The Camden Eye pub launches wood-fired oven pizza restaurant

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Mahdis Neghabian, 2012 BII Licensee of the Year and manager of The Camden Eye pub, has launched a 50-cover pizza restaurant in the Kentish Town Road venue - photo credit Alex Wilson Photography 2012
Mahdis Neghabian, 2012 BII Licensee of the Year and manager of The Camden Eye pub, has launched a 50-cover pizza restaurant in the Kentish Town Road venue - photo credit Alex Wilson Photography 2012
2012 BII Licensee of the Year Mahdis Neghabian has launched a pizza restaurant featuring a wood-fired oven at her award-winning Camden pub The Camden Eye.

The 50-cover restaurant, located upstairs in the New Pub Company venue, was previously used as a lounge area but is now serving a range of pizzas all priced £10 alongside a bespoke Italian wine list.

The original pub menu remains but diners to the restaurant are now able to choose from pizzas including the 'Say Aloha To My Hawaiian Friend' pizza featuring tomato, mozzarella, ham and pineapple.

Investment

Using a wood-fired oven, the move to offering pizzas in a restaurant setting was a big one for the pub to make - investment in the project topped £50k - but Iranian-born Neghabian told BigHospitality it was already proving its worth.

"The feedback has been amazing - people love it," she explained. "You can see the oven from the lounge so it gives it a bit of excitement."

Since opening two weeks ago, Camden Eye Pizza's diners have been many of the pub regulars at first as well as new customers who hadn't used the pub before. Neghabian explained she was now looking to develop the concept to offer takeaway too.

"There are a few pizza places around here and they are doing well but the more competition the better - it shouldn't put you off, you might do it differently and you have something they might not have," she argued.

Differentiate

The staff have all been trained by a leading pizza chef to use the oven - something not every pub has the time or money to be able to do but the award-winning licensee explained fellow publicans could still see value of refreshing their food offer.

"They need to know their clientèle. This works here because of the location - it might not work somewhere else. People should experiment but it needs to be researched properly."

The Kentish Town Road pub is joining a number of pubs which are now looking beyond the traditional pub grub offer​ to differentiate the venue from the competition. Neghabian is also signed up to the growing trend of offering food all-day.

"We are not mental busy in the mornings - but for two months we have opened at nine AM every day. We are building the reputation of being open for breakfast. There are a lot of pubs around here that open at five or six PM - longer hours, more work but ultimately exciting," she added.

The launch of the pizza restaurant coincides with the release of a specially-commissioned film, The Alternative Guide To Camden, which take viewers on a tour of Camden and is part of the pub's #MyCamden campaign:

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1 comment

Loving it!

Posted by Eddy,

Great move, nice exposure for Camden but we're soooo sad not to feature on the video.

Please contact us guys when you do one like this, we love it and we're chip in.

All the best. We'll pop in soon ...
Eddy & all our Camdeners

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