
I did not see any handpumps on the bar,so i had a drink of a keg Beavertown bitter which was recommended to me by the friendly bar person, i failed to note the beer as i was stood up.
I thought this was quite a nice pub and i was not asked if i was dining when i entered the pub,the pub was quite busy on my Saturday afternoon visit.

Pub visited 11/6/2016

On 1st August 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]

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Bucking Fastard left this review about Duke's Brew & Que

This street corner building is now much more restaurant than pub.As you enter the door at the apex,you immediately encounter the wait to be seated sign and are asked "what sized table do you want to dine at ".I enquired if I could just have a beer ,which was fine but the small bar only has a few bar stools,even the two person table here is set for dining,as are all the other tables throughout the open plan interior.
There was only one handpump drawing Dark Star Festival,but at least the 9 keg taps did offer interesting brews,my half of Brew By Numbers White IPA 7.4% was very decent,and I was offered a taster before buying but the real shock was being charged £3.28.I didn't feel comfortable hanging around the bar,so went outside to sit on the patio made of decking boards,an option in good weather and possibly in the rain if the large canopy is drawn across.
There is a sign saying this is the home of Beavertown Brewery,but there was only one of their keg offerings at the bar.OK for a quick half of some exotic keg beer but not my sort of place and too food orientated.

On 26th September 2015 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2198 recommendations about 2198 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about Duke's Brew & Que

Formerly the original home of the Beavertown brewery. The exterior has a rather fetching curved corner entrance which looks original. The interior is more personable than some of the other upmarket craft/gastro pubs that have sprung up this way over the last few years; this has a more rustic, homely vibe (exposed brick, metro tiling, chunky wood furniture) though of course they couldn’t help themselves and have perched an old pram (replete with some Chucky-esque doll peering out) on a built-up plinth to the rear. Urgh. Food is a big seller here and many of the tables were set for dining. In fact, this was really more of a café-restaurant than a pub and I felt a bit out of place just drinking here (‘please wait to be seated’, proclaimed the sign at the entrance) and a lot of the tables were quite small, not really accommodating to groups of drinkers. Four pumps at the bar with three ales (Dark Star, Ilkley, Beavertown and one I forgot to note). My Ilkley was in good shape though it was very expensive here, over 4 quid for two halves on my round. Six keg fonts also listed. The toilets didn’t have proper running water, you had to operate the tin-sink tap with a floor-mounted foot pump – unsure as to whether this was pretentious twaddle or a good way to avoid sullying your hands on a pissy handle. I wanted to like this place but I came away feeling that I wouldn’t be making an effort to schlep out for it again.

On 21st March 2014 - rating: 6
[User has posted 4200 recommendations about 4187 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about Duke's Brew & Que

As you enter the first thing you see is the “wait to be seated”, sign – which as far as I’m concerned is a bad sign for a pub. But this isn’t much like a pub now, as all the tables were laid for diners. However, when I said I just wanted a drink I was allowed to sit at a small table for two near the bar counter. Unisex toilets are the order of the day here.

There was loads of stuff on tap – mainly Beavertown brews – but with just three handpumps in use, dispensing Oakham Citra, Beavertown Smog Rocket Smoked Porter, and Darkstar Pale Ale. The latter was £2.30 for a half and £4.50 for a pint. I didn’t find this a very comfortable place to have just a drink, and in any case I’m very unlikely to return to somewhere charging the sort of prices I encountered here.

On 21st March 2014 - rating: 3
[User has posted 2590 recommendations about 2504 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about Duke's Brew & Que

First time to revisit after 20 months since it newly opened and my feeling was that this pub / BBQ restaurant venture is now functioning more of a restaurant than a pub, especially as the Beavertown Brewery has moved out to another location as described by others. You can still sit or stand around the bar area but the feeling is now more of being a spare part than belonging.
But it’s probably still worth it for the available beers and four Beavertown craft beers were complemented by Darkstar HopHead, Ilkley Gold Ale and Beavertown Benzerra on ale pump.
The Benzerra was a good , but wallet hurting ale and the price levels here are more aimed at just supping one pint with food or over a read of the paper.
The Unisex toilets are still in situ and still an acquired taste. But they work because you share the large sink with Harriets’, Jasmines’, Quintins’ and Ruperts’ as the Daves' and Johns' will be parking their white vans a million miles from this place.

