The Cricketers Pub (soon to be Verden)

Hi all,

Following the good news about the future of the White/Clapton Hart, I was wondering if anyone knew anything of the future of the Cricketers around the corner. It’s been derelict for a while now, and squatted at various points, but all I’ve been able to find out is that it was almost sold a few months ago, but that the sale fell through. Since then, nothing.

Has anyone got any inside information on what’s happening there?



  1. No idea Nick, but having lived on Clarence Road for some years (not any more), I can say the street is a better place now the Cricketers is shut. The noise was ridiculous, all-night long, and it was quite openly a centre for drug dealing.

    I hope someone does take it on and make it into a pub again. The interest in the Clapton Hart story on this site shows the interest and need there is for an honest boozer in that neck of the woods. I love the Pembury, but it’s a walk if you’re at the top of Upper Clapton, and it’s often very busy (and not so lovely in summer). Biddles is great fun – parrot included – but it’s not a \pub” and has a different vibe.

    With the cafe opening on Dalston Lane in the old video shop perhaps some developer will take a look at the Cricketers?

    But of course we all know what the likely outcome is for that building: more posh over-priced flats.”

  2. well Im prepared to bet my false leg that if the Clapton Hart proves successful when it opens, and it can manage to steer well clear of any incidents, then the bigger pub chains will follow shortly after – hopefully soon enough to save the cricketers and the three sisters (think the Cecil might already be gone, alas). As always it always takes one brave soul to take the risk and more should follow. To that end it is the civic duty of all of us to get in there and get supping.

  3. @patricksmithjournalist I fear you may be right, I don’t think the council will issue any kind of licence for the Cricketers in the future, given just how bad it used to be, which is understandable I suppose. Though it does mean that all that’s left for it is to become flats, I can’t think what else it might be…

  4. @nickponty theoretically, the council will judge each application on its merits. Obviously any licensee would have to overcome residents’ concerns and stick to a fairly stringent set of terms, but it must be doable. The Three Sisters is well-run place in a similarly built-up area and doesn’t run into any problems.

    I think it’s more about whether a) the building is in a fit state and b) there is enough demand to make the investment worthwhile. We all love the idea of Clapton Hart, but it’s a big gamble. Hopefully @GavinRedknap is right and his leg is safe.

  5. I hope so, especially after i lost the other one betting on the designer of Kate’s wedding dress. As you might know, the three sisters is up for sale, so lets hope someone sees the potential in it and sorts it out a bit.

  6. @nickponty If they gave Antic the license for the Hart with its grim history then I don’t see why the Cricketers should be declined providing the right company applies. London is in dire need of more housing but I hate to see commercial premises converted into residential like the (ex)Fountain overlooking the Pond.

  7. I had the same idea about the Cricketers when I heard about the White Hart, so I immediately emailed Fi Glover at Antic to politely persuade her to take it on!

    Fi looked into the current situation of the pub and unfortunately it is scheduled to be converted into another residential thing. Shame, but you can understand Hackney’s decision with the pub’s history.

    What could be interesting though is the sign outside the Three Sisters: Pub For Sale by Owners. Perhaps another Antic project? (And yes, I’ve already emailed them about it.) Fingers crossed, eh?!

  8. I would have thought that conversion of a pub to residential units would require planning permission, but as far as I can see there’s nothing under consideration at the council right now. So I wonder whether Fi’s information is correct?

  9. I would have thought that conversion of a pub to residential units would require planning permission, but as far as I can see there’s nothing under consideration at the council right now. So I wonder whether Fi’s information is correct? Anyway, I doubt Antic would want another pub just around the corner from one that is already a bit of a gamble. As i said before, hopefully their success will cause other breweries to follow suit.

  10. @karlrees Poor Fi (Fi Collette, not Fi Glover who’s a BBC journo) at Antic. She must be bombarded with emails requesting further pub takeovers; I also sent her an email about the Cricketers and Three Sisters. I live between the two and as far as I’m aware they’re both still on the market. I hope @gavinredknap is right and that developers stay away long enough for the Clapton Hart to prove viability of well run pubs.

  11. Well if anyone wants, I’d suggest that they contact pub operators in the wider neighbourhood who might be interested. I know that the Three Crowns and the Lion on Church Street are run by the same people, as are the Rose and Crown and Jolly Butchers. And it wasnt too long ago that someone bought Pub on the Park, which isnt a million miles away from what the Tree Sisters could aspire to:

  12. I hope the Three Sisters remains a pub, it’s a in a lovely position by the park, the Cricketers is lost as a pub I fear, there will be too much opposition from residents for it to remain a pub, sad seeing pubs go.

  13. I hope the Three Sisters remains a pub, it’s a in a lovely position by the park, the Cricketers is lost as a pub I fear, there will be too much opposition from residents for it to remain a pub, sad seeing pubs go.

