The Monarch

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Barfly, formerly The Monarch

The Monarch is a pub in Camden Town, London. In 2001, Stephen Merchant celebrated his 27th birthday at the venue.


Prior to the 1800s, Camden Town didn't exist. The site was uninhabited land belonging to Tottenham Court estate. However, the arrival of the Regent's Canal in 1816 and the opening of three of London's main train stations - Euston (1837), Kings Cross (1852) and St. Pancras (1868) - turned Camden Town into a heavily industrialised area.

It maintained this status well into the 20th century but by the 1970s many of the industrial sites were vacant. Many of the these were filled by artists and craftsmen -this was the beginning of the bohemian sensibility that Camden Town enjoys to this day. Shortly after this, the market which was on private land at Camden Lock was allowed to open on Sundays, making it one of the few places Sunday trading was allowed in London.

In the 1980s many pubs in Camden Town began hosting gigs, The Monarch being one of them. In 2000, The Monarch became the permanent home to music promoters Barfly after they moved from nearby pub The Falcon. Since then, The Monarch has become better known as the Barfly. Sometimes, newspaper listings name the venue as 'Barfly @ The Monarch'. The venue hosts its gigs upstairs in small space that can accomodate about 120 people. The Barfly enjoys a good reputation having put on many bands that have since gone on to be highly sucessful -Oasis, Bloc Party, Coldplay to name but a few.

Steve's Anecdote

On 24 November 2001 Steve told an anecdote about going to the Monarch for his birthday:
"Listen, I'll be honest with you, Rick, it's my birthday today, and last night I went out. I got a little bit wasted, so I'm hung-over this morning, and I didn't get to bed before 11. It was pretty wild last night. In actual fact, and I have to say, I went to the Monarch, in Camden. There was some kind of groovy night on - I went to the door, I'd got a load of mates with me, I said "Any discount for Xfm DJs?". He went "Who are you?", I went "Steve Merchant, Ricky Gervais" he said "Steve Merchant, brilliant - you can come in for free" I said "What about my mates?", he said "It's 5 pounds, they can have a pound off." And I think basically... basically Rick, I think I also agreed that you'd DJ there. I can't remember, but if the guy is listening, maybe he could let me know if I promised that, I might've signed something, I can't remember. So anyway, if you go down to the Monarch, maybe next week, there'll be Ricky Gervais playing - that'll be fun."


  • Episode Five of Series Two of Spaced was filmed here. The episode sees characters Daisy and Tim go for a night out in Camden and features the infamous slo-mo gun fight scenes (though these weren't shot at The Monarch).
  • Address: 49 Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AN

See Also