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Picture of The Blues Kitchen
Image posted by Tris C
Submitted on Monday, 17th January 2011
With picture contributions to 2282 other pubs
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The Blues Kitchen, Camden Town, NW1

113 Camden High Street
Phone: 02073875277
Correct details

Served areas

Reviews of The Blues Kitchen (Average Rating: 5 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Tris C left this review about The Blues Kitchen

Originally a Watney Combe Reid pub called the Stationers Arms, I came here once around 30 years ago when this was known as Bar Royale, with a prototype 1.30am licence with emphasis on cocktails, purchased by a deep pocketed friend and in abundance. I don’t remember the place, largely because we’d spent the entire evening in the Elephants Head before coming here; I certainly don’t remember leaving.
The current incarnation dates from 2009, specialising in selling bourbon, American food with live soul music.
As none of the above is my thing, I’ll not be making a return visit, but I suppose it adds another stratum to multi layered Camden Town.

On 9th November 2023 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 1914 recommendations about 1881 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Blues Kitchen

This one of a small number of pubs from the Blues Kitchen chain, who specialise in well presented bars mixing traditional and contemporary styles with dining and live music facilities. You enter into a large, partially partitioned room with the bar over to the left. The entrance porch has been decorated with the chain’s iconic glazed tiling and looks pretty stunning as a result. This venue makes use of these Craven Dunnill Jackfield tiles far more than the Shoreditch and Brixton branches manage to, creating a much more impressive effect as a result. The right side of the room seems to have been set up for diners and has rows of tables and chairs through the middle and banquette booths to the side, all occupied by people eating from the fairly standard menu. It’s a similar situation opposite the bar, where high benches and stools serve pre-set tables under a remarkable light feature made from old brass instruments. The bar runs down the first half of the left hand wall and has a great glazed tile bar counter with beautiful curved ends. At one end of the bar, there is a column that has been tiled in a different colour, whilst the bar back employs plain tiles and some retro-style mirrors to great effect, only partially spoiled by the presence of a crocodile head and large lizard. The room extends to the rear left where banquettes and low stools face a stage on the rear wall, which is used for regular live music performances. The bare brick walls here are lined with arty pictures of old blues musicians and some nice murals of Etta James and Sonny Boy Williamson. More of these murals can be found on the staircase which leads down to the toilets and it goes without saying that a blues soundtrack plays away in the background.
Sadly, these bars don’t stock any real ales, and this one was no exception, with numerous mainstream and craft keg options available instead. I tried the Fourpure Oatmeal Stout, which cost a stout £5.50 but was at least very tasty. The staff here all seemed really friendly and one barman popped over to my table and asked if I was okay and whether he could bring me anything, which was a nice touch.
I quite like these bars, but the substitution of cask ale for overpriced keg beer is a real off-putting factor. I thought this had the best decor of the three Blues Kitchen bars I’ve visited, but it felt far more food-led than the others and the live music set-up looked a lot more primitive. Not a bad place for a quick glance round the interior, but repeat visits are less appealing.

On 23rd January 2019 - rating: 5
[User has posted 3093 recommendations about 3093 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about The Blues Kitchen

I decided to have a gander in here yesterday after walking past and noticing the name change to Blues Kitchen. The layout is the same, but I think that the stage area at the rear is more likely to see a band set up than a DJ. There is a bit of an American theme and the Superbowl will be shown here live on Sunday 5th after the weekly Sunday live music.
The draught selection on the bar is very limited with Kronenburg, Amstel and Guinness being the options. Bottled beers are available and there is an extensive spirit selection. Most of the other customers were all eating and when I entered I was asked by one of the waitresses if I would be dining. I declined, but there was no problem with me just having a beer. The attitude of the staff is incomparable to my previous visit as the three members of staff that I encountered were very friendly and polite.

This is not really my sort of venue, but it has improved immensely since my last visit back in 2008.


30th September 2008

My compadres and I would regularly be seen in the O Bar of a Thursday evening when I used to be of dancing age back at the beginning of the century. There was usually a good crowd and the staff were all friendly and up for a laugh with the rest of us. There were regular DJ nights and at the weekends this was a pre raving venue for people going to Camden Palace.
My visit on Friday was the first for over seven years and I discovered that the layout is pretty much the same, even down to the graffiti in the toilet. There is still a stage area at the rear past the large dance floor and the main bulk of seating remains at the front of the pub. This is mostly made up by a raised seating section to the right of the entrance and some sofa booths to the left along the front window that faces the high Street. The same standard draught products are all still available from the bar, but no glasses are permitted outside anymore. I think that the biggest change is the service as I’m at a loss to remember the last time I encountered anyone so surly. To make a sweeping generalisation, the Eastern European female can come across as a little abrupt at times but this young lady had a master’s degree in apathy.

As a late bar I suppose this place is passable, but I’d probably consider calling it a night and going home if this was the only option.

On 27th January 2012 - rating: 5
[User has posted 5125 recommendations about 5094 pubs]

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Steve C
Camden Road, 0.43 miles, 8 min walk (show)
Kentish Town West, 0.83 miles, 16 min walk (show)
London Euston, 0.92 miles, 17 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for The Blues Kitchen, NW1
9th Nov 2023, 20:20
Review submitted by Tris C
23rd Jan 2019, 23:42
Review submitted by Pub SignMan

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Accommodation : No last updated 23 January 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 23 January 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Beer Garden : No last updated 23 January 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Car Park : No last updated 23 January 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Child Friendly : No last updated 23 January 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Darts : No last updated 23 January 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Dog Friendly : No last updated 23 January 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Function Room : Yes last updated 23 January 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 29 July 2013 by Dave McNally
  • Jukebox : No last updated 23 January 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Live Music : Yes last updated 27 January 2012 by hondo .
  • Live TV Sports : No last updated 23 January 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Micropub : No last updated 23 January 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Pinball : No last updated 23 January 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Pool Table : No last updated 23 January 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • Real Ale : No last updated 27 January 2012 by hondo .
  • Real Cider : No last updated 23 January 2019 by Pub SignMan
  • WiFi : Yes last updated 23 January 2019 by Pub SignMan
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