The White Hart / Clapton Hart Pub Lower Clapton Road
Just under a month ago Fi Collett from the pub group www.antic-ltd.com joined yeah! Hackney and posted about the group buying the former White Hart on Lower Clapton Road over on this thread. This caused quite a bit of excitement on the site and in the local area. I was keen to find out more…
Your initial question on yeah! Hackney was about looking for photos to help with the restoration of the White Hart, what are your plans for restoration and how is the search for photos going?
We are still looking for Photos of course, especially any old ones of the inside. We have a few, but as of the moment I cant seem to find any that reference the interior before it was a nightclub. Having been in last week, I would love to see how the fantastic space was used in the past. We have yet to come up with a definitive plan of how the inside will look as it is still very early days for us and I have only just found a landscaper to quote on the garden. Both the garden and pub will be big projects, but very worth while ones as they have so much potential.
The building has a somewhat of a shady past in more recent years, how do you plan to make sure that it doesn’t regain its bad reputation?
We are aware of the poor old White Harts dodgy past, it was one of the reasons we chose to change the name to the Clapton Heart. New Start!! We want people to be aware of the fact that we are very much a community based company, with our pubs focusing on great beer, great food and great service. Three things that as far as we are concerned, you should receive every time you enter a pub! We care as much about what happens outside as well as inside, there won’t be people falling out of the pub at 2am, throwing up and chucking beer bottles around.
We want the pub to become a focal point for the community, for people to feel welcome and comfortable inside and to trust that they will have a consistently good experience every time they visit. The general attitude and vibe of the pub and staff should be more than enough to prevent past events from happening again.
After it closed it was squatted for a while, what kind of state is the interior in?
There is an awful lot of work to do inside, but it has not been damaged by the squatters, wear & tear and age are the culprits in this case I am sorry to say! But our lovely Site Manager saw the interior on Friday and is now champing at the bit to get started!
You already own a pub in Stoke Newington called the White Hart, do you plan to keep the original name or change it?
As I mentioned before, the pub is to be renamed the Clapton Hart and we will be hanging a big banner up soon to announce that we have taken the project on and let people know the new name for the first time. The banners have become a bit of a trade mark for us and this one is no exception, it should put a smile on your face!
Do you have an idea of how long it’s going to take to get the venue open?
I am afraid I can’t give you an exact date till we start work and see a little more of just how much we have to do. I would like to predict that we could have the pub open later in the summer but as I say, we need to get working before I can confirm anything.
What are Antics plans once it opens an hopes for the venue?
We hope to bring you a great venue that you can be proud to call your ‘local’. We pride ourselves on a well stocked bar, a good selection of well stored Ales, fresh, well cooked and where possible, locally sourced food and friendly service. There are no end of possibilities for the pub and it wont take us long to work out what is called for by the local community. It could be poetry readings, mother and baby groups, sport on the big screen, quiz nights or any number of other events, we will attempt to find the correct balance of entertainment and services for you. You can however expect, in addition to the food and drink side of the business; comfortable furniture, background music that is just that, clean and uncluttered rooms and interesting decorations.
You have been active in answering questions from the community on yeah! Hackney, do you plan to continue to consult the community?
Of course, I am always available to answer questions and am the first port of call for all enquiries regarding not only this pub, but all of our ventures.
Anything else you would like to add?
We at Antic are really excited about this new project, the pub is such a great building and we are looking forward to returning it to it’s former glory! I personally cant wait to get my hands on the back yard which we will convert into a spacious beer garden so that you have somewhere to sit and enjoy a drink in the sunshine this summer.
You can ask Fi questions in the comments here, or over on the original thread
If you have any photos of Chimes, please submit them to us firstname.lastname@example.org