Rob Star, the man behind Electric Star pubs talks to us about his East London.
Rob Star is no stranger to entertaining the crowds in East London. Moving to London at 18 he was a prominent figure on the 90’s party scene, where warehouse raves were the place to be. Twenty years on and Rob is now the founder and owner of an extremely successful independent pub company with 6 pubs and a New York style dive bar, all in neighbourhoods of the East End.
We got to know Rob through drinking at his and our local (and also the most recent acquisition to his pub portfolio), The Lord Napier in Hackney Wick. We recently sat down over a pint to chat about what's good about life in East London.
When and how did you first ‘discover’ East London?
My first experiences going out in East London were heading up to Shoreditch to go to The Blue Note around 1996, my favourite party was Metalheadz on a Sunday night. Always a great mix of people in there and a brilliant club with things happening every night of the week.
Which person or place do you take most interior design inspiration from?
I love old school pubs, places like The Palm Tree, The Pride of Spitalfields, Turners Old Star. The places in East London that still look like they did 40 years ago, those pubs are beautiful places. I want our pubs to take some of that decor and update it for a new clientele, although I also want the pubs to retain the feeling and the energy you get being in a traditional boozer.
How would you spend a sunny Bank Holiday in East London, where would you go and what would you do?
I love being on the canal, whether that’s going for a run, having a bite to eat (on the boat at Barge East is one of my favourites) or getting some drinks in (Bar 90 or Grow are great places to watch the world go by). There aren’t many better places to be on a sunny day! When the sun goes down I would head off to one of my pubs, maybe The Lord Napier or The Star by Hackney Downs. We always have some good parties on bank holiday Sunday, then who knows where you could end up?!
What is East London’s best kept secret?
There are certain things that should remain a secret, so I’m not going to mention them! One place I do love at the moment though is the outdoor sauna in Hackney Baths (Hackney Wick).
What is your East End guilty pleasure?
I still love a warehouse party or a forest rave, anywhere that feels a little bit naughty where you can dance in front of a massive sound system. If East London loses that, then part of it’s soul goes with it.
Chances are you've been in one of Rob's pubs without even knowing it!
Find out more about all of his lovely pubs here