Earlier this week one of Barnet’s most iconic pubs, the Red Lion, closed for refurbishment and is due to reopen at the end of the month as a pizza and carvery restaurant.
For the past few years the Red Lion has been run by Mitchells and Butlers as a Toby Carvery but is being rebranded as a Stonehouse Pizza and Carvery. It sounds like a sensible move as existing meat-loving customers will still be happy with roasts, burgers and cooked breakfasts, but they will also be serving stone-baked pizzas and other more contemporary dishes. Glancing at the menu for the Ruislip branch, The Water’s Edge, prices are quite similar to Toby Carvery and there are some quirkier items like fish finger pizza and banana and chocolate “sweetizza” (sweet pizza). It sounds like a number of Toby Carverys are going as a way of bringing them up to date.
It’s a good opportunity to spruce up the (rather neglected) building which dates from the early twentieth century. The previous building was reduced in size when Fitzjohn Avenue was laid out in around 1907. There have been Red Lion coaching inns on this and other sites around town for centuries and are part of the historic fabric of Chipping Barnet. The original Red Lion was on the eastern side of Barnet Hill and was known as the Upper Red Lion to avoid confusion with the recently demolished Old (Lower) Red Lion at Underhill. Dickens frequented the Victorian incarnation of the inn on the current western site and was even notified of the birth of one of his children here.
We’re looking forward to seeing the transformation and we’ll keep you updated.