Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The North Pole

One of the reasons I went to Canary Wharf a couple of weekends ago was to photograph this pub, The North Pole.

It's closed now, but I saw photos of it on Flickr and it looked like a place I'd have loved to visit. It's surrounded by glassy new construction and frankly I'm amazed it's still there. It's apparently been closed since 2014.

At one time it was voted by Londonist readers as one of the best pubs on the Isle of Dogs. From their photos it appears to have been a congenial little place.

I love all the Arctic imagery, especially the cement-spattered polar bear.

Canary Wharf is otherwise a very sterile land of chain restaurants and glassy mall shops. It seems like there would be demand for a traditional old pub in the neighborhood. Reviews on another site were somewhat mixed, though.

Incidentally, I wondered about the name. Why "North Pole"? It's not a terribly common English pub name -- not even in the Top 50. It is near the northern edge of the Isle of Dogs, so maybe that's the reason, but your guess is as good as mine.


  1. Looks like quite a hang-out in its day. And I love the non-traditional pub name. Here in California we have The Princess of Wales, The Crown & Anchor, Fiddler's Green, Molly Malloy's. You get the picture.

  2. I think that you and Dave should take over "The North Pole" and breathe life into it once again. It will be such a shame if it has closed its doors forever - perhaps awaiting demolition. All those millions of pounds and dollars fly around Canary Wharf yet no one has spotted this wonderful investment opportunity.

  3. Why is it that the best individual local pubs are the ones that developers seem not to like?

  4. Such a shame, the North Pole being allowed to fall into disrepair.
    I love the polar bear, concrete spattered and all. In truth the concrete spatter represents snowflakes; the daft TA was supposed to use Plaster of Paris which would have been white but one of his equally daft workmates had tossed the PoP in the bottom of the construction skip.
    So concrete spatter it was.
    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

  5. Polar bears everywhere are going extinct, even in London. I hope that someone saves the cement splattered one. It would look great on someone's wall. ( someone being you and Dave at night liberating it...)

  6. "Good food served at the bar."
    The Polar Bear needs to come back. Obviously.

  7. I heard this morning on the news that our cricket ground pub is going to close to make way for a block of flats with a new pub on the ground floor. Bet it won't be the same though. It's such a shame all of these pubs are closing, they all have such character and the new one's are just not the same.

  8. What a great looking place. I can't believe it's been empty since 2012. I love your description of Canary Wharf. It's perfect. I end up visiting there on every visit to London. I love the contrast between most of London and that glitzy, modern village. It feels like I've walked into a slice on New York City.

  9. I read recently that the actual magnetic north pole is shifting towards Russia. Maybe that's where this pub will end up as well.

  10. Yes, Steve. You and Dave would be excellent pub operators. Put in a bid.

  11. I love that polar bear with cement snow flurries!