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Boston Arms, Tufnell Park, N19

178 Junction Road
N19 5QQ
Phone: 02072728153

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Pub Type

Greene King

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

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about Boston Arms

Just over the road from Tufnell Park station, this is a prominent pub with a wedge shape layout, and forms part of the complex that includes the Tufnell Park Dome and Boston Music Rooms live music venues. You enter directly to the main bar area, which is bare boarded and has the servery directly opposite the entrance. The thin part of the wedge is to the left of the bar, behind some dark wood and plain glass partitioning screens. It’s also a bare boarded space with comfy chairs and low tables under large windows and fake brick wall coverings. The bar has a grey painted counter, broken in the middle and to the right by small pillars, whilst the matching bar back makes this quite a dull looking servery, devoid of any character. Nice upholstered banquettes can be found to the front and right, under the big front windows and a huge mirror on the right-hand wall, again with brick-effect wallpaper. The room runs a little further back to the right of the bar, where a few extra tables and chairs can be found along with a pool table, juke box, various slot machines and a TV showing some sort of TV drama. A few pictures brighten the otherwise plain walls and a sign points to a rear yard, which appears to be the same yard that the Boston Music Room uses, so I’m not sure if you’d be allowed out there on a ticketed gig night.
Sadly, there’s no cask ale here - just a couple of Beavertown beers on keg, along with a Brixton beer that had gone off, an Ich’s cider and plenty of mainstream brands. A brusque barmaid served me a pint of Beavertwon Neck Oil, which was the usual over-priced, disappointing stuff.
This is a typical music pub, with a nice interior, a bunch of classic pub distractions (pool, juke box, TV etc…) and a distinct lack of decent beer. It’s a shame, as I quite often find myself at one of the two adjacent venues, but always struggle for a pre-gig pint, often walking through the estates to the Southampton Arms instead. If they could support a decent ale or two, I’d use this place much more often, but as it is, I can’t see myself coming back any time soon.

On 30th October 2022 - rating: 5
[User has posted 3126 recommendations about 3126 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Tris C left this review about Boston Arms

Though having passed this pub all my life, last night was my first-ever visit to this former Whitbread house which dates from the mid-19th century but was rebuilt in 1899 as this very commanding junction landmark with distinctive clock tower and cupola, visible far and wide.
This place never had an appealing-looking clientele, seemingly old men in varying states of pickledness; and whereas Jesus could walk on water, these men seemed to run on lager. It was also a rather scruffy place and the name in Gaelic script along with the festoons of painted shamrocks made the place even less inviting.
Due to the pestilence lockdown, the owners have decided to give it a makeover to bring it in line with the expectations of those who live in this increasingly gentrified area and are more likely to frequent the Lord Palmerston and Junction Tavern which bookend this pub, around 150 yards each side to the north and south.
The interior is substantial and it’s obvious on entering, that ‘makeover’ is an understatement. There’s a modern wood laminate floor with a slightly raised area to the curved front. The furniture is dark wood modern traditional and there’s a peripheral banquette to the eastern periphery, upholstered in pale grey and blue tartan cloth. Walls and ceiling are white, the latter covered in Anaglypta; downlighting seems to rule the roost here. There’s a modern traditional bar with enclosed pot shelf above. What really strikes the drinker though, is the incredibly low ceiling. This must once have been something of a gin palace so I simply don’t believe that the ceiling is as low as you’d expect to find in a village pub; it may be to house the ducting for the flush fitting aircon vents, which aren’t attractive. There’s a fair amount of bare brick to the rear along with some dark wood wainscoting. The four or more TVs (and projector zone) indicate that the pub will doubtless become a sports bar, especially when the team playing is from the Emirates, just up the road; on our visit they were showing the news with the sound off, to what purpose (other than look unattractive) is not certain, but at least they didn’t compete with the subdued music wafting out of the stereo. There’s little in the way of décor here, apart from some period prints of the area to the wall at the rear; there are also a fair number of potted palms dotted about. There’s still darts though, contained in a recess to the rear. Oddly, the windows are double glazed and are shaded with dark wood louvre blinds, which are a bit incongruous in a Victorian pub, not that anything Victorian remains, sadly. The lavs are modern and swanky with two cubicles no less, but have to have male and female genders applied to the doors in Gaelic, for some reason.
Customers were few, but they certainly weren’t the old geezers of yore, most being rather young and fashionable. Indeed, I overheard a couple sitting near me commenting on the change in the pub’s calibre of customer, for the better.
Staff were friendly and efficient, bringing drinks to table as is now the custom. Unfortunately, there’s still no real ale here, the mainstay being Beavertown’s Neck Oil or Gamma Ray, thereafter Eurofizz, Strongbow, Guinness (of course, good but at a staggering £5.40 per pint) and then John Smith’s Extra Smooth Crap.
It’s good to see a rather moribund pub reinventing itself, but the overall result is a bit like drinking in a soulless airport departure lounge, without the benefit of real ale. I don’t see how the Boston Arms can compete with the Junction or Palmerston and the retention of the name in Gaelic script flanked by shamrocks will be off-putting to some.

