Camden’s legendary venue The Lock Tavern is not closing after all – but is set to return after half a million pounds of investment to “restore the venue to its original glory”.
The Chalk Farm pub has famously seen early gigs from the likes of Amy Winehouse, Florence + The Machine, Adele, Franz Ferdinand, Metronomy, Mystery Jets, Warpaint, Savages, Run The Jewels, Tame Impala and many more. It became a focal point of the ‘nu rave’ movement in the mid-noughties, and a pilgrimage for music fans due to its legacy, atmosphere and famous club nights.
Last week, it was reported that the venue had been sold for a multi-million pound sum – and would be hosting a closing party this Bank Holiday Weekend on Monday August 27, hosted by Blogger’s Delight with sets from residents Casper C, Skull Juice and NikNikNik, as well as Filthy Dukes, Matt Walsh and special guests. Another event, Au Revoir Lock Tavern, had also take place on August 23 with a line-up to be announced.
Now, it’s been revealed that the Tavern will re-open after a brief closure on August 31 under the operation of new owners and independent pub group, East London Pub Co.
“The Lock Tavern has a fantastic history and we are looking forward to breathing new life into this Camden institution and honouring its musical heritage,” said Bradley Lomas of East London Pub Co. “The pub has been around for decades and host to some of the UK’s best up-and-coming and established talent, which is why we want to ensure music remains at the heart of this venue.
“The Lock Tavern will re-open August 31 with the same atmosphere and spirit that everyone knows and loves, just with an enhanced food and beverage offering, and toilets that lock.”
He added: “Over the restoration period, we have an outstanding creative team who are excited to respectfully restore this great boozer.”
A statement from East London Pub Co reads: “The Lock Tavern is a jewel in the crown of North London, and the East London Pub Co. intend to keep it so. Preserving the original atmosphere, much loved aesthetics and traditional interiors, the phased restoration will take place over six-months. The venue will see the installation of a new bar, much coveted roof terrace and rear beer garden. Much of the bar team will remain the same, with some taking more involved roles in the pub’s operation, events and music scheduling.
“The bar offering will broaden with a wider range of craft beers, including local and independent breweries, a dedicated gin menu and an extensive wine list. The kitchen will continue to operate with an updated menu of modern-British classics.
“Embracing the venue’s rich musical history, The Lock Tavern will maintain a full schedule of live music and DJs on a weekly basis with an ever-changing roster of talent.”
Florence Welch recently spoke out about her experience of first seeing Adele at the venue where she performed alongside her for an early gig with Florence + The Machine.
“There was so many bands playing at that point,” Welch said. “Even Adele you could say came from that little scene that was going on of people putting on club nights and gigs. There was a gig at the Lock Tavern [in Camden] where it was like Kate Nash was headlining, supported by Adele, then me and Emmy Lou Harris. That was the line-up.
She added: “I was on first, I think, and I just was so drunk and I just yelled and fell over. And then I remember watching Adele play and I’d never head a voice like that.
“I remember being like: ‘Shit. This is incredible. Gimme a drink.’”
This follows the recent closure of fellow legendary London hotspots with The Forge, Proud Camden and Her Upstairs.