Welcome to The Hawley Arms
For those of you who haven’t been here before, we hope you like it. We’ve worked hard over the last 4 years to create a home-from-home atmosphere, where people can relax, meet friends, and enjoy quality pub grub and perfect drinks. The Hawley wouldn’t be the Hawley without our excellent team of staff, many of whom have played an important part in the Hawley’s development and who work so hard to ensure that Hawley times are good times!
Last February, a major fire in the market behind us forced us to close, but after 9 long months, we reopened our doors again in November. For those of you that remember the pre-fire Hawley, we hope you’ll like what you find now. Although we had to change some of the layout of the pub to comply with new regulations, we’ve tried really hard to retain the old feel of the place.
For those that haven’t visited before, the Hawley brings you a ground floor with a small, but lovely walled garden at the rear, a first floor bar with roof terrace, log fires, a juke box, sweetie jars, newspapers and board games, fine ales, a traditional but quality food menu and a great variety of drinks. You’ll find more info in the rest of this site. New customers and old, we look forward to seeing you soon.
If you like The Hawley, why not try our sister pub, The Wilmington Arms, a lovely boozer in Clerkenwell with a fantastic live venue attached. Go to Links for more info.
Find out more about us below:
The Hawley Arms dates back to about 1900 and it has had many incarnations in this time, but we took over the pub in December 2004. Although we (and our customers) put up with the peeling green walls outside and bright orange walls inside for some time, we immediately replaced the matching modern furniture with a good mix of old tables and chairs, lowered the lighting and brought in a juke box. Outside, we tore away the hanging baskets, whose contents were long dead, and repairs were made to upstairs broken windows and the roof. Apart from that we focussed on running the pub well, introducing food and better drink options and creating a cosy atmosphere with great music and building a valued network of regular customers.
In February 2006 we closed the pub for 2 and a half months, to redecorate and bring back some of the pub’s traditional features, that had been covered or removed in previous refits. We also opened up the first floor bar and the roof terrace, a great outdoor space in the midst of urban Camden. We moved the toilets into the basement, giving us more space on the ground floor which enabled an exhibition by NME photographer, Andy Willsher, and provided room for monthly music nights, featuring upcoming bands from the area. During this time we got a lot of press for our celebrity customers and while we were grateful for the attention, our main aim remained the same, to operate a great British pub, where everyone could enjoy great service in a homely setting.
In February of this year, our business was abruptly halted by a massive fire in the market behind the Hawley. Allegedly started by a stall holder leaving a heater on, it raised to the ground the entire market (located between the canal and the railway line behind Castlehaven Rd), gutted a Victorian terrace of shops and flats, and in addition our pub.
The fire itself was devastating, but the months that followed were equally stressful. At first, we were told that the building would have to be torn down for safety reasons. Luckily for us structural engineers employed by our landlord, Greene King, pronounced that the main structure was still sound. Although the first floor upwards was gutted, the walls remained and we were told we could start again.
Relief turned to frustration as we spent a long time in discussions with architects trying to find the best way of rebuilding the pub to retain the old feel of the Hawley Arms, while complying with new fire and building regulations (our old central staircase was no longer legal so the whole layout of the pub had to change).
The worst part of this was learning that we would have to apply for planning permission, which took an age to be granted and meant that progress on the site was at times painfully slow.
However, we are very grateful to our landlord, architects, and our builders who worked so hard to ensure that we could open in November and so allow the Hawley to be back in time for Christmas.
And so, here we are... we hope that you will be pleased with the results. You will notice changes to the layout of the pub, due to the requirement of the fire protected staircase, but we hope you’ll agree that the essence of the Hawley as was is still here.
Visit our gallery to view photographs of the Hawley Arms before and after the refurbishment.