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Knowhere Special, N1

190 New North Road
N1 7BJ
Phone: 02073545400

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Bucking Fastard left this review about North By Northwest

A homage to Hitchcock and the nearby (and former) Gainsborough Studios,this pub has several different sections and lots of ephemera to see.The three sided bar is straight ahead from the entrance with a flatscreen high above a side wall.To the left there is a mix of seating with several benches and a few cinema seats,while the other side has a baby grand piano as a feature before more bench seating .French windows give access to a paved beer terrace,while there is a mid building snug ,and an extensive front room running along the street side of the pub with some grandure.A sign outside indicates the pub is both gay and dog friendly.
There are 5 handpumps ,of which 3 were drawing TT Landlord,London Pride and Hammerton N1 (cloudy and out of condition).Keg taps offer sparkling ciders ,Lagunitas IPA and Sierra Nevada among other more mainstream option,but I thought overall this was a poor range.Food is available and looked pub grub style and on a Saturday lunchtime before Six Nations Rugby it was not very busy.Too much of a theme pub,not enough ale quality to demand a revisit.

On 25th February 2018 - rating: 5
[User has posted 2153 recommendations about 2153 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Moby Duck left this review about North By Northwest

Now called North By Northwest it has become an Alfred Hitchcock themed bar and as far as I could tell has suffered for it, more wine bar than pub now,while retaining seven handpumps on the bar only three were active with two from Hammerton ,N1 and Life on Mars plus something else now unrembered. To my mind a decent pub is now ruined. Rating now dropped from 8/10 to 4/10.

Original review as the North Pole Feb 2014
A busy gastro/craft bar but plenty of cask beers for the ale drinker, I think I counted 10 pumps though some may have been cider,I chose the intriguingly named beer by Arbour - Why Kick A Moo Cow, it was very good.Modernly decorated inside with bare wooden floors and white walls,various seating and tables scattered around the open plan interior. Quite a nice place and worth a re visit. Rated 8/10

On 18th September 2016 - rating: 4
[User has posted 1426 recommendations about 1411 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about North By Northwest

Renamed North by Northwest in 2016 as an Alfred Hitchcock-themed pub, the name being a homage to the former Gainsborough Studios just around the corner from here where some of Hitchcock's earliest pre-Hollywood films were made, including The Lady Vanishes.
No surprises then than the place is festooned with Hitchcockery rather than genuine memorabilia, save for a huge number of film posters, original or not is not known. A number of real model aircraft hang from the ceiling - a nod to the eponymous pub - and there are stuffed crows perching all over the shop; The Birds. Behind the bar there is a life-size statue of the Portly One but I didn't spot a shower curtain anywhere or a mummified customer sitting in a rocking chair wearing a wig and dress.
The pub is split level with modern bare boards and the rear of the pub is dominated by a grand piano. Furniture is basic with wax-encrusted bottles containing candles on each table which are a risk to hair as you sit down. There are also a lot of modern orange-shaded lights so the overall glow is subdued and very orange. Muted music played and a TV, thankfully off, was spotted; out back in the garden there's a ping pong table.
The place seemed to appeal to rather dowdy locals and painfully few too, with around five people in attendance on a Friday at 9.00 pm.
Ales: three unused pumps, thereafter just Hammerton's Life on Mars and N1 which was good and at £4.20 a pint, not bad for the area.
This isn't a great pub - perhaps the locals knew something we didn't, and explained why it was so empty? There's not much in the area, but the Hanbury Arms, Baring Arms and Rosemary Branch are all around the corner from here and are a lot better.

On 13th July 2016 - rating: 4
[User has posted 1065 recommendations about 1044 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

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

Thoroughly refurbished bar with a broadly triangular interior featuring a semi-open kitchen and separate dining room at the wider end. Modern furniture and decor of no particular note in the various seating / dining areas either side of the central counter. Just Redemption Trinity (expensive at £4.20, and a bit cloudy to boot) and Hamerton N7 from a total of seven handpumps, plus ten keg offerings from an inline hooped fount. A bit disappointing, really...

On 25th January 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 6475 recommendations about 6475 pubs]

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Rex Rattus left this review about The North Pole

There weren't quite as many real ales on as I expected, but five on, with none of the usual suspects present, is nonetheless good going. Of the other five handpumps, three had cider on, one had a perry, and the other was unclipped. I didn't check the keg beers. I had the Southwark Brewery Bermondsey Best (£3.70 a pint) which was in great shape. They were doing food when I was in on Wednesday lunchtime, with sarnies from £4 - £6 (£1.50 extra for chips), and I noted that the burger was £10.

The pub is unchanged from previous reviewers' visits. It's clearly been extended into the property on the right at some stage, which has obviously allowed them to add one or two (almost) separate drinking areas. It was a bit more modern than I had expected, with a preponderance of grey/indigo painted walls up to dado level, as well as Ember Inns style shelving separators bearing steins, jugs, and the like. The walls were decorated with olde worlde prints - and the pinball machine (the classic Addams Family no less!) is still here.

The small group I was with all liked it in here - the furnishings were comfortable; the beer was excellent; and it wasn't too noisy with just some laid back blues playing for most of the time we were in. This one should definitely be included on any crawl in this area.

