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Picture of Boston Arms
Image posted by Alan Winfield
Submitted on Sunday, 6th August 2017
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Boston Arms, Tufnell Park, N19

178 Junction Road
N19
N19 5QQ
Phone: 02072728153
Correct details

Pub Type

Greene King

Served areas

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Reviews of Boston Arms (Average Rating: 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 3114 recommendations about 3114 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 1984 recommendations about 1950 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 1872 recommendations about 1845 pubs]


View more reviews of Boston Arms (7)
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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Will Larter
Kentish Town, 0.5 miles, 9 min walk (show)
Gospel Oak, 0.72 miles, 13 min walk (show)
Upper Holloway, 0.81 miles, 15 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for Boston Arms, N19
30th Oct 2022, 18:23
Review submitted by Pub SignMan
 
30th Jun 2022, 16:03
Picture submitted by peter ashworth approved

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 16 October 2020 by Tris C
  • Bar Billiards : No last updated 16 October 2020 by Tris C
  • Beer Festivals : No last updated 16 October 2020 by Tris C
  • Beer Garden : No - Rear patio. - last updated 16 October 2020 by Tris C
  • Car Park : No last updated 16 October 2020 by Tris C
  • Darts : Yes last updated 16 October 2020 by Tris C
  • Function Room : Yes last updated 30 October 2022 by Pub SignMan
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 16 October 2020 by Tris C
  • Jukebox : Yes last updated 30 October 2022 by Pub SignMan
  • Karaoke : No last updated 16 October 2020 by Tris C
  • Live Music : Yes - Dome music venue. - last updated 16 October 2020 by Tris C
  • Live TV Sports : Yes last updated 16 October 2020 by Tris C
  • Micropub : No last updated 16 October 2020 by Tris C
  • Pinball : No last updated 16 October 2020 by Tris C
  • Pool Table : Yes last updated 30 October 2022 by Pub SignMan
  • Quiz Night : Yes - Mondays 7.30pm. - last updated 16 October 2020 by Tris C
  • Real Ale : No last updated 16 October 2020 by Tris C
  • Real Cider : No last updated 30 October 2022 by Pub SignMan
  • WiFi : Yes last updated 16 October 2020 by Tris C
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