It’s got more graffiti than Banksy on methamphetamine and its tagline, from sh*thouse to public house, is certainly at least half true. But now the Lord Napier is set to reopen after twenty years, and it’s not getting much of a facelift in the process. But nevertheless, the Hackney Wick boozer’s return is set to be memorable, and maybe a bit cool too.
The pub’s been picked up by Electric Pubs Group, founded by Rob Star, who reminisces saying “I used to go to parties at The Lord Napier in the early 2000s and for many years it has been my dream to turn it back into a proper boozer.” Star, whose ‘thing’ is naming all his pubs after himself (The Star of Bethnal Green, The Star by Hackney Downs, the Heathcote and Star and so on – don’t make that face, you’d totally do exactly the same thing) will rechristen the pub the Lord Napier Star when it reopens this weekend.
Star continues, ‘I have been working with landlord Stewart Schwartz for over 6 years to turn that dream into a reality and sometimes I still can’t quite believe it’s actually happening. It’s the only pub in Hackney Wick, so I will be making sure that it appeals to as many people in the community as possible. It will also be my local, as I only live a stone’s throw away, so it needs to be extra special”
It’s the only pub in Hackney Wick...
The memorable design, though, will ensure that it’s always going to be a little special. The work of successive graffiti artists (and some, less artistic) gives the building a psychedelic aura.
It may be a boozer in spirit, but it’s also in Hackney Wick, so if you were expecting pie and mash then think again. The pub will be serving Thai cuisine, with dishes from Northern Thailand, as well as Laos, Myanmar and China.
But it's also in Hackney Wick, so if you were expecting pie and mash then think again...
Look forward to Thai burgers with fish sauce relish and gooey egg and Gai Yang, a chilli and lemongrass boneless chicken thigh served with Nam Jim Jaewtamarind dipping sauce.
All of which will be served alongside a rotating circle of local craft beers and cask ales (‘normal’ beers will be available too). As you’d expect there’s also the usual classic cocktails and an extensive wine and spirit list.
Music will be a focus, with A Guy Called Gerald, Theo Kotis and Lemmy Ashton (Bugged Out) all booked for the opening weeks.
Music will be programmed by Tom Grainger from Earth Agency and there will be a variety of old school pub disco with DJ sets to local selectors and occasional special guest nights.
The pub has installed a high end sound system and persuaded the council to gran them an all-important license to open until midnight during the week and 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.
And, in true saving the best ’til last style, the venue will sport an 80 seater roof terrace. The post-pandemic must-have cements the Lord Napier Star as a must-visit. Let’s hope it’s as pretty an experience as it’s pretty from the outside.
The Lord Napier Star opens on Saturday August 7th at Hepscott Road, Hackney Wick, E9 5ER