Palmers Green pub reopens after five years

Historic pub made famous by Harry Potter has undergone £1.35m refurb

The Fox in Green Lane
The Fox in Green Lanes has opened for the first time since 2018

An iconic Palmers Green pub closed since 2018 has finally reopened after undergoing a £1.35million refurbishment.

The Fox in Green Lanes is now owned by Star Pubs & Bars and will be run by operator Austin Whelan of Whelan’s Pub Company, which specialises in traditional Irish pubs.

The long-awaited refurbishment has come alongside the construction of a four-storey block of flats by Dominvs Group, now joined to the pub building in Fox Lane. A gym has also opened in part of what used to the pub’s main bar area, reducing its size.

But with so many pubs struggling to survive – especially in Ponders End which could soon be without a single local boozer – the reopening of The Fox is a welcome boost for the borough.

Austin says: “There aren’t many pubs in Palmers Green compared to other parts of London, and The Fox is a very prominent and well known pub, so there’s been lots of interest in the plans from residents. People have been desperate for The Fox to reopen as a really good local.

“We’ve gone all out to make it a pub that Palmers Green can be proud of. It’s exciting to be reopening the doors and showing residents their new-look local.”

Austin Wheeler behind the bar at The Fox
Austin Whelan behind the bar at The Fox (credit Whelans/Star Pubs)

There has been an inn called The Fox on the corner of Green Lanes and Fox Lane for more than 300 years, but the current pub was built in 1904. Its claims to fame include appearing in the film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in 2004. It then became Enfield’s first-ever asset of community value in 2015 thanks to a campaign led by Sue Beard.

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After the pub closed in 2018, plans emerged for a major revamp as part of an adjacent residential development dubbed ‘One Fox Lane‘. There are now 54 flats next to The Fox, with most already sold.

The project has transformed The Fox, revamping it inside and out, with the pub now offering “stylish décor, great quality food and drink, live sports and a function room”. The building’s distinctive turret and decorative plaster relief work have been restored and the interior retains high ceilings and wood floors while incorporating “Edwardian-style tiling, heritage colours, feature lighting and leather-covered banquette seating”.

A new kitchen is enabling Austin to introduce freshly prepared home-cooked food, serving pub classics such as fish and chips and bangers and mash. Sunday roasts will be a specialty and Austin wants to put The Fox “on the map” for its drinks as well.

Sports fans can watch games on a big screen while plans for other activities include quizzes and live music.

Interior of The Fox
The Fox’s new interior (credit Whelans/Star Pubs)

Michael Lee, area manager for Star Pubs & Bars, adds: “We’re delighted to have joined forces with Austin to bring The Fox back to life. He is a highly experienced operator with a track record of running popular and successful pubs.

“The Fox has had a massive investment, and it really has the wow factor as a result. There’ll be lots of reasons to visit. It will cater for all occasions, from a morning coffee to a traditional Sunday lunch with the family and a great night out.”

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