  14. hey @marty21, I’m not so sure it’s right to assume the residents would automatically oppose a new pub at The Cricketers – it was badly run and the scene of loads of criminal activity (regular shootings, drug dealers, general anti-social behaviour in the vicinity etc etc) before local residents had it shut, but under new and responsible managment, it could work. Whether they would be able to survive financially is another matter. Personally I think the Three Sisters’ location across the park is better anyway…

  15. hey @marty21, I’m not so sure it’s fair to assume the residents would automatically oppose a new pub at The Cricketers – it was badly run and the scene of loads of criminal activity (regular shootings, drug dealers, general anti-social behaviour in the vicinity etc etc) before local residents had it shut, but under new and responsible managment, it could work. Whether they would be able to survive financially is another matter. Personally I think the Three Sisters’ location across the park is better anyway…

  16. hey @saladefolle – nice to run into you today along with other yeahhackney folk – I stand corrected on the cricketer thing.

  17. hi @marty21, lovely to meet you too! Let’s have drinks soon in whichever local pub we’re left with!

  18. Looks like the pub was sold a while back but nothing has happened with it yet. Worryingly, the information on this site (which is probably out of date) suggests turning it into retail units. Hopefully not another barber or fast food outlet. I think we have enough of those…

  19. nice work finding that article, I wonder who the buyer was, I guess we will find out at some point

  20. @jimmytcase, good work, neighbour! now, are you the buyer perchance? I remember your Mrs saying she’d love to take it over! ;^)

  21. Haha! If I had £400k – not sure I’d spend it on the Cricketers!!!

  22. It says retail or licensed retail – which is shorthand for pubs and restaurants. Also says it’s a local investor – so whoever they are hopefully they realise the potential of opening a pub on the site. Mind you they dont appear to be in any rush given they bought the place at least six months ago.

  23. GavinRednapp – The Pub in the Park isn’t far away from what the Three Sisters could aspire to. The Three Sisters is fine as it is. I’ve never seen any trouble there and it and has a great mix of punters. Something I’m sure can’t be said of the Pub in The Park. Clapton needs a pub like this before it becomes so gentrified it loses it’s real character and characters.

  24. The Three Sisters isnt fine as it is, Killeroo, its going out of business. Therye trying to sell the lease, or were the last time i looked. I go in there a fair bit myself too, and I dont really see too many of the people who tend to frequent websites such as this. Last time i looked, Clapton wasnt exactly awash with gentrified pubs either, so its hardly for overabundance of choice. Perhaps people should be asking themelves why, instead of traipsing over to Stoke Newington/ Dalston/ Shoreditch, theyre not going to local pubs which really arent too bad already (the Three Sisters could do with being done up a bit, and with perhaps a greater focus on music rather than ITV, but it aint a hell-hole, taken). There’s enough people living in the area now to be able to support them.

  25. Good news that there is a planning application in, I think the proposals look ok. Great that the ground floor will remain as commercial and not end up as flats like The Downs – could one day be a local pub again. Hopefully it wont just become another empty shop front though…

  26. The builders have started work this week, but I haven’t heard anything about the planning app.

  27. A bloke on the street told me that the commercial unit below the flats at the cricketers site was going to be a bookies  (boo).  Anyone know if this is true or just rumours?

  28. I haven’t heard anything about a betting office, but their planning application does include A2 which is the class for them, so it’s feasible.

  29. Hiya, does anyone have an update on what is happening to this? It still looks like a lot needs to be done!

  30. Am I the only reader of this blog who misses the Cricketers? It’s true that some dealers used to hang about outside, but they were rather fewer than you’ll encounter if you go near the pubs and clubs of Shoreditch, Dalston and Clerkenwell. One of the reasons they were outside is that the landlord John was extremely tough on any drugtaking inside: going after dealers outside was not something he could do; that was a job the police should have done, and didn’t. The pub was closed after a police raid found two people carrying small amounts of cannabis: a figure I’m fairly confident would be matched if police raided any other London pub. To call it a ‘crack den’ as someone did earlier in this thread is simply untrue – a whole section of the community drank there: it was very much a Jamaican sort of place, but that included mostly law abiding citizens, from pensioners to young rude boys. There was lots to love about the place, and I do wonder whether the people who were so delighted to see the back of it ever actually went in for a drink.

  31. @irvine I’ve lived just down the road from the Cricketers for over ten years and, from my experience, I had no issues with it. Although I’d never been inside, I hadn’t seen or heard anything that troubled me, in terms of noise/violence etc, from my late evening walks past it. I remember the news reports when it was closed about a couple of people with small amounts of dope on them and a trace of coke in the toilets and thinking the same as you, ie. if they applied the same criteria across London’s pubs, clubs etc, they’d all be closed (including most theatres and BBC green rooms).So, since I never drank there, I can’t say I \miss it” but I have been a little suspicious about why some people were so keen on it closing. That said since its closure I have heard/seen a few references to violence that happened there but I don’t know enough about those to comment.I know the Clapton Pond Neighbourhood Action Group were keen on its closure and wrote to the council’s Licensing Services about it; can only imagine that most of its law-abiding former clientele feel somewhat aggrieved?

