The Star on Hackney Downs (formally the 3 sisters)

Looks like the 3 sisters has been bought and is (sadly) changing it’s name to The Star to be inline with the other 2 Star pubs that they own. From: “COMING SOON… THE STAR BY HACKNEY DOWNS The grown up ravers boozer of choice.We have just picked up the keys to our 3rd pub and we’re super excited by the location and the potential to create something extra special on the edge of Hackney Downs. Our builders have already started to put up scaffolding knock down walls strip off tiles and make this beautiful building into a pub that you will want to come and spend some time in…

Whether that’s enjoying a quiet pint of local ale tucking into one of Mario’s famous pizzas or booking our function room for a special celebration. via ConnieHarrison on twitter


  1. Crikey! Thanks for this @ewebberI feel everywhere I turn in Clapton recently, there’s somewhere new to buy pizza.

  2. The Star! They totally ruined a good live music venue/boozer on York Way and turned it into a horrible gastro pub with over-priced food. The Three Sisters was a nice pub in a great location (admittedly one with too many TVs). Just like the Clapton Hart, another company with small number of pubs round London buys up a building and creates an OK-but-bit-soulless drinking establishment.

  3. @angrysam But one (3 sisters) was struggling to survive for years and the other (Hart) was an abandoned decaying building for many years. I doubt I’ll be frequenting the Star often, but I’m pleased it looks as though it has a future now.

  4. yep, if the three sisters were actually patronised, it wouldnt have had to close. As it is im glad this place is being kept as a pub rather than sharing the fate of the Cricketers down the road and the other pub onj the downs that was closed years ago.

  5. True you can’t run a failing business. But you got to ask why pubs fail? It’s near impossible to run an independent pub for a working class crowd in the economic conditions and the pubco price deals and the competition from Wetherspoons. That’s the problem. There was a group trying to buy up what is now the Hart and turn it back into a cinema/social centre but they can’t compete in the market place. So instead we get the same old boring standard replica-trendy middle class pubs from the companies that can afford to run them selling pizzas at huge mark-ups to people with enough money to buy them. The Windsor Castle was shut apparently because of ‘complaints’ under recent localism legislation. I know it was a dodgy pub, it was obvious. But it also, strangely, had a family atmosphere at the same time. Kids running around, free buffet etc. Old fashioned boozers can’t survive. And since the Windsor Castle closed a lot of pubs round here are displaying ‘we don’t tolerate drugs’ in their windows. Is it any coincidence that these notices are appearing in the pubs most frequented by black people? Have the police been talking to the pub owners? It’s not a free market. High taxes on booze. Pubcos calling the shots on pricing. It’s loaded in favour of a certain type of establishment. Not sure what we can do about it though…

  6. Working class pubs cant compete with supermarkets offering alcohol at a fraction of the price, simple as that really. Meanwhile, those that can afford to drink out regularly tend to want to drink where those of similar class drink. There’s always been plenty of middle class people in Clapton, but until the Clapton Hart came along, most would have far rather got on a bus to Broadway market than drink in a local, more’s the pity. The end result, unfortunately, is that all the pubs, with the possible exception of the Billet, which remains un-gentrifiable, will go this way, or close. The Elderfield is perhaps the only pub in the area that has a mix of the original working class and the middle class immigrants. ps the campaign for he cinema was focused on what is to become an Ethiopian church, not the Clapton Hart. And the closing of the Windsor Castle wasnt targeted at black people – three pubs on Kingsland road, none of them particularly ‘black’ were recently shut down due to drugs being dealt.

  7. Whilst I’m glad that the pub isn’t being turned into flats (or a bookmaker), I’m sad that they’re changing the name. Why? It reminds me of those crappy Slug & Lettuces popping up everywhere in the 90s which whitewashed scores of decent pub names.

  8. Photo from here I’m glad that the pub will remain it’s a great location and it would be sad to see it go the way of the Hackney Downs Tavern (that would be an awesome pub location). I’ll be sad to see that crazy painting of the three sisters go and the name it’s a pretty unusual pub name.

  9. On the facebook page they say theyre keeping the three sisters painting. I always thought it was a relatively recent name (reflecting perhaps three Nolan-like sisters that would have at one time ran the place), but it turns out it was originally known as sisters place and has been open since 1871. Shame to lose the name, but great its being put back to use as a pub that more than a couple of people go in.

  10. I notice a couple of people on their facebook page are also upset by the pub’s name change. I agree that it’s tantamount to vandalism – it completely disregards the history of the area. I know nothing about the ladies in question, but now I’m rather interested. Who were they? Surely this is the perfect opportunity for the new owners to do a little research and use it to their advantage? Now, excuse me while I go out and rename my street ‘Rees Road’. Who the hell was Clarence anyway?!

  11. @karlrees Well, if you owned the street I guess you could. Things always change. That said, I personally think it a bad marketing decision to change its name to a brand. Unless, your unique selling point is low prices (like Wetherspoon) I can’t really see much advantage in a pub being identified by a brand chain name – especially one with such a clumsy logo. I can’t imagine many people being drawn into it on the grounds that it’s \a Star pub”. In fact I think it clear that it will put off at least some locals. I think the Antic approach is far more successful – retain the history and quasi-independent feel.”

