A formerly “dead pub” in Islington that was taken over by new owners has been transformed after hosting new events and serving food from a tandoor oven.

The Old Ivy House pub in Goswell Road was hit hard by the Covid pandemic, and faced intermittent closures as it struggled to survive.

In September 2022, new owners Kate Davidson and Del Currie took over the pub and set about trying to increase footfall.

The duo started to serve Indian street food from a tandoor oven, as well as hosting unique events, including a parent and baby pub quiz, to attract customers.

The Old Ivy House pub has been transformed over the last 18 monthsThe Old Ivy House pub has been transformed over the last 18 months (Image: Kate Davidson)

Landlady Kate Davidson told Islington Gazette that it had been an “organic process” figuring out what customers want, but that the pub has now begun to thrive.

She said: “It was a bit of a dead pub before, the turnover was probably a quarter of it is now.

“We’ve tried to put on different events and have figured out what works and what doesn’t.”

Operating under the umbrella of Shepherd Neame, the pub’s transformation was recently recognised by the brewery, winning the award for best customer service pub of the year.

Although in a well-connected area, just a ten minute walk from Farringdon, Old Street, Angel and Barbican stations, the pub previously suffered from a lack of regular customers.

But by hosting events on most days of the week, the pub was quickly able to build a loyal following among local customers.

Highlights include a jazz jam session every Friday night, performed by musicians from Guildhall School of Music.

Kate said that they enlisted the group after a customer found them playing in a nearby park.

A parent and baby pub quiz now takes place every Saturday afternoonA parent and baby pub quiz now takes place every Saturday afternoon (Image: Kate Davidson)

The new mum also decided to start hosting a parent and baby quiz every Saturday afternoon, alongside the regular Tuesday night pub quiz.

The pub also sponsors a local five-a-side team, who play weekly on pitches behind the The Old Ivy House.

The pub also sponsors a five-a-side football teamThe pub also sponsors a five-a-side football team (Image: Kate Davidson)

The Old Ivy FC is now cheered on by locals every Thursday, and their first pint is free when they win (“they always win,” said Kate).

The landlady added that the pub is now putting in four extra beer lines to accommodate the increased demand.

She said: “We invest in our staff and pay them well over the living wage.

“In the 18 months that we’ve had the Old Ivy we have transformed what seemed a bit of a depressing watering hole for the few, into a buzzing, friendly, vibrant hotspot for a wide range of customers.”