  32. @gavinredknap Since all the floors and stairwell had to be reconfigured for flats and soundproofing regs require new floors, I suspect that it’s easier to start from scratch (just a layman’s guess).Some signage has just appared on the hoarding giving the developers details. If anyone’s interested; 020 7538 4142

  33. Some voices really do get heard far better than others, dont they? As for the development itself, I find it slightly strange that they gutted the entire thing when not too significant work had to be done to it. Also seems that work has totally stopped. I really hope it doesnt stay like that for too long.

  34. ill ask my builder, but still seems remarkably drastic to me. Mind you, for something just over 400 grand, which is the price of a two bed flat these days, they’re probably going to be happy to shoulder an expensive building job!

  35. @gavinredknap Yep, with permission for  6×1 beds and 1×3 bed, plus the commercial, they’re going to make an absolute fortune on that one.

  36. The Cricketers was a great pub not necessarily the most welcoming on a first visit and thankfully most definatly not gentrified but a real community of people within. I have seen the landlord take a strong line with problems inside as well as mentioned above. Sunday nights downstairs with old school reggae sound clash was great.

  37. I’ve also heard the commercial unit will be a bookmakers / bookies / betting shop. As if we needed another one. Bad times.

  38. I’d be interesting to know just how many complainants were behind the pub’s closure.

  39. Given the fact that it is still months away from being completed, I’d be very surprised if anyone has actually signed up to lease the retail space yet, so the rumours are quite possibly just fearmongering. However it would be ironic if the net result of the campaign to get what was a real ‘community resource’ closed was a developer lining his pockets and another Paddy Power in the area.

  40. Tweet from councillor for Downs ward @rickmuir ;”The Cricketers Downs Road being renovated – I understand it is re-opening as a pub”Cricketers - Downs Rd

  41. That’s interesting. The rental flats above are being advertised as being above a disused pub.

  42. I emailed to them mentioning th fact that so many pubs in the area have successfully been reopened. Got no response. I’d be surprised if it were to be frank as the planning app showed the toilets beIng changrd into a bike storage room. I’m pretty sure they’d need to make a material amendment app to change that back.

  43. It appears that the developers are also the letting agents and their site claims that it’s \under offer”.But I’m confused by the reference to “1 bedroom 1 reception 1 bathroom”;

  44. Could there be 1 bedroom, 1 reception and 1 bathroom at the back of the pub? It is still advertised as a commercial unit with the different uses available.

  45. Nope. Also this shows that there arent any toilets on the ground floor anymore, so it’ll be a push to make it a pub again (the retail part is also very small).

  46. So it’s most likely to be a shop, a betting shop probably.I wonder if there’s a chance they left the ground floor as it was and didn’t follow the plan. Wishful thinking?!

  47. Remember, there’s the basement as well. If I remember correctly, it used to be run as a separate licensed premises, so it must be pretty big.

  48. @acerifoliaEW & TB Ltd is owned by an Edward John Richard Wyand and a Thomas George Bell. Now there is an Ed Wyand who is the Maître d’Hôtel at Scott’s in Mayfair and his twitter feed shows an interest in the Windsor Castle so it could be him. In which case….wow

  49. Passing the Cricketers today, noticed this notice went up on Friday: LICENSING ACT 2003 NOTICE OF APPLICATION FOR PREMISES LICENSE NOTICE IS GIVEN THAT EW & TB Limited has applied to London Borough of Hackney on 16th August 2013 for the grant of a premises license to use the premises at 181 Clarence Road, London E5 8EE for the provision of late night refreshment from 23:00 until 00:00 Monday to Saturday and the sale by retail of alcohol from 10:00 until 00:00 Monday to Saturday and 12:00 until 22:30 Sunday, as more particularly set out in the application… [etc.] Interesting, eh? The list of applications here – – currently has a broken link to the August applications, so no further details available from the council. The flats above the ground floor look (from the street at least) pretty much finished, while the ground floor is still shuttered up, with the old Cricketers paintwork still showing through. Anyone have any clues?

  50. Let’s hope he doesn’t drag down the neighbourhood by bringing with him those rough types who frequent Scott’s;

  51. Crikey… are we to infer that a reopened Cricketers might not exactly be a spit and sawdust kind of place?

  52. Thanks @hannah53 but that’s the same article that was published almost 3 years ago;

  53. Unbelievable piece of business, that. 400 grand for a footprint like that…..400 grand doesnt get you a three bed flat round e5 anymore.

