Open midday—11pm Mon—Fri; 11am—11pm Sat; midday—10.30pm Sun
The North Star feels as though you’re in the meatpacking district in New York. Or more likely, Shoreditch. We’re talking bare brick walls, mismatched furniture and some red leather booths out back that say ‘diner’. Industrial light fittings and neon complete the look. Indeed, the neon in the window at the front, which reads ‘Eats, Meets and Beats’ will tell you a lot about what kind of place this is.
The music is on the loud side but discerning — Iggy Pop sat happily next to Jocelyn Brown. It’s heaven for smokers too, as there’s a big heated outside space that runs the length of the place.
Cool, young and hip. The blokes had good haircuts and we spotted one fashion victim so hipster it hurt: woodsman beard (check), tattoos (check), rolled up trousers (of course!).
The ladies were looking as though they’d made an effort too, so quite possibly it’s a good place to meet members of the opposite sex. It would certainly be a good place to warm up before heading into the night.
Food comes courtesy of ‘Ruby Jean’s Diner’, which sounds like a pop-up but I suspect is something dreamed up by the pub company to market hipness. You can probably guess what’s on the menu: burgers, fried chicken, hot dogs, chilli fries… you get the picture.
Hot chicken wings were the sort that made you want to air your tongue and blow your nose — so good in my book. Nachos were infinitely better than the ones I had at The Terrace a few weeks ago.
My mate Mark had the Hippie Houmous, a veggie burger by any other name, which left me still looking for a good specimen of the breed. Chips were also not quite there — nearly chip-shop good but lacking a bit of crispiness. Similarly, the fried chicken looked the part, with non-greasy, crispy skin, but just didn’t have the secret spices that made Colonel Sanders rich. All in all, a bit so-so.
One good thing about the changes to traditional London pubs is the vast choice you’re now presented with. I’m so glad that the big brewers, who were pumping out garbage like Fosters, have been eschewed for local producers putting out interesting flavours. Camden ales were present and the American beers on offer, like Brooklyn, are welcome too.
I didn’t even check out the wine list but I’d recommend going and finding out for yourself, as it’s a really beautiful bar to idle at for a while and on top of that the staff are lovely and will probably let you taste anything you like the look of.