On 22nd October 2020 - rating: 3
[User has posted 2009 recommendations about 1975 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Moby Duck left this review about Boston Arms

A nice looking exterior to this large pub opposite Tufnell Park tube station, inside I found it rammed to the rafters with Irishmen and no real ale that I could see,not really my kind of place.

On 3rd September 2017 - rating: 5
[User has posted 1889 recommendations about 1862 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Alan Winfield left this review about Boston Arms

The Boston arms is a large and grand looking pub which is on a very busy road junction and faces Tufnell Park tube station.
Once inside there is a large single L shaped room with a very long bar facing on entry,there is bench seating and chairs to the front and normal tables and chairs elsewhere,there was a pool table to the rear right.
There was one real ale on the bar which was Doom Bar,this was a decent drink and very cheap at £2.40 a pint,i only had a half though.
Background music was playing and the pub was fairly busy with drinkers on my Friday dinner visit.
I thought this was a decent enough pub to have a drink in.

Pub visited 2/6/2017

On 6th August 2017 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Boston Arms

Landmark pub opposite Tufnell Park tube station, with a substantial bar within the sharply angled footprint. Inside, it is a refurbished Irish pub with a fairly pedestrian drinks selection, but at least the solitary handpump was working and dispensed a surprisingly reasonable pint of Greene King Molecule of Life (£3.10). Music venue with separate entrance at the back on one side and the separate Dome nightclub / venue upstairs.

On 9th July 2016 - rating: 6
[User has posted 8159 recommendations about 8159 pubs]

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Steve C left this review about Boston Arms

This place was very busy on Friday evening with students and drunken old men. There are plenty of plasma screens, two pool tables (one of which was out of use) and a dart board tucked away in the corner. The pub itself is open plan and it has a grubby unwelcoming feel to it.

John Smiths, Guinness, Bulmers and standard lagers are all available from the disinterested bar staff.

I don't think that I'll be venturing into here again in the near future.

On 9th December 2008 - rating: 4
[User has posted 5303 recommendations about 5271 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Roger Button left this review about Boston Arms

I'm not a fan of Irish pubs and bars at the best of times but this was one of the most depressing, miserable and intimidating pubs that I have been in. Unappealing from the outside with signs promoting cheap drinks (£2 a pint before 7 Monday to Friday) which naturally act as a magnet for the local drunks and society drop outs. The plain and dull interior revolves around the multiple (I counted at least 5) plasma TV's that screen wall to wall racing, football and Gaelic sports. Neither the pub nor its inhabitants display any degree of charm or friendliness and some of the groups looked like they could be quite threatening if you glanced in the wrong direction. The only attraction on the beer front is the prices and, like most Irish bars, the place is off limits for Ale drinkers. The wait to be served was doubly agonizing knowing that the plethora of drunks gathered at the bar appeared ready to engage in some form of indistinguishable conversation. Naturally the regulars are served first and the staff seemed to be adverse to anything that resembles table clearing. I am sure the regular punters have a whale of a time here every night but I'm afraid cheap beer and cliquey clentelle does not make a great pub to an outsider and unless you are part of the crowd, as most posters below appear to be, there is little in the Boston Arms to be recommended

On 1st December 2008 - rating: 2
[User has posted 1239 recommendations about 1233 pubs]