  54. It barely gets you a two bed these days!

  55. Well, the licensing application has finally gone online at the council, but it doesn’t give much more away other than the premises are listed as \The Cricketers” so presumably they’re keeping the name[?].’m now convinced that the applicant is this chap who’s the Maitre d’ at Scotts of Mayfair;

  56. @acerifolia Info just received from Cllr Rick Muir;A team of two – Tom Bell who has worked in marketing and Ed Wyand who is senior maitre d’hôtel at Scott’s in Mayfair – are going to be renting the pub from the company that has bought it and put in 9 flats above.They are proposing a wine bar that specialises in cheese and charcuterie. It will be on the ground floor and basement.It will be seated on both floors with chairs around the bar and there’ll be an open kitchen and a cold storage area exhibiting meat and cheese to choose from in the basement.They are mainly aiming at local clientele in the first instance and have seen that Clapton has lots of young families they hope to attract.They propose a midnight closing time and something like 10pm cut off for the outside tables.No amplified music or anything like that.They are sound proofing the ceiling to prevent disturbance to the flats above.The police don’t seem to have any objections.They plan to open in April subject to getting the licence and all the legal processes.They will be changing the name.

  57. Well we’ll know that fashion really has gone full circle if a wine bar manages to do well. Hopefully they’ll stock Taboo AND Mirage

  58. Living 50 yards down Clarence Rd, with a young family I feel uneasy, to be honest, about a midnight licence on a residential st. Might write to the council.

  59. You live down Clarence Road yet youre worried about nu-yuppies drinking wine and eating charcuterie?

  60. Hd do you think it will be better or worse than when the Clarence was previously open?

  61. Licensing application approved (item no.7);

  62. See that chap’s been eating at Dom’s round the corner…..

  63. The boards are down and the windows have been glazed….looks like an opening is imminent.

  64. I believe it is to be named ‘Verden’ – and I’m guessing it’ll have a Danish slant.

  65. Is this from your Ed Wayand mole?

    • I’m not sure that an owner can be a mole, but yes, I gleaned the info from his Twitter account.

  66. I like the graphics;

  67. Not much to glean from Ed Wyand’s instagram account, except he like food and drink!

  68. …and he’s currently on a recky of wine bars and eateries Denmark in preparation for the new venture. And he’s aiming to be open “asap June probably”.

  69. If the food and wine he’s eating in Denmark is anything to go by, I’m pretty excited about this.

  70. I’m assuming that the food & wine and interior design in the places he’s visiting in Denmark will very much be reflected in the Clapton venture.

  71. Hee hee Food & wine and interior design (makes me feel fine)

  72. They’ll have a righteous fit at the Guardian when they find out about this and the Bonneville.

    So that’s it bar the Cecil and re-opening already converted pubs like the Fountain and Old Kings Head.

  73. Hi @ed-wyand welcome to Yeah! Hackney 🙂

  74. Hi Guys, It’s really exciting to see your interest in our bar. It seems you have done some excellent investigative work so far. Let me give you a little bit more information on what we are doing.

    Verden is going to be a wine bar with a focus on the trinity of wine, meat and cheese. We are putting in our own cold room in the cellar. Here we will cultivate and mature all our produce. This room will be a real focal point of the space and we will also have a deli area down there to do off sales.

    As you noticed we have just come back from a trip to Copenhagen. This trip was predominantly a design trip. We were looking at the wine bar scene out there (which is incredible), and also just getting some inspiration from some beautiful Danish design. As well as eating and drinking extremely well, always a priority.

    In terms of timing of the opening we are hoping to be ready towards the end of May or beginning of June.

    I hope this gives you more of a flavour of what we are doing. If you have any questions fire away, and if you want to contact me direct my email is Also, feel free to swing by the site and say hi, as you can imagine we will be there rather a lot from here on in.


    • Ed, thanks for responding to my tweet and updating us, I’ll certainly drop by when I can and look forward to thr opening

  75. Pleasure Emily, look forward to meeting you soon.

  76. Well first of all good luck Ed. What made you think about opening up in Clapton in the first place? What sort of level of ‘exclusivity are you aiming at? And for those of us who tend to equate wine bars with shouder pads, bad cocktails and men in slicked back hair, can you give us an idea of what the Danish wine bar scene actually is?

  77. Gavin, thank you. We have been looking at sites in Hackney for nearly two years and found the Cricketer’s about 8 months ago, and immediately fell in love with the site and the area. Our concept is very much about accessibility, very simply we want to make a great place for people to come and have a drink and enjoy themselves. We love the Danish approach to wine bars because it is relaxed and informal, yet with a real passion for great food & drink.

  78. Interesting, I’m Danish so I will be be checking this place out for sure.

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