Pour me a pint o’ espresso, barkeep

The Evening Standard returns to Fleet Street in a photo feature that’s in the paper today — but, sadly, not online — showing that the turf once dominated by pubs for sodden hacks has now been taken over by coffee bars. It’s not just Fleet Street. All over London, coffee (Starbucks and others) and quick-lunch joints (Pret, Eat, et al) have taken over the street and the lifestyle. Instead of a pint and bangers and a conversation, Londoners are seen dashing through the streets with a Starbucks cup and a Pret cucumber sandwich. What has the world come to?

  • It’s a disgrace!

    Andrew Marr, the BBC’s senior political editor, bemoaned the lack of central London boozing clubs for hacks in January:


    Apparently a few older reporters supported his idea of opening a working club for journalists “a big place, a fresh hub, drink flowing, lawyers on tap” – but younger reporters and students weren’t so keen on his argument that newspapers were declining.

  • Jim Wilson

    It’s all because Red Ken emptied the streets of traffic, so now people can “dash through them.” They couldn’t before. :-)

  • piffle.

    you can’t walk more than 100 yards in london without coming across a pub. It’s just that you yanks have got us brits on the cuff and we need to work harder to catch up.

    (actually, I suspect it’s because the cost of living has really increased and we have to do all we can to keep costs down at lunch….)

  • MIke K

    The abolishing of closing hours probably did it. When the pub was about to close, everyone was rushing to get a pint while it was available. Once there was no closing, demand dropped. Forbidden fruit is always sweeter. Plus the Starbucks have WiFi hotspots.

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  • “Poetic Justice (Don’t burn the flag. Wash it!)” has a new poem posted that may interest you… Persecution’s Lament…
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  • “What has the world come to?”

    It’s turned into a place full of thinner, fitter people with healthy livers?

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  • Wise One

    Three cheers for health. Coffee beans are beating John Barley Corn. Temperance is rising. Go and get your hatchet. Down with saloons. Take the pledge. Get on the wagon.

  • Mark

    “It’s turned into a place full of thinner, fitter people with healthy livers?”

    In other words: Boring.

  • “It’s turned into a place full of thinner, fitter people with healthy livers?”

    Have you been out in the UK on a Friday night recently?

  • “The world has become us and we have become the world” – Mickey Mouse