After five years at Punch pub the Gunmakers, in Clerkenwell, Jeffrey Bell will take over the Finborough Arms on a 25 year lease from a private landlord on December 11. The pub is due to open in February.
Bell said: "I am staying with the Gunmakers, I am not moving on. For the last two years I have been ready for the next fight. I like to really get a handle on things. Others like to steam in with cash and find that things don’t work.
"Finborough hasn’t been a pub since the 1990s, it was more of a nightclub, then it was a wine bar. There just aren’t enough good pubs in the area. The pub will have a simple food offer and it will mainly be about the beer."
Italian craft beer on tap
Bell confirmed that he has already been working with Budvar, Portobello Brewery and Windsor & Eton Brewery. He will also be stocking an Italian craft beer.
He added: "I am working with brewer Birrificio Italiano. They do an amazing beer called Tipopils. I visited their brewery in January and we’ve had a crossover of staff. We are the first to permanently sell this lager on tap and I’ve had a love affair with this beer for several years."
The new pub will have a very simple bar feature with traditional green tiles harking back to the late 19th century. Bell also has an interest in arts and crafts that will provide inspiration for the interior.
One thing he is not looking forward to is correcting people on the pub’s location. He said he has a "bee in his bonnet" about people giving the wrong address.
"People keep naming areas according to tube stations and talk about the Gunmakers being in Farringdon, when it is in Clerkenwell. The Finborough Arms was described as a Chelsea pub opportunity when actually that’s somewhere to the south."
The Finborough Arms building was designed by architect Charles Godwin in 1868. He designed the whole area and planned for five pubs to be opened. Only four did, and only three remain. Godwin was the founding editor of Building Magazine which is still going today.