  12. @karlrees there is some mention in this article on Hackney Citizen about witches on Queensdown Road and a connection to the pub I haven’t found any more than that yet

  13. I agree, I think its reminiscent of 90s wetherspoons and firkin pubs and is an own goal from a marketing perspective. I have an inkling that the ‘sisters’ reference may have something to do with the church opposite?

  14. I don’t think the owner gets marketing. On the name-change debate; \…if you don’t like it you don’t have to come””

  15. Looks a bit Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen to me.

  16. Yes, it’ll be a difficult look to pull-off successfully. I’m sure the pub will be a success anyway, but it’s a shame that they seem to be putting-off a few people with unnecessary changes and additions.

  17. Ive just noticed the particularly flowery designs are on the first floor, which i assume will be where the restaurant is. I hope they keep the ground floor a bit more sober, if only to keep it in historical character (and not to attract to much bitterness from the people on the estate that patronised it).

  18. I’ve just noticed a report that says they are opening on Thursday 11th April.

  19. Based around the idea of a Victorian circus, apparently. Carousel bar too. Clowns behind the bar perhaps? Incidentally, the circus theme carries on (separately) down the road on the newly decorated hoardings outside the Pembury Circus development. I now live in ‘Dalston E5’, according to the new signs.

  20. @karlrees Yeah, I noticed that. It seems a strange piece of PR to me. If I were trying persuade punters to part with hundreds of thousands of pounds, I wouldn’t portray myself as a circus ringmaster.I also don’t really get it for a pub.

  21. There’s only one Carousel Bar! I do find it strange to have a theme in a pub, but I will wait and see I might be wrong.

  22. Option for the next Twee8?”

  23. Wily Badger is stating that; “The large outdoor terrace is soon to have the addition of a cocktail bar and take-away pizza service.

  24. Has anyone read anything official on the opening date or just from other websites?

  25. @line1 From their facebook page;\For details about the pub opening date and an invite to our launch please leave your details here!

  26. They’re in Time Out. Again it says that it’ll be open 11 April.”

  27. I think they’re opening Saturday.

  28. The Star have now sent out invitations for their opening party, which is the 18th April at 6pm. Considering the opening do at the Clapton Hart was crazy-busy last year, The Star had better brace themselves for a visit from the whole of E5! I guess if the weather’s nice people can always hang out outside. Please note this looks like an invitation only event. If you haven’t received one and would like to attend, they say you can request one from their facebook page or email them

  29. I signed up last week but haven’t had the invite, hopefully it will come through in the next few days.

  30. Is anyone going tonight? I will pop along later (with invite!)

  31. I was just down there. Packing out nicely, but id imagine it’ll be rammed later. The three sisters are back on display out front, which is good to see. Theyve still got plenty of work to do though. Theyve been working through the night to get it open, so expect to see some knackered looking builders propping up the bar.

  32. Quite a transformation Star By Hackney Downs On the other side overlooking the park they’ve started painting a mural on the pub.”

  33. Met a couple of working class refugees from the old Three Sisters yesterday in the Billet. They weren’t of the opinion that the new pub offers anything to the original locals. Mainly because of the £4.50 a pint asking price.

  34. Another review from ‘Fabulous’ (which is a supplement to The Sun I think)

  35. @gavinredknap I met an old local from the 3 sisters yesterday in the street. I assumed he was exaggerating when told me it was £4.50 a pint!\The idea for the pub was “to fit into the local community” explains launch organiser Samara Moss.”?!”

  36. Yeah I saw that. Not really working out yet though, by all accounts (one of the fellows was nearly in tears about it!). Its a shame because what the area really, really needs, is a pub that caters for the working class and the more middle class arrivals, to mix it up a bit. Biddles does that quite well. Hopefully the Windsor Castle can carry it off too.

  37. I suspect that the Windsor Castle will have much the same clientele as the Clapton Hart – with prices to match. Whether we like it or not, young affluents are now the commercial centre of gravity for the night-time economy. Someone suggested to me that the Star was opening with ridiculously inflated prices specifically with the aim of scaring off the old customers. I’m generally a pragmatic person, but I do wish that companies wouldn’t add insult to injury with this \community” PR guff.”

  38. I went on the opening night last week and my first experience wasn’t very good. The selection of ale wasn’t very inspiring and the one I did have tasted awful. I will give the pub another go as it didn’t seem like they were quite ready to open.

  39. Popped in on saturday, mixed impression, ales ok but only 2 on that night, as a Pembury loyalist not to comfortable with the dark lighting and music (but guess this was a saturday and I am one of the ‘unreconstructed’). Struggled slightly with the seating arrangements, very long circular table inviting you to climb under rather than ask other punters to get up so you can pass by them. Could be pleasant near the park in Summer. Noticed a ‘Doorman’ on my way out – a personal dislike of ‘pubs’ with door staff. Not easy to judge but based on one visit the clientele did look slightly more mixed than the Hart. I will try the Windsor when it opens again. Unlike the ‘3 Sisters’ I did use this Pub, but only for football, and occasionally. I liked the atmosphere, and the mix of Black and White, old and young.

  40. I was a little underwhelmed when I had a pint there on  Monday afternoon – only 1 ale on, food seems to be variations on hot dogs – I retreated to the familiarity of the  Hart.

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