London Endings and Beginnings

Out and about in the West End on my lunch break today, I was saddened to learn that my favourite London pub, The Ben Crouch, is no more.

The Ben Crouch was a horror-themed pub on Wells Street, which is just off Oxford Street halfway between Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road. The decor was wonderfully gothic – spider webs everywhere; gargoyles and mysterious cowled figures lurked in corners; a mad scientist’s laboratory bubbled and brewed on top of a pillar in the centre of the pub; TVs behind the bar constantly played old horror films with the sound turned down. It had seven specialty cocktails, each one named after one of the seven deadly sins (sloth was my favourite one), and shots named after members of the Addams Family.

Admittedly I’d not been in there a while – seems I don’t do as much after-work drinking these days as I used to. But walking past Wells Street today, I noticed that the Ben Crouch has gone. In its place is a pub called The Adam and Eve.

These are sad times indeed if there’s no longer any demand for horror-themed pubs.

On a more positive note, however, I also discovered on my lunch time stroll that a new branch of Waterstone’s book shop is about to open – on the corner of Newman Street and Oxford Street – later this month. As we’ve been without a book shop within a ten-minute walk of the office since the closure of Borders earlier this year, this is good news.

So Oxford Street sees the loss of a pub, but the acquisition of a book shop. I guess the universe balances out in the end.


3 comments so far

  1. ralfast on

    Sad to see a good pub go, but glad that somebody chucked a franchise store and will open a honest to God small bookstore. The more things change the more the stay the same.

    • sayssara on

      Well I’m not sure Waterstones can be considered a small bookstore. They are still a rather large chain. They just focus more on the books, as opposed to Borders, for whom books seem to be a bit of a side issue.

      • ralfast on

        I stand corrected.

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