This pub was editorially chosen for inclusion by Londonist.
Madden’s used to be a dark, faintly intimidating place on the main road through East Finchley, but a refurbishment has brightened the place up considerably and it now appears far more accessible than before. Whether that’s a change welcomed by all its patrons we cannot say, but the place was worthy of inclusion in the Londonist database before the refit, and thankfully it still is.
Unlike many of north London’s Irish pubs and bars, Madden’s has always had a welcoming feel to it, right down to the sight of framed Arsenal and Spurs shirts quietly respecting each other above the bar. It isn’t a pub with a specific sports-focus, but they will show matches in here and there’s a pleasantly cordial atmosphere in the air when they do.
The carved wood figures of an unnamed band, including a double bass player, sit above the door. Other decoration includes 70s lampshades that look like flying saucers, and various Finchley-based historical photographs lining the walls; this is very much a pub proud to be where it is.
The space is long and narrow, but as mentioned is no longer like heading deeper into a cave as you walk through to the back. The upstairs area, which was closed during our visit, allegedly contains a pool table.
The Thai food comes more highly recommended than the usual Thai stuff that seems to get dropped into so many pubs in some type of franchise arrangement. Four ales on tap and a fridge full of wines does not make this a tippler’s paradise but the clientele make up for it, with a gregarious bunch of all ages chatting away happily on a Tuesday night. A friendly local, and one of Finchley’s finest for sure.