From Dog Eat Dog to Punk Kitchen

In Uncategorized on September 6, 2016 by kmflett



From Dog Eat Dog to Punk Kitchen

I’m a little bit late with the news but I am pleased to note that the former Dog Eat Dog in Essex Rd Islington re-opened at the August Bank Holiday as Punk Kitchen. Details are here:

The idea is clearly to host pop-ups in a Brewdog bar which has been a successful model in some other London bars. While the same licensing issues clearly remain it’s a good idea and deserves success. I’ll certainly be stopping by as and when time allows

March 2016 post

It appears that Brewdog’s Dog Eat Dog outlet in Essex Rd Islington is temporarily closed while it ‘evolves’. We shall hopefully see.

There are still a few dreadful bars that I don’t worry about if they close but I’d prefer not to see any Brewdog operations going the same way.

For the uninitiated which it would seem was most Dog Eat Dog was a Brewdog bar that majored on hotdogs. Whether this was a genuine business choice or a way of dealing with licensing restrictions (Islington Council has a bit of a legacy of temperance related attitudes) I’m not sure. I didn’t realise until I checked for example that there was a closing time of 10pm no doubt licence related and that cant have helped.

Anyway I did go in, I ate and drank and I thought it was good and tweeted the same. Unfortunately, (and I passed by most days, 73 bus, stops at Jolly Butchers) it rarely seemed busy and was often quiet.

I’ll leave Brewdog to worry about their business model (I do quite enough of that elsewhere in industry as a union officer) but I do think there are some issues about location.

As beer writer Matthew Curtis tweeted the business on the same site before, Giraffe, didn’t really do well.

There may well be something about location that is not particularly obvious to those not familiar with the class divisions of North London.

Islington is after all a well to do area isn’t it? Indeed it is, but not all of it. It has significant working class areas where there are serious issues of poverty.

Essex Rd is close to some of these while Upper St, just a few hundred yards across the Borough, is not.

So on the far side of Upper St one will find the well to do (its where the Blairs used to live). On the far side of Essex Rd one will find a much more mixed picture.

If you travel down Essex Rd towards Angel Islington you’ll find a good number of shuttered business premises, and some have been like that for a bit. Take the same journey down Upper St from Highbury Corner (don’t mention Arsenal) and you’ll see a much more prosperous picture.

This might not have mattered much if Dog Eat Dog had been badged as an Islington Brewdog (its only 10 minutes walk from Angel tube at best) but it wasn’t (see above).

What will come next? We shall see, but it should be wished luck. Brewdog may not be perfect but they don’t deserve failures.

And since social media works in entertaining ways it is worth underlining that the specific issues with DogEatDog don’t I think have any implications for Brewdog bars. The most recent one to open in London at Clerkenwell (not so far from Angel as it happens) is invariably rammed whenever I stop by


One Response to “From Dog Eat Dog to Punk Kitchen”

  1. Aaaand it’s gone. For the last four months.

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