CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Good to be mixing it once again!

After closing its doors earlier this year, Camden Town’s Good Mixer has been relaunched – but remains a proper old-fashioned pub

25 May, 2018 — By Tom Moggach

The Good Mixer, in Inverness Street, Camden Town, became a haunt for Britpop stars in the 1990s

FOR the punks, piercers and tattoo artists of London, the relaunch of The Good Mixer is a nerve-wracking prospect.

For decades, this famous pub in Camden Town was an oasis for those living outside the mainstream. Built on a bombsite on Inverness Street, it started life as a local pub for working men and market traders.

In the 1990s, it became a haunt for Britpop stars. Blur were regulars; Amy Winehouse snuck in to play games of pool.

Later, the more anarchic elements of Camden Market made the place their own.

But the doors closed in January, leaving the historic site with an uncertain future.

I grew up round the corner. As a boy, I remember the market when it sold fruit and veg rather than tourist tat.

There was a friendly chap who ran the launderette a few doors up, who seemed to never change out of his dressing gown.

Thankfully, The Good Mixer has been granted a new lease of life by experienced publicans with two other sites in London.

They realised the smart move was to do next to nothing.

“They basically just cleaned it up,” explained the manager, pulling me a pint of Camden Pale Ale (£4.90).

This remains a proper old-fashioned pub. Even spruced-up, it feels comfortably well-worn and hums with gentle banter.

You’ll find pies rather than salmon steaks, Strongbow in the place of artisanal ciders, and the occasional bemused tourist who’s drifted in.

Most importantly, the atmosphere remains a little special: relaxed, inclusive and quirky – a mixture that’s increasingly hard to find.

There are two main rooms, either side of the bar, where a few framed photos evoke memories of the pub’s past.

The walls are painted a deep, shiny blue. There’s a free vintage jukebox and stand up piano.

We settled down with our pints at a corner table, so we could check out the other customers.

The pies, all £8, are baked by Pieminister in Bristol, who have a solid reputation.

Fillings include beef and potato, wild mushroom and asparagus or goats’ cheese, sweet potato and spinach.

If you’re hungry, opt for the Mothership (£11): a white and blue-rimmed enamel plate loaded with smooth mash, mushy peas, rich gravy, grated Cheddar and crispy shallots.

Drinks are belt-and-braces. There were just two real ales on my visit – Doom Bar and Truman’s Runner (both £4.50).

“The place is for all the Camden community really,” says the barman, who then clocks off to meet mates on the other side of the bar.

Legend has it that the pub derives its name from a happy accident. Back in the 1950s, builders got their cement mixer stuck inside while the place was being built.

A tall story, perhaps, and one of the many colourful anecdotes that still swirl around The Good Mixer.

The Good Mixer
30 Inverness Street, NW1
020 3076 0002
www.thegoodmixer.co.uk

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