On 24th January 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2581 recommendations about 2498 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about The North Pole

The North Pole was formerly the North Star, which had a period as a Gastro restaurant before failing due to the downturn. But now reinvented as another venue in this area of town that focusses on both food and Craft and Real Ale, and in doing so has produced a decent venue for both eating and drinking.
A modern décor interior on three levels as you enter, although the lower games room below the mezzanine seating area to the left of the main entrance is easily missed. It then stretches back beyond the bar where there are a couple of areas, mainly set for dining, and then a small courtyard garden area out back. But there is also a decent enough space around the bar for just having a beer.
And the beer options are fairly impressive with 10 Ale and Cider pumps and 12 others for mainly craft beers. As mentioned below the collection of clips that now adorn the area above the bar would indicate a regular changing beer offering. For our visit the available beers were mainly from The Harbour Brewery in Cornwall, The Arbor Brewery from Bristol and the Wild Beer brewery from Somerset.
All the Ales were priced at £3.80 which is par pricing for this part of town and actually reasonable for my pint of Arbor Why Kick a Moo Cow at 5.5%. Most of the Craft brews were below £5, but a couple, including an 8.7% Harbour Chocolate Stout would have set us back just shy of £8.
To use an expression, I like what they have done here, and will search it out when next in N1.

On 26th February 2014 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1742 recommendations about 1688 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about The North Pole

Unusual narrow wedge-shaped corner pub, painted in a looming battleship grey colour (or so it looked underneath the sodium lights). Quite modern inside though at least done in a tastefully restrained manner. A destination ale pub these days, ten pumps were at the bar with seven ales and three ciders (all interesting choices) available alongside 12 keg beers of a premium craft persuasion. My Tiny Rebel was sadly rather warm (sloppy) but there was a decent beer trying to get out. Above the bar were an impressive collection of pump clips, presumably the ghosts of brews served up in the recent past. Items of note included a rare sighting of a pinball machine, along with an upright piano. Fairly quiet on our early evening visit which I found a little surprising. Loyalty card advertised (9 pints get you the 10th free). As with the Rosemary Branch, there was a model plane hanging from the ceiling. Despite my under-par ale I quite liked it here and would be prepared to give it another go.

On 25th February 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 4111 recommendations about 4099 pubs]

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E TA left this review about The North Pole

A modern gastro pub in a Victorian building. The large main bar is light and airy, spartan furnishings, modern, shiny fittings, wooden floors, but it's comfortable and welcoming. The food looks good, but serving chips in mini galvanised buckets is naff however good it tastes. The customers were a mixed bunch of locals, CAMRA types and PuG crawlers, and the bar staff were very easy on the eye. The real strength of this pub is its beers: over 20 taps on the bar with an excellent selection of real ale and better-than-average craft beers are complemented by 30+ bottled ales. There is also a pretty good wine selection, though not cheap. Spoilt for choice, I went for a pint of Wild Beer's Put It In Your Pipe, a beer I wouldn't normally try, but which was really first class. This is one of the best pubs in the area and one to which I shall surely return. Highly recommended for a crawl.

On 23rd February 2014 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2684 recommendations about 2651 pubs]

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john mcgraw left this review about The North Pole

On 6th December 2012 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2044 recommendations about 2025 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about The North Pole

The North Pole has reinvented itself since the review below, swapping gastro pub for craft beer bar. The pub’s layout was a bit baffling, seeming to be very wide and shallow, although on reflection this may be because it is a narrow, wedge shape. Either way, you enter to a broad main bar with muted lighting, light coloured walls and plenty of dark wood. There is minimal seating here, but this is compensated for with a raised seating area to the left of the front door and an open space to the right with some standard seating in front of the kitchen serving window. A model plane hung from the ceiling in this room, but otherwise the décor was fairly modest. An archway led through to a third seating area at the front of the pub, which had large windows looking out to the street. To reach this room, you pass a small recess with a single table fitting snugly inside it whilst an upright piano stands opposite. Underneath the raised seating area on the left side of the pub, stairs lead down to a very dark games room where you can play space invaders, pinball, some old one armed bandits and a selection of board games, but there was no sign of the bar billiards table advertised on various posters dotted around the pub. There are some fine pews down here, but the gloom didn’t make it an appealing place to relax unless you wanted to partake in any of the games. At the rear of the pub there is a partially covered decked garden which has enough room for a few picnic tables. Music played throughout my stay at a reasonable volume and there was a nice early evening buzz about the place as it started to fill up a bit.
And so to the beer. A handsome row of hand pumps promised much, but three pumps had ‘Coming Soon’ tags on them (Oakham, Moorhouse and XT), whilst three more were dispensing Thirsty Cross Red Cider, Gwynt y Ddraig Happy Daze Cider and Ross on Wye Farmhouse Perry. Even so, I was still left with a decent choice from Triple fff Moondance, East London Brewery Quadrant Oatmeal Stout, Redemption Fellowship Porter and Arbor Riwaka, all priced at £3.50. I gave the Oatmeal Stout a try and thought it was outstanding. In addition there are three key keg fonts and ten or so regular keg taps all offering unusual beers from the UK, Germany, Belgium and the US and costing on average around £5.00 a pint. Menus detail bottled beers and blackboards explain the availability of take aways and four pint pitchers, as well as positively encouraging you to ask for tasters if you’re unsure which beer to pick. I didn’t see a food menu, but the plates that came out of the kitchen looked very good.
For a craft beer bar, this place still feels very much like a pub and certainly has more character than many other bars of this nature. I enjoyed my stay here and I would gladly make a bit of effort to return again in the future.

On 21st October 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2597 recommendations about 2597 pubs]

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