Outside The Constitution pub

The Constitution pub is being transformed

After four dark years, the pints will be pulled once again on the canalside from early 2024

Pancras Way pub The Constitution was always a classic. Whether it be for summertime pint or two on the sun-trap terrace overlooking Regent’s Canal, or a delightfully dark and dingy live gig in the famous Cellar Bar, this was a proper lovely local backstreet boozer.

More than a bit rough around the edges, but loved by all different kinds of people, the sparky atmosphere and wobbly camaraderie encountered on a busy night remain some of my best and fondly cherished – if a little hazy – pub memories.

But all that came abruptly to an end in early 2020, when Young’s Brewery bought the pub, closed it down and announced plans to refurb, then reopen. Reports at the time were inevitably about how incensed many of the regulars were about the sudden change, but then Covid swept into the equation. It’s highly unlikely the pub may have survived without the clout of Young’s behind it, being able to bide their time through a tumultuous four-year period, before finally getting going on bringing the place back to life. 

A thankfully safe custodian of decent boozers, (you’ll know their quality, if perhaps a little countryside luxe for deepest Camden), overhauls of other iconic locals including Parkway’s Spread Eagle and Kentish Town Rd’s Bull & Gate), they could be trusted to resist the pull of luxury flat development in favour of bring back a proper, if posher, pub. 

Indeed, what’s rapidly taking shape is impressive, judging from our little tour of the building this week. And while the dramatic upgrade probably won’t please all the pool table purists, there’s plenty to celebrate about the new era dawning.

Check out some of the ‘then and now’ photos (use the slider to see both views) as the new extension and bar rooms still take shape – you’ll then be able to see the finished product when the pub finally reopens, in Feb 2024. 

The previous main bar has been moved and a bigger open central room is being created at the moment
The Constitution pub THEN
Constitution pub refurbishment NOW
A new aspect looking through to where the busy bar used to be
The Constitution pub refurbishment THEN
The Constitution pub refurbishment NOW

“We want this to feel like a people’s pub from the moment you walk in,” say new General Manager, Gen.

Young’s have move the main bar away from the front to make better use of the canalside location. With better access from the towpath, it should brighten up the whole space no end. Meanwhile, a new extension (below) with an all-weather retractable glass roof will add significantly to the size of the pub.

“You’ll be able to drink anywhere and can also eat anywhere,” says Gen. “There’s no defined ‘restaurant’, but for me, I think this will be where I’d most like to eat, looking at the view, even in the depths of winter.”

The claim, according to the website, is that The Constitution will soon be serving ‘arguably the best food in Camden’, so expect serious seasonal British dishes and pub classics, from Sunday roasts to light weekday lunches and sharing dishes for dinner, too. Certainly a far cry from the sandwich ‘n crisps platters of old.

Thankfully, there’s a real commitment to bring back the lively gig venue in the Cellar Bar, too. So hopefully there really is something for everyone, to attract the vital community feel for this new era…

Constitution pub refurbshment
Constitution pub refurbishment
Down in the Cellar Bar, the famous tiny stage area is being kept, and the team are keen to revive a programme of live music, comedy, spoken work and more
band playing at The Constitution pub THEN
NOW
Out with the old back room and pool table in favour of a big new bar and glass front looking out onto the beer garden
The Constitution pub refurbishment THEN
The Constitution pub refurbishment NOW

The Constitution opens in February, find out more on the website, and we’ll bring you updates on this and the other pubs reopening in Camden imminently, too…

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