International Pub Crawl

Places to go, things to do and see and people who are leaving their mark on the world of style.

By Moe Godat


The Smart Pub, Preajba, Romania: Architect, Yellow Office /  Photography by Vladimir Mindru: The Smart Pub in Preajba, Romania, marries high-quality food with a popular bar. It’s sought-after dining and entertaining facilities paired with its stunning view of the nearby Preajba lake in Craiova make it the perfect event space. The architects at Yellow Office helped design the contemporary eclectic-industrial style interior, with the main focus of the design on both stories to create “object and material contrast”. In traditional pub fashion, they opted for warm materials such as wood and recovered brick to add a sense of cozy, friendly charm. They highlight the well-known comforting colors with bright white metals and ceramics to give the space an updated feel. Glossy elements contrast with the rough natural wood floors, and retro lights cast a warm glow over the space. A bar on each floor makes a sprawling party more comfortable. They kept the furniture selection classic with Thonet chairs and comfortable sofas of textile and leather enclosed in brushed wood. Daring black walls, stunning tile patterns and well-appointed lights make the space’s interior more than a match to the stunning views outside. 

The Crosskeys Inn, Antrim, Northern Ireland: Photography courtesy of the Crosskeys Inn: The Crosskeys Inn is widely known as Ireland’s oldest thatched pub, its original structure dating back to pre-1654. The stone cottage still stands as a beloved pub today, but it used to be a coach stop between Belfast and Derry. The pub is surely historic by today’s standards, but when first built, its distinctive L-shape footprint made it stand out when in its infancy. Tragedy struck the building in 2000 when it was partially damaged by fire. It reopened a year later in 2001 after a thorough restoration, and the Crosskeys was then purchased by its current owner who raised the historic building back to its former glory. Now the pub is known throughout the world, featuring in many Irish tourism campaigns. To help boost tourism interest and development in this area of Northern Ireland, current owner Vincent Hurl helped develop the first whiskey tourism trails in Northern Ireland. The Crosskeys Inn not only offers a wide selection of Irish whiskey, but also partnered with a local distillery to launch their own brand called “Crosskeys 1654,” an 8-year-old single malt whisky. Now looking to expand even more, the renowned pub plans on adding dining facilities and accommodation.

The Sekforde, Greater London, United Kingdom: Architect: Chris Dyson Architects  /  Photography by Peter Landers Photography: This Grade II Listed Building occupies a corner site in Clerkenwell, London. The client and owner, who planned to become the pub's live-in landlord, approached Chris Dyson Architects with his passion to correctly restore the historic building, a passion which is at the forefront of Chris Dyson Architects’ ethos. The client brief was for the building to undergo a detailed restoration as well as a new build occupying the old service yard. While repairing the facade, the original brick facade was reviewed and found to be of good quality covered by a cement render. Once the team reviewed the bricks, they studied archive photographs to help reinstate the facade to its original glory, adding in a woodgrain shopfront at street level. Inside, they carefully restored the timber panelling, fireplace and bar. What was once the cellar now provides an additional restaurant and event area where original brickwork has also been exposed and lovingly restored. The new, 3-story mixed-use building now occupies the area of the previously disused pub yard. The new build uses traditional decorative brick features made from reclaimed London stock bricks to create arches and recesses with historic detail implemented in a modern way connecting old and new. A new glazed link provides clear visual separation between the two buildings while also allowing the full visibility and enjoyment of the original brick wall. The pub now offers old-world charm alongside its modern elements and services.