The Lexington is a roadhouse-style pub near King’s Cross and one of the few failsafe London pubs for indie kids to flock to.
This pub sits proudly on Pentonville Road and, although only looking a tad grungy from the outside with its cream and brown facade, it’s an indie music hotspot once inside. The ground floor is one large and high-ceilinged room with minimal décor that is American music hall meets roadhouse. Americana is also afoot in signage behind the bar brandishing beers made famous in The States. Booth seats with bench tables on a raised platform line the perimeter of the pub while red velvet armchairs add a touch of style in the centre of the room. Corner lamps have their shades on a slant in a shabby chic fashion and red velvet drapes decorate the windows. The light and spacious layout becomes dark and dingy upstairs in The Lexington’s live music room, complete with stage set-up.
Looking like a pretty traditional pub from outside, inside The Lexington is a shock to the system if you’re expecting London pub liveliness. Instead it’s introspective shoe-gazing from both the punters and the bar staff during the earlier drinking hours. Indeed, behind the bar you’re unlikely to receive a thoroughly warm welcome, so expect more of the kind of nonchalance this type of cool venue engenders. Once the pub fills up though, things get livelier and indie kids come out of their shells. They are coaxed out by an up-tempo soundtrack of classic indie rock from the likes of The Strokes as well as a more forward-thinking music playlist. There’s also live music most nights of the week featuring some big names for those in the know and supporting smaller record labels, too. Other entertainment includes a Monday night Rough Trade Shop Pop Quiz and a Hangover Lounge on Sundays, 2pm-9pm.
The menu of seasonal pub grub holds some impressive veggie options as well as a few hearty meat dishes. For example, pumpkin and chickpea chilli (£9) and wild mushroom stroganoff pie (£9.50) share menu space with sausages and mash with red wine gravy (£8.75). This is met with a choice from four burgers at £9 each, including a Lexington beef burger or a jerk chicken burger. Bar snacks are also available, with the nachos, guacamole, sour cream, salsa and jalapenos (£6.50) making a good option to share with friends.
In true roadhouse fashion, you can take your pick from some rock ‘n’ roll bourbons behind the bar. The list is lengthy and any American whiskey enthusiast will marvel at Yellowstone, Fighting Cock, Willet, Wild Turkey and Rowan’s Creek – to name but a few – traditional bourbons, a shorter selection of single barrels, wheated bourbons and rare whiskeys, such as Sazerac 18 year old and George T Stag. Single measures range from £3.50 up to £55 for the Weller 19 year old. Or put some whiskey in your cocktail, courtesy of a bourbon-based list of classics, as well as some in-house creations, including the Lexington Lemonade, with Benchmark bourbon, cointreau and lemon juice - probably not as innocent as it sounds, then.
Wines are mostly Old World and are of a good quality on the whole, with a bottle of house red Tempranillo costing £14.50 and tasting pleasantly fruity. The range of beers on tap is almost as impressive as the stock of bourbon. Brooklyn lager (£5) and a guest American beer (£5.50) are joined on draught by Camden Town Brewery and Murphys. Meanwhile, Sam Brookes and Caledonian Flying Scotsman are the cask ales at £3.60 each for a pint.
The Last Word
Any music fan in north London worth their salt will know about The Lexington. But what’s also worth knowing about is the impressive, laid-back roadhouse style of this pub, as well as the American bourbon and beer selection. Just don’t expect any sparkling banter with your service – indie kid indifference is all a part of this pub’s cool vibe.