You might have noticed the light. Over the last couple of days Church Street has been lit up like a Christmas tree… The Lion is back!
After well over six months of refurbishment, severe water damage that completely destroyed the new hardwood floors, and more refurbishment, The Lion is re-opening on Saturday, 12 June, in time for the first England match in the World Cup. I had a chance to look around and get the dirt on what’s going to happen.
If you loved The Lion before, you will be pleased to hear that the basic layout hasn’t changed; the bar is the same as before, the beer garden is outside, and the function/games room stays upstairs. And still, everything has changed…
The main bar has been given a new coat of dark brown paint, and a beautiful dark wooden floor. The two fireplaces will be working again, a DJ booth is going under the stairs, a jukebox on the opposite wall, and there is a massive screen that can be rolled down to watch sports… a good place for the World Cup then. The biggest change downstairs are the toilets, which have been completely redone. Good news indeed if you remember the smell that used to be a permanent feature before.
There will be food as well but thankfully The Lion will not become another gastro pub. Instead there will be a selection of pies, home made sausage rolls, Babie’s Head and other snacks available. In the beer garden the Fishery’s oyster van will be installed permanently so you can enjoy a great selection of shellfish. Everything will cost you under a fiver apparently, which is nice.
Speaking of the garden, this has been cleared out, and a raised space around the wall has been installed with tables that will seat about 90. In total, the garden will hold about 150 people, same as the pub inside.
If you like your games then you’ll be pleased to hear that the function room upstairs will have a pool table, a darts board, and two Bonzini foosball tables. Yes, foosball tables. Two! Awesome! No sign of a bar upstairs at this point but apparently the final word hasn’t been spoken on this topic.
As for entertainment, Mistress Mel’s notoriously tricksy pop quiz is returning to Church Street, Mondays and Tuesdays there will be a free jukebox, and more is planned. Check your favourite Stoke Newington website for updates.
So there you have it… The Lion is back, and it looks like a perfect pub for the summer. I’m excited, and you should be too!