The place I went to watch the Irish Rugby match when I was in London recently. Good bar, good size, friendly staff and patrons. Plenty of screens for all your sporting needs.
Amazing stained glass windows in the front bar but not sure if they are real or just stuck on....
The Quays is a VERY well known Irish pub in North London. It has been a popular place for the Irish community to socialise since it opened in 2001.
At most times it's a decent place to come. It has a huge bar inside, nicely decorated, friendly staff and they pull a great Guinness. They show all live sports and have several large screens so you enjoy the games with friends over a few pints in a nice environment.
This is where the downside comes in. Most places in the area close around 1am but The Quays have a late licence until 4am. They also have a large dance floor and at weekends the place is packed. Now usually this is a good thing but between 1am and 4am this place turns into scenes from Road House.
Everyone pours in here looking to get lucky having previously failed wherever they were before, your feet are stuck to floor from all of the spilt drinks and drunk guys are threatening to knock your lights out for bumping into you even though they did, spilling their drink on your shoes in the process, not to mention the endless amounts of bar fights every 20 minutes;
Don't get me wrong, you can have a good time here. I usually come here during the day at weekends to watch some live sport and have a few pints with a few mates. During the evenings I prefer to go places where I don't have to throw away a perfectly good pair of shoes at the end of the night.
I've come here a few times with the other half to watch football matches over a pint, and the bar tenders were really nice. However, the drinks were a bit expensive and the beer selection leaves a *lot* to be desired. At night at the weekends this place is crazy busy with what seems to be lots of not-so-happy drunk people, I probably won't be back unless I'm desperate for a pint at 3am while out on Holloway Road :)
The Quays had been suggested to me as one of the best pubs in Holloway. Being the kind of guy who is always scouring the city for the best watering holes, I decided to give it a try.
I'm not really certain what my first impression of The Quays was, but it was something strange. I first thought that it was strange to find a pub with a vaguely nautical motif on Holloway Road. The Quays is also one of those establishments that is too big for its own good - to the point where it loses the intimate atmosphere that a pub should try to attain. Upon my first visit, the Quays was at least playing some incredible music: Johnny Cash, Blur, Oasis, Bob Dylan, etc.
My opinion of The Quays as definitely improved with subsequent visits, though. While the beer selection leaves much to be desired, I have discovered that this little hideaway definitely knows its way around some liquor. If you are a gin or whiskey fan, I think you will be right at home at The Quays.
The warm weather has also improved my perception of the Quays. There are two giant umbrellas covering the outdoor patio area between the entrance and Holloway Road. It's not the best outdoor area, but it gets the job done.
I wouldn't travel across town for what the Quays has to offer, but if you live in the Holloway/Archway area, it is definitely worth going for a drink.
Great cocktails and Great live band on saturday night, i recently went on a saturday and was there til 4am dancing my life away has 2 floors and bars on both levels, very modern, trendy and a dance floor.
Highly recommended id you are in London, and love irish people.
The exterior of The Quays is certainly interesting. Views through the windows are blocked by shelves of old bottles, while uplighters illuminate the blue walls in a tacky alternating spectrum of colour. The interior was also unusual, with three distinct areas, including a front bar adorned with etched mirrors and ornate woodwork and a back section featuring a huge 10 foot screen. Coupled with two plasma screens it verged on 'sports bar' territory. On our Monday visit however it was fairly quiet and we enjoyed some genuinely excellent food in peace, aided by friendly staff. Conversely, on weekend nights a young crowd descends and it gets pretty lively, as it does when big matches are shown. Ultimately, this is a pub which appeals to different people at different times for different reasons - so time your visit well
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