The Take-Away Bar, 84 Southwark Street, Borough of Southwark, London SE1, 2003 • Old-fashioned name in a grim 1960s block just behind Tate Modern, dating from the era when it was a backwater power station. Now obliterated by glassy developments housing mid-market chain restaurants, oligarch-style apartments etc.
Tasty Café, 72 St John Street, Borough of Islington, London EC1, 2013 • Surely the greatest generic name of them all. Features somewhat unenthusiastically on Classic Cafes, while Food Urchin describes it as ‘a very workman-like greasy spoon’. By 2015 it had become an upmarket cafe called Obertelli, though as of early 2016 it seems to be on sale again. I wonder where the fab coke sign went?
The Sir John Franklin, 269 East India Dock Road, Poplar, Borough of Tower Hamlets, London E14, 2006 • Unlovely boozer built near Blackwall Tunnel’s hell-mouth in 1963; this Manns sign looks old enough to date from then. The pub closed in 2005, and was demolished in 2011 to make way for flats, though it was still an empty lot in 2015. It can be seen in its net-curtained pre-closure glory on Dodgy Boozers, and there’s some history on Closed Pubs: Mann, Crossman & Paulin was a local brewery, part of Watney’s since 1958.
To The Weir, Lee’s Bakery, 107-109 Terrace Road, Walton on Thames, Surrey, 2002 • Enigmatic sign that’s not a reference to Virginia Woolf, but nearby Courage pub The Weir. It’s alongside a Hovis sign on the wall of Lee’s Bakery (see lower pics), which was established in 1889 and offers ‘yesterday’s specials’ in its window. By 2008 it had been demolished, and the whole corner rebuilt.