Last week, inspired by our recent post about the ghost shops of the Barbican, a small group of dipsomaniacal Londonist writers set off to visit the abandoned pubs and bars that litter the estate, and raise a final toast to these tarnished temples of booze.
Our first stop was at the foot of Shakespeare Tower, where a unit that once housed Butler’s, a wine bar, and latterly a tapas restaurant is now inhabited by an architect’s studio. A few sips from the hipflasks later, we crossed over to the south side of the estate and the site of the Crowder’s Well pub, which was replaced a few years ago by Wood Street, a restaurant. The preponderance of ‘No Drinking Outside’ signs meant our stay there was a brief one. Next stop was up on St Alphage Highwalk and the shuttered exterior of The Podium. A short walk away was The Plough, before our final stop (and the only still-open pub on the tour) the City Boot.
There’s little time left if you want to retrace our steps. On 11 June St Alphage Highwalk will be closed off to the public to make way for a new office building, London Wall Place. While the Highwalk is expected to re-open afterwards, the ghost pubs will be demolished, with many a faded memory of long, bibulous nights crushed under the bulldozer’s unfeeling claw.