24th April 2012:
The upper floors were converted into flats, but the ground floor has now reopened as a pub / BBQ restaurant after five years of closure and the old Duke of York is now branded as the Duke’s Brew & Que.
The Que refers to the food menu, which is very southern BBQ being all ribs , burgers and beans but Brew refers to the fact that it is home to the Beavertown Micro brewery housed and visible out back.
It is one L shaped bar area and the décor is a bit Spartan with all wood floor and tables and chairs and lots of exposed brick. But the bar top now has an impressive array of real ale pumps and five keg beer taps. The onsite Beavertown Brewery currently produces three real ales, namely Neck Oil (4.3%), a citric bitter; Smog Rocket Porter (5.8%) and a 6.6% 8 Ball. And during my visit Dark Star Hophead and Oakham JHB were available as well.
The Keg taps had a decent range of craft beers and there is a long list of bottled beers from US, UK and Aussie brewers.
I remember the old Duke of York being a bit of a dodgy pub, and although this new incarnation is far from traditional it’s good to see it open and flying the ale flag and I wish the new owners well with this venture.

On 25th February 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1770 recommendations about 1714 pubs]

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E TA left this review about Duke's Brew & Que

This Georgian corner pub is the birthplace of The Beavertown Brewery, they proudly proclaim, although the Brewery is now in Hackney Wick. The pub has a long-standing reputation for quality ales, and it now also does good food. I lost count of how many different beers were on, but I do remember I had a pint of Some Like It Hot, a beer allegedly flavoured with chili and lime, but the flavours didn't come through. For some reason there was a brand new bicycle in the bar, and we weren't sure whether it had been left there or was part of the décor, a counterpoint to the old pram on a plinth. There are wooden floors which, along with a basic wooden bar and exposed brickwork, add to the proper pub feel. Astronomical prices put me off coming in too often, but it's worth including on a crawl .

On 21st February 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2735 recommendations about 2703 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Moby Duck left this review about Duke's Brew & Que

Another pub that leans toward the gastro end of the scale,fairly well populated on my visit on a Saturday afternoon.The beer here is decent but pricey ,half a 3.9% Beavertown Benzerra set me back £2.30, but it was good,as for the unisex toilets, no problem, when you've got to go you've got to go!
Not a pub I would make a beeline for again but worth a beer if you're passing and you're wallets fat.

On 11th February 2014 - rating: 6
[User has posted 1436 recommendations about 1420 pubs]

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Mark Davey left this review about Duke's Brew & Que

I was impressed! decent beer, decent food and wife friendly. We ended up here after failing to find a pop up pub near by. The 4 of us managed to find a table quickly, ordered beer and food, which arrived just as quickly and tasted pretty good. My second pint was very cloudy, but tasted great and I assumed it to be the style. There were no ill effects later so I also assumed I was correct. Unisex toilets are OK, the ladies didn't seem to mind and neither did I. Things have changed a bit since the pictures on this site were taken. Outside now has a huge lean to tent for smoking and drinking. that extends right down one side of the pub. Everybody happy, would use again.

On 12th November 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 292 recommendations about 276 pubs]

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john gray left this review about Duke's Brew & Que

No longer a brewpub but they still have Beavertown beer. Very busy but they were launching a new beer. Have found their beers bit hit and miss and now very expensive. Unisex toilets are something I associate with cheap foreign holidays not hipster Hackney.

On 22nd June 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 940 recommendations about 927 pubs]

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