February 13, 2008 / 5:09 PM / 10 years ago

Amy Winehouse's favorite pub to rise from ashes

LONDON (Reuters) - One of London’s most popular celebrity haunts is to rise from the ashes after being engulfed in the fire that devoured part of Camden Town market, its owners said on Wednesday.

Fire crews douse the Hawley Arms pub in Camden Town, one of the premises damaged by the extensive fires in London February 9, 2008. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

Grammy award-winning singer Amy Winehouse was one of the many high-profile regulars at Camden’s Hawley Arms pub, which was badly damaged in the blaze that erupted in the bohemian district in north London on Saturday night.

“We are definitely going to reopen,” said Ruth Mottram, one of the pub’s three co-owners.

“It was a huge relief yesterday when we found it wasn’t going to have to be pulled down, so that is good news,” she told Reuters.

But she said it would be at least six months before the pub would be back up and running after repairs to the burnt-out upper floors and water-damaged ground level.

Situated by a railway bridge in a scruffy side street, the Victorian building is an unlikely venue for the likes of supermodel Kate Moss, Kelly Osbourne and even Hollywood actress Kirsten Dunst, who have all been spotted in its candlelit bars.

But since a revamp in 2006, the one-time rundown boozer has become “unquestionably the most fashionable pub in north London,” according to the capital’s listing magazine Time Out.

Winehouse’s frequent — and sometimes long-lasting — visits earned it pages of valuable publicity.

Celebrities were attracted by the pub’s laid-back atmosphere as well as the eclectic music collection on its jukebox, said Mottram.

“What was so great about the pub was it really was a community place,” she added.

“I think that’s one of the reasons why celebrities came there, because they weren’t bothered. People just mixed together and it was always a really lovely atmosphere.”

Mottram said it had been harrowing watching the flames from nearby shops edge closer before finally engulfing the top floors of the building on Saturday.

“It is the most massive shock to see your livelihood burn before your eyes.”

A woman walks with her dog past the boarded-up Hawley Arms pub in Camden, February 13, 2008. The pub, damaged by a fire which hit part of the Camden Market at the weekend, is a favourite haunt for singer Amy Winehouse. REUTERS/Tim Castle

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