Result! Gunners is back after two-year closure

Pub loved by footie fans reopens on derby day

Friday, 13th May — By Anna Lamche

Andrew Hoyle

Landlord Andrew Hoyle said he was ‘very excited’ to reopen and welcome Arsenal fans back

AFTER two years of closure, the borough’s oldest Arsenal pub reopened its doors yesterday (Thursday) evening for the north London derby.
The Gunners in Blackstock Road has been closed since the start of Covid in March 2020.

Landlord Andrew Hoyle said he was “very excited” to reopen to fans. “A lot of work goes into reopening,” he said, which involved “cleaning the place up” and being “on the phone to Sky and BT”.

He added: “We’re running on adrenaline.

“We wanted to do a soft opening but there’s no such thing as a soft opening with the north London derby.”

He encouraged past regulars to come back down to the pub – decked out in the familiar Arsenal memorabilia – to experience its atmosphere.

“Everyone is delighted. There was lots of speculation the pub would be sold for luxury flats, but we’re open now and people can see we’re open. It’s all within the family, we’re not some faceless company. We understand this is a community hub,” Mr Hoyle said.

Old-timers will recognise Mr Hoyle’s dog, Ted, along with Bella and Sidney, two new additions to the pub family.

Now under new management, Mr Hoyle said the pub is a “nice place to be and not overpriced”, adding: “The one thing we can’t control is Arsenal’s performance – the result is one thing that’s always been out of our control!”

Landlady Una McKernan said she was “ecstatic”, adding it was “the perfect time to reopen”. She said: “We’ve got the most beautiful, historic pub that is about to – by the skin of our teeth – reopen to the north London derby. All I would say to Arsenal fans is: hold your nerves. We’ve done absolutely fantastic under Mikel Arteta.”

The council recently gave the green light to plans for a new basement bar beneath the current pub. “It will be absolutely superb,” Ms McKernan said. “It will be the first basement music-stroke-football bar in N5, if not in the borough.”

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