The Sebright Arms is named after The Sebright Arms Music Hall which once stood in Coate Street. The pub has been a well known Heavy Metal venue in the 1970s, a Disco pub in the 80s, Cabaret pub in the 90s, closed for demolition and redevelopment in 2009. There has been a Sebright Arms pub in Coate Street since the early 19th Century. In 1837 it was a gathering point for an angry crowd intent on freeing prisoners being transported to a Prison Hulk. The Sebright Arms Music Hall – opened in 1865 as a music room annexed to the Sebright Arms Public House, with a capacity of 704.
By the 1970s the pub was a venue for Heavy Metal bands before becoming a Disco pub. Problems with this resulted in the pub closing for 9 months.The pub reopened in 1989 with the line ‘Traditional Music Hall returns to the East End’ featuring regular band nights, dancing and live Jazz on Sundays. Barbara Windsor was the special guest at the opening. In the 1990s the pub became a successful cabaret venue with many drag acts and East End singalongs. The pub was bought by property developers in 2008 and planning permission was sought to demolish the building and build flats. During this time the pub still hosted live music at ground floor with DJs downstairs. Following a police raid in 2009 the pub closed and remained closed while the owners continued to seek planning for the flats. The pub began to feature on a number of web sites listing the disappearing pubs of East London. But in 2010 following a petition from locals and regulars the planning application was refused.
After being closed for 3 years the pub is now open. It turns out that the basement – in almost continuous use for over 20 years – was never actually licensed for the sale of alcohol. There is now a fully licensed bar downstairs with a venue once again hosting a variety of live entertainment.