Friday, July 22, 2016

Closing time

Perhaps the most famous of BBC boozers, The George, on Great Portland Street, W1, is boarded up.

Developers Regent Direct, part of the Crown Estate, have ownership of both the pub, at number 55, and the next-door building number 57, and plan to knock them together, to create a larger pub/restaurant on the ground and first floors, and three posh flats upstairs (which will probably pay for the whole thing). Planning permission was granted back in February.

There's thought to have been a pub on the site since the 1840s - it's shown on the Ordnance Survey map of 1870 (right).  It was damaged by a fire in 2006, which started in the first floor kitchen. Over recent years it's moved from cultural glue-pot to, shall we say, a blokes' football pub without Sky ? The pub is Grade II-listed, but, the developers' consultants say, 'of modest significance'.

'The public and heritage benefits of the proposals include the significant improvement of the appearance and condition of the exterior and interior of the listed building'.

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